Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 59 (2012)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 59th session

Azerbaijan

(12 March 2012, CRC/C/AZE/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 45 and 46)

"While noting that the State party has a draft law on the protection of children against all forms of corporal punishment under consideration, the Committee is concerned that current legislation fails to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all contexts. 

"The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations (CRC/C/AZE/CO/2, para. 45) and recommends that the State party introduce and fully implement legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home. It also recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising and public education campaigns promoting non-violent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education."

Cook Islands

(21 February 2012, CRC/C/COK/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 35 and 36)

"The Committee notes the legal review undertaken by the State party of the Education Act that aims at banning all forms of corporal punishment in schools. The Committee also notes with appreciation the State party’s efforts to combat domestic violence, including through the legal review of the Crimes Act and Family law Bill that, among others, aim to provide wider protection for child victims of domestic violence. However, the Committee expresses its concern about:

a) the prevalence of violence against children including corporal punishment used in all settings and especially in the home, where it remains lawful;

b) the fact that cases of domestic violence against children do not receive the adequate treatment from the police;

c) the fact that child victims of violence are not aware of reporting procedures and thus many such cases go unreported.

"Recalling its general comments Nos. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment and 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, the Committee recommends that the State party:

a) prohibit corporal punishment in all settings including in the family, schools and in institutions for children; in this regard the State party is urged to accelerate the adoption of the Education Amendment Bill;

b) introduce public education, on the harmful effects of corporal punishment, with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice, and promote positive, non-violent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education as an alternative to corporal punishment;

c) extend application of the existing ‘no drop’ policy in the State party, to child victims of domestic violence so that prosecution of such cases will proceed despite the victims’ non-cooperation;

d) strengthen the Police Domestic Violence Unit, by providing adequate human, technical and financial resources to fulfil its role effectively, and strengthen child rights training for law enforcement personnel, in order to ensure that they can provide adequate support to child victims;

e) take all necessary measures to ensure that child victims of violence are aware of the reporting procedures so as to encourage them to report cases of domestic violence to the authorities;

f) cooperate with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children and seek technical assistance, inter alia, from UNICEF and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)."

Madagascar

(8 March 2012, CRC/C/MDG/C0/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 37 and 38)

"The Committee notes that, although corporal punishment is prohibited in schools, it remains lawful in the home and alternative care settings. The Committee regrets that the State party report provides limited information on corporal punishment. 

"Taking due note of the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, the Committee recommends that the State party: 

a) consider enacting legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings, including within the family and in alternative care settings; 

b) ensure that laws prohibiting corporal punishment are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible of violence against children; and 

c) introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice and promote positive, non-violent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education as alternative forms of discipline."

Myanmar

(14 March 2012, CRC/C/MMR/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 53 and 54)

"While noting the legal provisions prohibiting corporal punishment in schools and welcoming the ongoing discussion in the State party with a view to prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is still lawful within the family and in alternative care settings and is a disciplinary measure in prisons, including for children under 16 years of age. 

"With reference to the Committee’s general Comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, the Committee recalls its previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.237) and urges the State party to: 

a) ensure that legal provisions prohibiting corporal punishment in school are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible for ill-treating children; 

b) withdraw provisions of the Child Law and the Penal Code authorizing corporal punishment and prohibit unequivocally by law and without any further delay corporal punishment in all settings, including the family, penal institutions, and alternative care settings; 

c) strengthen sustained public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization programmes involving children, families, communities and religious leaders on both the physical and psychological harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice and promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment; and 

d) ensure the involvement and participation of the whole society, including children, in the design and implementation of preventive strategies against violence and other forms of abuse."

Thailand

(17 February 2012, CRC/C/THA/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 7, 8, 47 and 48)

"The Committee, while welcoming the State party’s efforts to implement the concluding observations on the State party’s second periodic report (CRC/C/THA/CO/2), notes with regret that a number of the recommendations contained therein have not been given sufficient follow-up. 

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations contained in the concluding observations on the second periodic report that have not yet been, or not sufficiently, implemented, including on such issues as … corporal punishment in the home…. The Committee also urges the State party to provide adequate follow-up to the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations.

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home. Moreover, article 1567 of the Civil and Commercial Code states that those with parental authority over children have a right to impose ‘reasonable’ punishment for the purpose of discipline. 

"The Committee reiterates its previous concerns and concluding observations (CRC/C/THA/CO/2, paras. 40 and 41) and encourages the State party to take into account its general comments Nos. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, and 8 (2006), on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment in adopting measures to combat all forms of violence against children. 

“The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) prohibit explicitly by law corporal punishment of children in the home and alternative care settings, including for disciplinary purposes; 

b) introduce sustained public education and awareness-raising and social mobilization programmes involving children, families and communities on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing attitudes and promoting alternative, positive and non-violent forms of child-rearing and discipline; 

c) prioritize the elimination of all forms of violence against children, and ensure the effective implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations study on violence against children (A/61/299); 

d) provide information concerning the implementation by the State party of the recommendations of the above-mentioned study in its next periodic report, particularly those highlighted by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children, in particular: 

(i) the development in each State of a national comprehensive strategy to prevent and address all forms of violence and ill-treatment against children, paying particular attention to gender; 

(ii) the introduction of an explicit national legal ban on all forms of violence against children in all settings; 

(iii) the consolidation of a national system of data collection, analysis and dissemination, and a research agenda on violence and ill-treatment against children."

Togo

(8 March 2012, CRC/C/TGO/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 43 and 44)

"While welcoming the prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings, as provided for in the Children’s Code, the Committee expresses concern that corporal punishment remains socially accepted and widely practiced in schools and in the home.

"The Committee urges the State party to take more active measures to raise awareness on the negative impact of all forms of corporal punishment, as recommended by the Committee since 1997 (CRC/C/15/Add.83, para. 40 and CRC/C/15/Add.255, para. 39). The Committee in particular urges the State party to:

a) ensure that laws prohibiting corporal punishment are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against persons subjecting children to corporal punishment;

b) introduce sustained public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization programmes, involving children, families, communities and religious leaders, on the harmful physical and psychological effects of corporal punishment, with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice, and promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and alternative forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment;

c) ensure the involvement and participation of the whole society, including children, in the design and implementation of preventive strategies against violence and other forms of abuse; and

d) take guidance from the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

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