Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 73 (2016)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in session 73 (13 - 30 September 2016)

Nauru

(28 October 2016, CRC/C/NRU/CO/1, Concluding observations on combined initial report, paras. 34 and 35)

“While the Committee notes as positive the provisions in the Education Act 2011 (art. 37) and the Correctional Service Act 2009 (art. 33) prohibiting corporal punishment in schools and penal institutions, it is concerned that:

(a) Despite recent law reforms, corporal punishment continues to be widely accepted in society as a means of disciplining children and is not fully prohibited in the home, in alternative care and day-care settings;

(b) In spite of its explicit prohibition in schools and penal institutions, reports that have emerged concerning children living in detention-like settings, including in the Regional Processing Centre, suggest that it continues to be practised;

(c) Certain legal provisions, in particular article 78 of the Crimes Act 2016 , may be construed as a justification for the use of corporal punishment in child-rearing.

“In the light of its 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 urges the State party to:

(a) Explicitly prohibit in legislation corporal punishment in all settings;

(b) Repeal all legislative provisions, in particular article 78 of the Crimes Act 2016, which could be construed as a justification for the use of corporal punishment in child-rearing;

(c) Ensure that the prohibition of corporal punishment is adequately monitored and enforced;

(d) Promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline through awareness-raising campaigns;

(e) Ensure that offenders are brought before the competent administrative and judicial authorities.”

Saudi Arabia

(25 October 2016, CRC/C/SAU/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, para. 28)

“In view of the fact that corporal punishment remains lawful in all settings in spite of the adoption of the Child Protection Act of 2014, the Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including the family (see CRC/C/SAU/CO/2, para. 45). The Committee recommends that the State party introduce sustained public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization programmes involving children, families, communities and religious leaders on the physically and psychologically harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice and promoting positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.”

Sierra Leone

(1 November 2016, CRC/C/SLE/CO/3-5, Concluding observations on third/fifth report, para. 17)

“In the light of its 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 urges the State party to explicitly implement the prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings, as recommended in the Code of Conduct for Teachers and Other Education Personnel (2009), especially at home, in schools and in alternative care settings and detention institutions. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its awareness-raising programmes, including campaigns among parents and relevant professional groups, on alternative methods of discipline, raise awareness of parents and children on the Code of Conduct and strengthen and enforce sanctions to make teachers and all personnel working with children accountable for violating the Code.”

South Africa

(27 October 2016, CRC/C/ZAF/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 35 and 36)

“The Committee welcomes the prohibition of corporal punishment of children in detention and in alternative care settings under the Children’s Act, of 2005. However, it is concerned that corporal punishment in the home has not been prohibited and is widely practised, and that corporal punishment in schools persists in practice despite the legal prohibition. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of data on incidents of corporal punishment in childcare facilities.

“With reference to its 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) Expedite the adoption of legislation to prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the home, including “reasonable chastisement”;

(b) Develop, adopt and implement a national strategy to prevent and eradicate all forms of corporal punishment;

(c) Strengthen its efforts to raise the awareness and build the capacity of families, of communities and of professionals working for and with children, including teachers and caregivers, on positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline;

(d) Regularly and systematically collect data on corporal punishment in all settings, including in the home, in schools and in childcare facilities, and use such data as a basis for effective prevention and eradication of corporal punishment;

(e) Promote regular consultations between students and teachers on how to deal with disciplinary issues in a human rights-sensitive manner;

(f) Ensure that those who perpetrate corporal punishment are held accountable.”

Suriname

(9 November 2016, CRC/C/SUR/CO/3-4, Concluding Observations on third/fourth report, para. 18)

“While noting the progress in prohibiting corporal punishment in schools through a ministerial decree, the Committee, in line with its general comments No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment and No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, reiterates its previous recommendations (see CRC/C/SUR/CO/2, para. 37) that the State party:

(a) Amend its legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings, including in the family, day care and afterschool care facilities, schools, alternative care settings, residential care and penal institutions;

(b) Strengthen and expand its efforts, through awareness-raising programmes and campaigns, to promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment; as well as expand parenting education programmes, in particular, in the interior areas of the State party, and training for principals, teachers and other professionals working with and for children.”

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