Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 56 (2011)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 56th session

Afghanistan

(8 April 2011, CRC/C/AFG/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 35, 36, 37, 38, 47 and 61)

"The Committee … expresses grave concern that children are being handcuffed and shackled in juvenile rehabilitation centres, during transportation to court or hospital, and at night, allegedly for security reasons or as a form of punishment. 

"The Committee … urges the State party to systematically train police, prison staff and other authorities on human rights of children, and ensure physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims of ill-treatment….

"The Committee notes with concern that in spite of the prohibition contained in the Education Law against all kinds of physical and psychological punishment of students, such practices continue to be common in the State party’s schools. The Committee is particularly concerned that all schools continue to have a discipline/guards committee, comprised of teachers and students, with full permission to use physical punishment on school children.

"The Committee urges the State party to unequivocally prohibit by law corporal punishment in the family, schools and institutions for children, and ensure that those laws are effectively implemented, and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible for mistreating children. The Committee also calls on the State party to 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 to promote positive, non-violent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education as an alternative to corporal punishment. In this regard, the Committee draws the attention of the State party 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 (CRC/C/GC/8). 

"The Committee notes with deep concern that in spite of widespread abuse and neglect of children and women in the home, domestic violence has not been criminalized in the State party, and that the Penal Code even allows the father to discipline family members, including children, without incurring penalties….

"The Committee recommends that the State party: …

g) end corporal punishment and other forms of violence in school, including bullying, through teacher training, school-specific action plans, and closer inspection of schools…."

Belarus

(8 April 2011, CRC/C/BLR/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 39 and 40)

"While noting that corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for a crime, and that it has been prohibited in the regulations of education establishments, the Committee, nevertheless, remains concerned that corporal punishment is lawful in the home, not explicitly prohibited in institutions, including in the penal system and alternative care settings, and is widely accepted in society.

"The Committee reiterates its recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.180, para. 40 (d)) that the State party prohibit all forms of corporal punishment at home, in schools and other institutions and develop measures to raise awareness on the harmful effects of corporal punishment, and promote alternative forms of discipline in families, in institutions and the penal system, to be administered in a manner consistent with the child’s dignity and in conformity with the Convention. In this regard, the Committee draws the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 8 (2007) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment."

Denmark

(7 April 2011, CRC/C/DNK/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 38 and 39)

"The Committee notes with concern that corporal punishment is lawful in the home and in alternative care settings in the Faroe Islands and that, although Government Circular No. 1 on School Discipline (12 January 1994) states that corporal punishment should not be used, there is no explicit prohibition in law.

"The Committee urges the State party to take measures to ensure that corporal punishment is prohibited in all settings and throughout its territory and to conduct awareness-raising and public education programmes with a view to encouraging the use of alternative disciplinary measures in line with the inherent dignity of the child, while taking due account 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."

Lao PDR

(8 April 2011, CRC/C/LAO/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 38 and 39)

"While noting that corporal punishment is prohibited in primary schools, the Committee is concerned at reports that some teachers use physical punishment as a means of discipline. The Committee is also concerned that corporal punishment is lawful in the home, and is not prohibited in alternative care settings.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) explicitly prohibit by law all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including in the family, schools, and alternative childcare and implement those laws effectively;

b) actively promote the use of alternative forms of discipline in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity, with a view to raising public awareness of children’s right to protection from all corporal punishment, and decreasing public acceptance of its use in child-rearing.

c) take 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)."

Mexico

(7 April 2011, CRC/C/OPAC/MEX/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report (OPAC), para. 18)

"The Committee recommends that the State party:…

d) prohibit corporal punishment, taking into account the Committee’s general comment no. 8 (2007) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment…."

New Zealand

(11 April 2011, CRC/C/NZL/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 28 and 29)

"The Committee welcomes the new section 59 (1) of the Crimes Act (1961), which abolishes the legal use of parental force for the purposes of correction.

"The Committee recommends that the State party heighten public awareness about section 59 (1) of the Crimes Act and continue to promote positive and non-violent forms of discipline in childrearing."

Singapore

(2 May 2011, CRC/C/SGP/2-3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 39, 40, 68 and 69)

"While noting the education programmes and guidelines that restrict and discourage the use of corporal punishment, the Committee reiterates its deep concern that corporal punishment, including caning, is still considered a lawful form of discipline in the family, schools and institutions. 

"In light 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) prohibit unequivocally by law, without any further delay, all forms of corporal punishment, including caning, in all settings;

b) continue to systematically train teachers and personnel working in institutions and youth detention centres on positive,  non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment; and

c) continue to sensitize and educate parents, guardians and professionals working with and for children 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 discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.

"While noting with appreciation the existence of a separate juvenile justice system in the State party, the Committee is deeply concerned that despite its previous concluding observations (para. 45): …

b) corporal punishment and solitary confinement are still used to discipline juvenile offenders;

c) male children between the ages of 7 and 16 years are subjected to caning and other forms of punishment for many offences in the Penal Code and other laws….

"The Committee recommends that the State party continue to strengthen its efforts to ensure the full implementation of juvenile justice standards, in particular articles 37, 39 and 40 of the Convention and other relevant international standards, such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines) and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty (the Havana Rules), taking into account the Committee’s general comment No. 10 (2007) on children’s rights in juvenile justice. It recommends that the State party: …

b) revise its legislation to prohibit the use of corporal punishment and solitary confinement in all detention institutions for juvenile offenders…."

Ukraine

(21 April 2011, CRC/C/UKR/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 41 and 42)

"The Committee is deeply concerned about the significant number of allegations of physical ill-treatment of detainees, including children, notably during initial questioning in district police stations. In particular, the Committee is gravely concerned at alleged cases of torture and ill-treatment of juveniles by Militsia officers to extract confessions and of migrant children while in the custody of the Ukraine State Border Guard Services. The Committee is further concerned at reports of widespread use of corporal punishment in the home, despite its prohibition in the home, in schools, the penal system and alternative care settings. In this context, the low level of awareness and understanding among children and among the public about children’s rights and about the prohibition of such acts is of serious concern to the Committee.

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to prevent and eliminate torture and all forms of ill-treatment of children, and, in particular: …

e) to end all forms of corporal punishment in the home and other settings by ensuring effective implementation of the existing legislative prohibition, including through awareness-raising campaigns and public education promoting positive and non-violent child-rearing."

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