Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 44 (2007)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 44th session

Chile

(23 April 2007, CRC/C/CHL/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 40 and 41)

"The Committee reiterates its previous concern (CRC/C/15/Add.173 paras. 31-32) and regrets that article 234 of the Civil Code appears to authorise corporal punishment in the home. Furthermore the Committee notes the lack of statistical data on the number of reported cases and is concerned that corporal punishment continues to occur in the home, as well as in schools and institutions.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, while taking due account of general comment No. 8 of the Committee on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment (2006), amend article 234 of the Civil Code and enforce legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home. The State party should also conduct awareness raising and public education campaigns against corporal punishment and promote non-violent, participatory methods of childrearing and education."

Honduras

(3 May 2007, CRC/C/HND/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 54 and 55)

"The Committee is concerned that article 191 of the Family Code seems to authorize corporal punishment in the home and that there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in alternative care settings.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, taking into account 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 (2006), introduce – and enforce where applicable - legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home. The State party should also conduct awareness-raising and public-education campaigns against corporal punishment and promote non-violent, participatory methods of child-rearing and education."

Kenya

(19 June 2007, CRC/C/KEN/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 6, 7, 34 and 35)

"The Committee notes with satisfaction that some concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.160) made upon the consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/3/Add.62) have been addressed through legislative measures and policies. However, recommendations regarding, inter alia, coordination, the various inconsistent, discriminatory and often exceedingly low legal minimum ages, corporal punishment, child labour and juvenile justice, have not been given sufficient follow-up. The Committee notes that those concerns and recommendations are reiterated in the present document.

"The Committee urges the State party, taking into account General Comment No. 5 (CRC/GC/2003/5) on the general measures of implementation for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to make every effort to address the recommendations contained in its concluding observations on the initial report that have not yet been implemented, and to address the list of concerns contained in the present concluding observations on the second periodic report.

"The Committee welcomes the legislative prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and institutions under the Children’s Act of 2001 but continues to be concerned at corporal punishment in the home, in the penal system, in alternative-care settings, as well as in employment settings. The Committee is also concerned at the continued use of corporal punishment in practice by certain schools and the lack of measures to enforce the prohibition of this practice.

"The Committee urges the State party, taking into account General Comment No. 8 (CRC/C/GC/8) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, to do the following:

a) introduce legislation explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment in the home and in all public and private alternative care and employment settings;

b) conduct public education and awareness raising campaigns on children’s rights to protection from all forms of violence and promotion of alternative, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline;

c) improve the effectiveness of the monitoring system in order to ensure that abuse of power by teachers or other professionals working with and for children does not take place in schools and other institutions."

Malaysia

(25 June 2007, CRC/C/MYS/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 48, 49, 57, 58, 77 and 78)

"The Committee, while welcoming the State party’s statement that it will amend the provisions of the Child Act 2001 (Act 611) which provide for caning of male children, expresses its deep concern that caning is still a lawful penal sanction provided by the Child Act and that it is also used as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions.

"The Committee urges the State party to immediately abolish all forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments, including caning and other forms of corporal punishment imposed on persons having committed a crime when under the age of 18 and as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions, taking into account 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 (CRC/C/GC/8).

"The Committee notes with appreciation that violence against children, such as physical, sexual, mental and emotional violence, as well as abandonment and neglect, are addressed in the Child Act 2001 (Act 611), and that since August 2002 incest has been criminalized by the Penal Code (Act 574). It also notes with appreciation that the Domestic Violence Act 1994 (Act 521) protects the child against violence within the family. It also notes with appreciation the State party’s willingness to establish a toll-free helpline for children. However, despite the measures taken to provide protection against violence, abuse and neglect, the Committee notes with grave concern that domestic violence, including violence against children in the family, remains a serious human rights problem in the State party. The Committee notes with concern that, owing to the strong social and cultural taboos, victims and witnesses rarely report these cases, although there exist established mechanisms to receive reports on child abuse and neglect, including a tollfree helpline “Teledera” which is, however, limited to reporting on child-abuse cases. It also notes with concern that corporal punishment in the home is lawful.

"In the light of article 19 and other relevant provisions of the Convention, and taking into account the recommendations of the Committee adopted on its Day of general discussion on violence against children within the family and in schools held on 28 September 2001 (CRC/C/111, paras. 701-745), the Committee urges the State party to: …

c) prohibit by law all forms of corporal punishment in the home and conduct a comprehensive study to assess the nature and extent of this phenomenon;

d) continue to sensitize and educate parents, guardians and professionals working with and for children by carrying out public education campaigns about the harmful impact of violent forms of ‘discipline’ and promote positive, non-violent, participatory methods of child-rearing….

"In this respect, the Committee recommends that the State party seek cooperation with, among others, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UNICEF, to further improve the education sector.

"The Committee notes with concern that the corporal punishment of boys is still a lawful disciplinary measure and used in secondary schools."

Mali

(3 May 2007, CRC/C/MLI/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 6, 39 and 40)

"While the Committee notes that some of its previous recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.113) have been implemented, it regrets that many have not been sufficiently addressed, including those recommendations regarding … corporal punishment…. These concerns and recommendations are reiterated in the present document.

"The Committee appreciates the efforts undertaken by the State party to combat corporal punishment by implementing legislative, administrative, social and educational measures. However, it remains concerned that corporal punishment is lawful in the home and that it is used within families, Koranic schools and alternative care settings, and not explicitly prohibited in penal institutions.

"The Committee urges the State party, while taking into account its general comment No. 1 on the aims of education (CRC/GC/2001/1) and 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/2006/8), to:

a) explicitly prohibit corporal punishment within the home, in all alternative care settings, and in penal institutions;

b) continue to sensitize and educate parents, guardians and professionals working with and for children by carrying out public educational campaigns on the harmful effects of corporal punishment;

c) continue to promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment; and

d) seek assistance from, among others, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO)."

Marshall Islands

(19 November 2007, CRC/C/MHL/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 3, 41, 42 and 43)

"The Committee notes with appreciation the enactment of the following legislation: ...

d) amended Criminal Code, which prohibits the use of corporal punishment against children as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions.

"While noting that corporal punishment is prohibited in schools by the Rules and Regulations of the Ministry of Education (1992) and that it is unlawful as a disciplinary measure under the revised Penal Code, the Committee is concerned that it remains lawful in the family and that it is not formally prohibited in alternative care settings.

"The Committee urges the State party to:

a) explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the family and in institutional settings and alternative care systems as a matter of priority;

b) sensitize and educate parents, guardians and professionals working with and for children by carrying out public educational campaigns about the harmful impact of corporal punishment, and promote positive, nonviolent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment;

c) provide children with child-sensitive mechanisms to lodge complaints in case they are victims of violence, including corporal punishment.

"In this respect, the Committee recommends that the State party take into account General Comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

Suriname

(18 June 2007, CRC/C/SUR/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 36 and 37)

"The Committee welcomes the fact that corporal punishment is prohibited in schools by ministerial decree, that awareness-raising and sensitization activities have been conducted related to better parenting, that April has been declared national child abuse prevention month, and that pilot projects have been conducted to reduce corporal punishment in schools. Nevertheless, the Committee remains concerned that corporal punishment continues to be used in the schools, and is not prohibited in homes or alternative care contexts.

"The Committee recommends that the State party explicitly prohibit by law all forms of violence against children, including corporal punishment, in all settings, including in the family, schools, alternative childcare and places of detention for juveniles, and implement those laws effectively. It also recommends that the State party intensify its awareness-raising campaigns in order to promote the use of alternative forms of discipline in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in accordance with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2, taking into account 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/C/GC/8 (2006))."

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