Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 60 (2012)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 60th session

Algeria

(18 July 2012, CRC/C/DZA/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 7, 8, 43 and 44)

"The Committee, while welcoming the State party’s efforts to implement the concluding observations on its previous reports (CRC/C/15/Add.269), 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 second periodic report under the Convention that have not been implemented or sufficiently implemented, particularly those related to interpretative declarations, legislation, independent monitoring, cooperation with civil society, non-discrimination, corporal punishment, parental responsibilities, violence against children, children with disabilities and refugee children. The Committee further urges the State party to provide adequate follow-up to the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations.

"While noting as positive the prohibition of corporal punishment, psychological ill-treatment and all forms of bullying in schools contained in the Education Act No. 08–04 of 23 January 2008, the Committee is however concerned that corporal punishment remains widely accepted in society and routinely used as a disciplinary measure in schools. The Committee is also concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and in alternative-care settings and that there is no explicit legal prohibition of the use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions, as already stated in the previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.269, para. 41). 

"The Committee urges the State party: 

a) to prohibit corporal punishment unequivocally in all settings; 

b) to ensure that laws prohibiting corporal punishment are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible of mistreating children; 

c) to introduce sustained public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization programmes, involving children, families, communities and religious leaders, on both the physical and the psychological 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;

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

e) to take into account 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."

Australia

(28 August 2012, CRC/C/AUS/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 7, 8, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 47)

"While welcoming the State party’s efforts to implement the concluding observations on its previous report (CRC/C/15/Add.268), it is concerned that some of the recommendations contained therein have not been fully addressed. 

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to effectively address the recommendations contained in the concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports that have yet to be implemented, particularly those on the reservation to article 37(c) of the Convention, legislation, coordination, respect for the views of the child, freedom of association, corporal punishment, and the administration of juvenile justice. 

"The Committee regrets that notwithstanding its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.268, para. 36), corporal punishment, in the home and some schools and alternative care settings, remains lawful throughout the State party under the label of so-called ‘reasonable chastisement’. 

"The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.268, para. 36) that the State party: 

a) take all appropriate measures to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in homes, in public and private schools, detention centres and alternative care settings in all states and territories; 

b) 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. 

"In addition, the Committee recommends that the State party: 

a) ensure that ‘reasonable chastisement’ is not used as defence to a charge of assault of a child; 

b) ensure the training of all professionals working with or for children, including law enforcement, medical, education professionals, to promptly identify, address and report all cases of violence against children; 

c) consider undertaking an independent study on the probable linkages between domestic violence and corporal punishment. 

"The Committee is gravely concerned at the high levels of violence against women and children prevailing in the country and notes that there is an inherent risk that the coexistence of domestic violence, lawful corporal punishment, bullying, and other forms of violence in the society are interlinked, conducing to an escalation and exacerbation of the situation…. 

"Emphasising the State party’s obligations under articles 19 and 37(a) of the Convention and the Committee’s general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, the Committee urges the State party to develop federal legislation as a general framework to reduce violence and promote the enactment of similar and complementary legislation at state and territory level. It also recommends that the State party adopt a specific plan of action to make operational the provisions under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children (2010-2022), including such measures as: …

e) monitoring the implementation of anti-violence measures (including corporal punishment and bullying in schools, through the Internet, and in other settings) within specific plans and as part of the 3-year action plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children."

Cyprus

(10 August 2012, CRC/C/CYP/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 29 and 30)

"The Committee is concerned at the widespread social acceptance of corporal punishment in the State party. Furthermore, while noting that the State party’s Violence in the Family (Prevention and Protection of Victims) Law of 2000 prohibits corporal punishment, the Committee is concerned that article 54 of the State party’s Children Law (1956) allowing for ‘the right of any parent, teacher or other person having the lawful control or charge of the child to administer punishment to him’ is still in force.

"The Committee recommends that the State party continue conducting awareness-raising and public education campaigns promoting alternative forms of discipline which are non-violent, and participatory forms of child-rearing and education. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party explicitly repeal article 54 of its Children Law (1956) to ensure all of its legislation explicitly prohibits all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home."

Greece

(13 August 2012, CRC/C/GRC/CO/2-3, Concluding observations on second/third report, para. 3)

"The Committee notes with appreciation the adoption of the following legislative measures: …

d) Law No. 3500/2006 on domestic violence, which also prohibits corporal punishment…."

Turkey

(20 July 2012, CRC/C/TUR/CO/2-3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 6, 7, 44, 45, 58 and 59)

"The Committee welcomes efforts by the State party to implement the Committee’s concluding observations of 2001 on the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/15/Add.152). Nevertheless, the Committee notes with regret that several of these concluding observations have not been significantly addressed…. 

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address the recommendations in the concluding observations on the initial report that have not yet been implemented fully or sufficiently, including those on such issues … corporal punishment….

"The Committee takes note of the amendment to the Civil Code (2002) to remove parents’ ‘right to correction of their children,’ as well as the amendments to the State party’s criminal legislation to prohibit corporal punishment as a sentence for a crime and as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions. The Committee however remains concerned that corporal punishment is still not explicitly prohibited in the home and in alternative care settings. The Committee is concerned at reports that corporal punishment is considered acceptable in homes and has, in some cases, been used in psychiatric facilities and rehabilitation centres. The Committee notes that while corporal punishment is prohibited in schools, reports indicate prevalence of the practice in addition to a continued perception among adults of its educational value, which raises grave concerns over the interpretation and implementation of the ban on corporal punishment in schools. 

"The Committee reiterates its concerns, as expressed in previous concluding observations (CRC/C/THA/CO/2, paras. 40 and 41) and in line with its general comments No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence and No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, with respect to measures to combat all forms of violence against children, and recommends that the State party: 

a) eliminate the practice of corporal punishment, including by explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment in the home and in alternative care settings; 

b) monitor the implementation of the prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, including by investigating and taking appropriate action against perpetrators; 

c) develop measures to raise awareness on the harmful effects of corporal punishment and promote alternative forms of discipline in families.

"The Committee welcomes the improvements in the education system since the State party’s previous report…. However, the Committee is concerned about: …

d) widespread prevalence of violence in schools, ranging from verbal to physical violence….

"The Committee recommends that the State party: …

d) strengthen its programmes on violence in schools, including strict adherence to the prohibition of corporal punishment and fostering a spirit of non-violence among children…."

Viet Nam

(22 August 2012, CRC/C/VNM/C0/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 45 and 46)

"The Committee is concerned about the prevalence of corporal punishment in the home and that many parents still find it appropriate to use slapping as a means of discipline. While noting the State party’s declaration during the dialogue that it intends to include a provision on corporal punishment in the amendment to the 2004 Law on Protection, Care and Education of Children, the Committee remains concerned that the State party has not yet passed legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including in the home, despite the Committee’s previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.200, para. 34 (e)). 

"The Committee recommends that the State party reform its domestic legislation, including the envisaged amendment to the 2004 Law on Protection, Care and Education of Children, to ensure the explicit prohibition of all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, 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, and general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence. The Committee further recommends that the State party raise awareness among parents and the general public on the negative impact of corporal punishment on the well-being of children, and on positive alternative methods of discipline in accordance with the rights of the child, also through the effective implementation of the National Programme on Child Protection for 2011-2015."

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