Committee on the Rights of the Child: Antigua and Barbuda

Session 075 (2017)

(2 June 2017, CRC/C/ATG/CO/2-4, Concluding observations on second/fourth report, Advance unedited version, paras. 28 and 29)

“The Committee remains deeply concerned that corporal punishment is systematic and widespread in schools, in the home, in alternative care and day care settings and other institutions and continues to be widely accepted in society as a means of disciplining children. It is particularly concerned that provisions within the Education Act 2008 permits the Principal, Deputy Principal, or a teacher within a school to administer corporal punishment.

“The Committee urges the State party to:

a) End all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, in particular in schools, homes and in private and public institutions;

b) Expeditiously repeal relevant provisions within the Education Act 2008;

c) Undertake awareness raising programmes, including education campaigns, to change public attitudes and provide training and information on alternative forms of non-violent discipline and ensure that these are consistent with the child’s human dignity;

d) Train and sensitize educators and other professionals working with and for children on positive behavioural management, with a view to promoting safer and more protective schooling environments.”

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Session 037 (2004)

(3 November 2004, CRC/C/15/Add.247, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 35, 36 and 48)

"The Committee is seriously concerned about the Corporal Punishment Act and the 1973 Education Act which provides for corporal punishment, which is in clear contravention of article 19 of the Convention. The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is still widely practised in the family, in schools and in other institutions.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) consider the immediate repeal of, or amendment to, the Corporal Punishment Act and the Education Act;

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

c) conduct awareness-raising campaigns to inform the public about the negative impact of corporal punishment on children and actively involve children and the media in the process; and

d) 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, paragraph 2, as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary measures to prevent child abuse and neglect by, inter alia:

a) carrying out public education campaigns that raise awareness of the consequences of ill-treatment of children and alternative measures of disciplining children, addressing sociocultural barriers that inhibit victims from seeking assistance...."

Read more from Session 037 (2004)
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