Committee on the Rights of the Child: Eritrea

Session 069 (2015)

(8 June 2015, CRC/C/ERI/CO/4 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 36, 37, 38 and 39)

"The Committee notes the information given during the dialogue that caning has been abolished as a sentence for young offenders. However, it remains seriously concerned about reports indicating that: ...

c) children in detention routinely face torture, cruel and degrading treatment, including corporal punishment, in particular children accused of attempting to avoid military service or fleeing the country.

"The Committee urges the State party to:

a) enforce the legal prohibition of all forms of violence including corporal punishment in all settings, including in military training camps, and ensure that it is no more used as a sentence for crime.... 

"The Committee, while noting the information given during the dialogue that “reasonable chastisement” is no longer an excuse for corporal punishment of children, is concerned that children are frequently subjected to violence at home and in educational institutions, including sexual abuse of girls in schools. Furthermore, the Committee notes with concern that:

a) data on violence against children, including on investigation and persecution conducted for the allegation of such violence, is not collected;

b) laws, policies or plans of action which specifically address all forms of violence against children, including child abuse and neglect, domestic and sexual violence, do not exist;

c) information is not provided on adequate complaints mechanisms for violence against children, on mechanisms of redress, rehabilitation and compensation for child victims of violence, or on assistance and protection of child witnesses and on support for their recovery and social reintegration....

"With reference to the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on corporal punishment and 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

continue enforcing the prohibition of violence in all settings and to prosecute perpetrators, and to furthermore:

a) establish a reliable system for the collection of statistical data on violence against children, disaggregated by age, forms of violence and the relationship between victims and perpetrators, and on the number of complaints, prosecutions, convictions and sentences imposed on perpetrators as well as on reparations provided to victims;

b) undertake a comprehensive study on violence against children, including child abuse and neglect, as well as gender-based and sexual violence, in order to identify the prevalence and root causes of the problem and effective measures to respond them;

c) adopt and implement laws, national policies or national plans of action to address all forms of violence against children, in a comprehensive manner;

d) ensure children’s effective access to justice by establishing confidential, child-friendly and gender-sensitive complaints mechanisms and legal aid programmes;

e) ensure that mediation is not given preference over criminal proceedings in domestic violence cases, including marital rape; and

f) provide capacity building on all forms of violence against children to relevant professional groups, including the military as well as religious and traditional leaders, and conduct awareness raising programmes, including campaigns, targeting children, teachers, media and the general public.

g) intensify its efforts, including with support from UNICEF, to raise awareness on alternative forms of discipline in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention."

Read more from Session 069 (2015)

Session 048 (2008)

(23 June 2008, CRC/C/ERI/CO/3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 38 and 39)

"The Committee notes that the provision on corporal punishment in the Transitional Penal Code only applies to children under 15 when endangering gravely their physical and mental health and that ‘reasonable chastisement’ remains permitted. The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is still widely practised in the home, the schools and other settings.

"The Committee recommends that the State party prohibit corporal punishment by law and enforce the prohibition in all settings, including in the family, the schools and alternative childcare. It also recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are used, in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2, while taking due account of the 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 also recommends the State party to seek technical assistance from UNICEF in order to implement relevant programmes in the school environment."

Read more from Session 048 (2008)

Session 033 (2003)

(2 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.204, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 31 and 32)

"The Committee is concerned at the lack of data on ill-treatment of children, including child abuse and corporal punishment. It also notes with concern that corporal punishment is not expressly prohibited by law and is widely practised in the home and in institutions.

"The Committee recommends that the State party: ...

b) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children and, in collaboration with community leaders and others, promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment;

c) expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in the home, schools and other institutions; …"

Read more from Session 033 (2003)
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