Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 38 (2005)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 38th session

Albania

(31 March 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.249, Concluding observations on initial report paras. 50 and 51)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the family, and continues to be used as a disciplinary method.

"The Committee urges the State party to expressly prohibit by law all corporal punishment in the family. The State party is further encouraged to undertake awareness-raising campaigns and education programmes on nonviolent forms of discipline, and to conduct research into the prevalence of corporal punishment of children in the family."

Austria

(31 March 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.251, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 39 and 40)

"The Committee appreciates that corporal punishment has been prohibited by law in all settings, including in the family, the penal system and institutions of childcare. However, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment may still be practised in the family.

"The Committee recommends that the State party continue its public education and awareness raising campaigns on non-violent forms of discipline and child-rearing. The Committee also recommends that the State party undertake studies on the prevalence of violence in children’s experiences and the negative effects of corporal punishment on the development of children."

Bahamas

(31 March 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.253, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 35 and 36)

"The Committee expresses its concern at the fact that corporal punishment is still widely practised in the family, in schools, and in institutions, and that domestic legislation does not explicitly prohibit its use.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in the family, schools and other institutions; and

b) conduct awareness-raising campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are administrated in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2."

Belize

(31 March 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.252, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 7, 40 and 41)

"The Committee notes with satisfaction that various concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.99) made upon the consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/3/Add.46) have been addressed through legislative measures and policies. However, some of the concerns it expressed and recommendations it had made regarding, inter alia, … the prohibition of corporal punishment (para.19) … have not been sufficiently addressed.

"While noting the awareness-raising campaigns and the promotion of alternative methods of discipline, the Committee reiterates its deep concern that corporal punishment is still frequently practised in the family, in schools and in other institutions, that domestic legislation does not prohibit the use of corporal punishment and that the provisions of the Criminal Code and the Education Act legitimize the use of it.

"The Committee, reiterating its previous recommendation, urges the State party:

a) to critically review its current legislation with a view to abolishing the use of force for the purpose of correction and to introduce new legislation prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in the family and within all institutions, including schools and the alternative care system;

b) to extend and strengthen public education and social mobilization campaigns on alternative non-violent forms of discipline and child-rearing, with the participation of children, in order to change public attitudes to corporal punishment and to strengthen its cooperation with the NGOs in this respect;

c) to seek international technical assistance from, among others, UNICEF in this regard."

Bolivia

(11 February 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.256, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 35 and 36)

"The Committee expresses deep concern that, despite its prohibition in the Code for Children and Adolescents, corporal punishment is still widely used within the family and in schools and other institutions.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures, including through public awareness campaigns, to promote positive, participatory and non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society, and to effectively implement the law prohibiting corporal punishment."

Iran

(31 March 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.254, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 45, 46, 47, 48, 72 and 73)

"The Committee deeply regrets that under the existing laws, persons below the age of 18 who have committed a crime can be subjected to corporal punishment and sentenced to various types of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, such as amputation, flogging or stoning, which are systematically imposed by judicial authorities and which the Committee considers to be totally incompatible with article 37 (a) and other provisions of the Convention.

"In the light of the consideration of the Bill on the Establishment of Juvenile Courts, the Committee urges the State party to take all the necessary measures to ensure that persons who committed crimes while under 18 are not subjected to any form of corporal punishment and to immediately suspend the imposition and the execution of sentences of amputation, flogging, stoning and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

"The Committee continues to be concerned about legislation that provides for corporal punishment within the family. While welcoming the new Law on the Protection of Children and Adolescents (2003), which includes the prohibition of all forms of molestation and abuse of children and the obligation to report cases of child abuse, the exceptions stated therein continue to legally allow various forms of violence against children. More particularly, several articles of the Civil and Penal Code [sic], have been excluded, including article 1179 of the Civil Law and article 59 of the Penal Code which gives parents the right to physically discipline their children within non-defined “normal limits”. In the Committee’s view, such exceptions contribute to the abuse of children inside and outside the family and contravene the principles and provisions of the Convention, in particular article 19. The Committee also notes with concern, that certain forms of sexual abuse of children or grandchildren are not explicitly prohibited.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) continue and strengthen its efforts, including through legislative and other measures, to prohibit and prevent all forms of physical and mental violence against children, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse, in the family, in schools, and in other institutions, and take the necessary legislative measures to ensure that all those who sexually abuse children are punished without discrimination;

b) initiate public education campaigns against the use of all forms of violence against children and encourage alternative forms of discipline….

"The Committee welcomes the efforts of the State party to improve the laws with regard to persons below 18 in conflict with the law…. However, it deplores the information referred to in paragraph 29 above that, despite the statement of the delegation during the consideration of the current report that, in view of the Bill on the Establishment of Juvenile Courts, executions, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons for having committed crimes before the age of 18 have been suspended, such executions and ill-treatment have continued since the consideration by the Committee of the State party’s initial report. The Committee remains concerned at the existing poor quality of the rules and practices in the juvenile justice system, reflected, inter alia, in the lack of statistical data, the limited use of specialized juvenile courts and judges, the low age of criminal responsibility, the lack of adequate alternatives to custodial sentences, and the imposition of torture and other cruel and inhuman punishment and in particular of the death penalty.

