Committee on the Rights of the Child: Barbados

Session 074 (2017)

(3 February 2017, CRC/C/BRB/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 31 and 32)

“While welcoming the promotion of positive forms of discipline through the conduction of awareness-raising and training programmes, in cooperation with UNICEF, the Committee remains deeply concerned that corporal punishment is lawful and widely used in homes and schools, as well as legally allowed in institutions as punishment in the case of children who commit criminal offences.

“In the light of its general comment No. 8 (2006) on corporal punishment, the Committee urges the State party to:

(a) Explicitly prohibit in legislation corporal punishment in all settings, including at home, at schools and in the justice system, without any exception;

(b) Ensure that the prohibition of corporal punishment is adequately monitored and enforced;

(c) Continue promoting positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline, strengthen teacher training on positive discipline and ensure that behaviour management guidelines are part of the teacher service training programmes;

(d) Establish a complaints mechanism in schools so that children can safely and confidentially report teachers who continue to use corporal punishment;

(e) Ensure that offenders are brought before the competent administrative and judicial authorities;

(f) Conduct awareness-raising programmes, including campaigns, training sessions and other activities to promote a change in the mindset on corporal punishment in all settings.”

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Session 021 (1999)

(24 June 1999, CRC/C/15/Add.103, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 19 and 22)

"The Committee is concerned about legislation and policies that allow the use of flogging of children as a disciplinary measure in prisons and its use as a judicial sentence. In this respect, the Committee welcomes the commitment of the State party to give prompt consideration to the possibility of ratifying the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee encourages the State party to conduct a public awareness-raising campaign and to review its legislation and policies in order to eliminate flogging as a judicial sentence and as a disciplinary measure in the prison system.

"The Committee is seriously concerned about the high proportion of children who appear to be victims of physical abuse, in most instances accompanied by psychological and emotional abuse. The Committee is highly concerned about the subjective element involved in legislation that permits a ‘reasonable degree’ of physical chastisement as a disciplinary method. The Committee is concerned that the tolerance of corporal punishment in schools will make it extremely difficult to educate parents about alternative forms of discipline, and wishes to point out that there is usually a connection between the social and legal acceptability of corporal punishment and the high level of child abuse which is of serious concern. The Committee encourages the State party to review its policies and legislation in order to eliminate corporal punishment as a method of discipline and to implement fully the provisions of articles 19 and 39 of the Convention; it recommends that the State party increase its efforts to educate the public about the negative impact of corporal punishment on the development of the child and on the effort to prevent child abuse; finally, the Committee encourages the State party to seek international assistance and advice on successful examples of how to overcome traditional social attitudes regarding corporal punishment."

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