Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 62 (2013)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 62nd session

Guinea

(13 June 2013, CRC/C/GIN/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 48 and 49)

"The Committee, while noting that the Children’s Code prohibits “all forms of physical and psychological maltreatment” in the family, schools and institutions, the Committee remains concerned that:

a) the Children’s Code does not explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings;

b) corporal punishment of children remains widespread and socially accepted in the home, in schools, in penal institutions, and in alternative care settings;

c) some religious interpretations wrongly prescribe whipping as being an integral part of learning the Koran, as indicated by the delegation during the interactive dialogue; and

d) there is no mechanism available for children to denounce corporal punishment.

"With reference to the Committee’s General Comment No. 8 on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment (CRC/GC/8/2006), the Committee urges the State party to: 

a) ensure that different laws and regulations explicitly prohibit corporal punishment;

b) effectively implement these laws and regulations and systematically initiate legal proceedings against those responsible for mistreating children, including teachers using whips;

c) introduce sustainable 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 on the development of children 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; and

d) ensure the involvement and participation of the whole society, including children, in the design and implementation of preventive strategies against corporal punishment of children."

Guyana

(18 June 2013, CRC/C/GUY/CO/2-4, Concluding observations on second to fourth report, paras. 6, 7, 32 and 33)

"While welcoming the State party’s efforts to implement the Committee’s concluding observations of February 2004 on the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/15/Add.224), the Committee notes with regret that some of the recommendations contained therein have not been fully addressed.

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations from the concluding observations of the first periodic report under the Convention that have not been implemented or sufficiently implemented, particularly those related to … corporal punishment….

"The Committee welcomes the State party’s Childcare and Development Services Act 2011 which prohibits corporal punishment in institutional residences. However, the Committee regrets that notwithstanding its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.224, para. 32) to expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in the family and schools, corporal punishment remains lawful and prevalent in these contexts. 

"The Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings, particularly in the domestic and school contexts. Furthermore, it recommends that the State party strengthen and expand awareness-raising and education programmes and campaigns, in order to promote positive and alternative forms of discipline and respect for children’s rights, with the involvement of children, while raising awareness about the adverse consequences of corporal punishment on children."

Malta

(18 June 2013, CRC/C/MLT/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 8, 9, 36 and 37)

"The Committee, while welcoming the State party’s efforts to implement the Committee’s concluding observations of June 2000 on the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/15/Add.129), notes with regret that some of the recommendations, contained therein have not been fully addressed.

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations in the concluding observations of the initial periodic report under the Convention that have not been implemented or sufficiently implemented, particularly those related to … corporal punishment.…. 

"The Committee notes as positive the Foundation for Social Welfare Services ‘Blue Ribbon’ campaign to promote positive parenting that was launched in 2010. However, the Committee regrets that, notwithstanding its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.129, para. 30) to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment, the State party continues to lack legislation explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings. The Committee is particularly concerned that corporal punishment is permitted and prevalent in the home and alternative care contexts as so-called ‘reasonable chastisement’ under articles 229 and 339 of the State party’s Criminal Code and article 154 of its Civil Code. 

"The Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings and ensure that this prohibition is adequately monitored and enforced. Furthermore, it recommends that the State party strengthen and expand awareness-raising and education campaigns, in order to promote positive and alternative forms of discipline and respect for children’s rights, with the involvement of children, while raising awareness about the adverse consequences of corporal punishment on children."

Niue

(26 June 2013, CRC/C/NIU/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 34 and 35)

"The Committee expresses concerns that there is no explicit legal prohibition of corporal punishment in the State party and that provisions against violence and cruelty in the Niue Act 1966 are not interpreted as prohibiting corporal punishment. The Committee is also concerned about the provision on the defence of reasonable chastisement (art. 238 of this Act). The Committee is furthermore concerned that corporal punishment is still commonly practised in schools and in the home and that violent punishment, mockery, ridicule, public humiliation and verbal abuse of children are widely accepted as valid forms of discipline.

"In the light of its general comment No. 8 on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment (CRC/C/GC/8, 2007), the Committee urges that the State party:

a) ensure that corporal punishment is explicitly prohibited in the home, schools and any other settings, including through explicit repeal of the common-law defence of reasonable chastisement;

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 and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment; and

c) provide information in the next periodic report on the legislative and concrete measures taken to eliminate corporal punishment."

In this session

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