"The Committee repeats its recommendation contained in paragraph 9 above that the State party take, as a matter of the highest priority, the necessary measures for the approval and implementation of the Bill on the Establishment of Juvenile Courts and ensure that it complies with the provisions of the Convention, in particular articles 37, 39 and 40, as well as with other relevant international standards in this area…. In this respect the Committee urges the State party, in particular: ...

b) to suspend immediately the imposition and execution of all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, such as amputation, flogging or stoning, for crimes committed by persons under 18…."

Luxembourg

(31 March 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.250, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 6, 38 and 39)

"The Committee notes with satisfaction that various concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.92) made upon the consideration of the State’s initial report (CRC/C/41/Add.2) have been addressed through legislative measures and policies. However, it regrets that some of its concerns and recommendations have been insufficiently addressed, particularly those contained in ... [paragraph] 31 (the absence of a provision prohibiting corporal punishment within the family and in care institutions)….

"The Committee continues to be concerned that there is no legislation explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment within the family and that this practice seems to be largely accepted in the society.

"The Committee, reiterating its previous recommendation, urges the State party to introduce a provision expressly prohibiting corporal punishment within the family, and to strengthen its efforts to raise awareness among parents and care-givers of alternative non-violent forms of discipline."

Nigeria

(13 April 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.257, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 38, 39, 79, 80 and 81)

"The Committee takes note that article 221 of the Child Rights Act prohibits corporal punishment in judicial settings, and that a ministerial note has been sent to schools notifying them of the prohibition of corporal punishment in schools. Nevertheless, in light of article 19 of the Convention, the Committee remains concerned that corporal punishment is still widely practised in the penal system as a sanction, as well as in the family, in schools and in other institutions. In particular, the Committee is concerned about:

a) articles 9 and 11 (2) of the Children and Young Persons Law which provides for the sentencing of juvenile offenders to whipping and corporal punishment;

b) article 18 of the Criminal Code which provides for whipping;

c) article 55 of the Penal Code which provides for the use of physical corrective measures;

d) Shari’ahlegal code to children prescribing penalties and corporal punishment such as flogging, whipping, stoning and amputation, which are sometimes applied to children; and

e) legal provisions that tolerate, if not promote, corporal punishment at home, in particular article 55 (1)(a) of the Penal Code and article 295 of the Criminal Code.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) abolish or amend all legislation prescribing corporal punishment as a penal sentence, in particular the Children and Young Persons Act;

b) expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in all settings, in particular in the family, schools and other institutions; and

c) conduct awareness-raising campaigns to ensure that positive, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline are administrated in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, especially article 28 (2) as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society.

"Despite the State party’s claim that there are no discrepancies between the provisions of the Convention and the Shari’ahlaws with regard to the rights of children, the Committee remains deeply concerned by the sentencing of persons below 18 years to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment such as stoning, flogging, whipping and amputation by Shari’ah courts. The Committee is further concerned that under section 95 of the Shari’ah Penal Code, persons aged 7-18 years can be subjected to the punishment of confinement in a reform institution, or 20 strokes of cane, or with fine, or both.

"The Committee recommends the State party to review its legislation, policies and budgets to ensure the full implementation of juvenile justice standards, in particular article 37 (b) and article 40, paragraph 2 (b) (ii)-(iv) and (vii) of the Convention... 

"In this respect, the Committee urges the State party to, in particular: ...

e) amend, as a matter of urgency, the Child and Young Persons Act and the Criminal Code, as well as the Shari’ah Penal Codes to abolish death penalty as well as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment on juvenile offenders, and in the meantime take measures, as a matter of priority, to ensure that persons under 18 are not sentenced to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading forms of sanction such as flogging and amputation by Shari’ah courts; ...

h) enact an amendment to the Children and Young Persons Act, prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment in penal institutions…."

Togo

(31 March 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.255, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 6, 38 and 39)

"The Committee regrets that many of the concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.83) it made upon consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/3/Add.42) have been insufficiently addressed, especially those regarding ... corporal punishment (para. 40)....

"The Committee is deeply concerned that corporal punishment of children remains legally and socially accepted, and consequently is common in families and schools and other institutions for children, despite the Committee’s previous recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.83) and the Order of the Ministry of Education issued in 1980.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) adopt a law effectively prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in the family, in schools, in detention centres, in other forms of childcare institutions and in the community;

b) take effective measures to prohibit the use of violence against children, including corporal punishment, by parents, teachers and other caregivers;

c) undertake well-targeted public awareness campaigns on the negative impact of corporal punishment on children, and provide teachers and parents with training on non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment."

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