Committee on the Rights of the Child: Gambia

Session 068 (2015)

(4 February 2015, CRC/C/GAM/CO/2-3, Concluding observations on second-third report, paras. 41 and 42)

"The Committee welcomes the prohibition of corporal punishment in the child justice system and the provisions of the Children’s Act that those with parental authority must ensure that discipline respects the dignity of the child. The Committee also notes the actions taken by the State party to discourage corporal punishment in school and in the community. However, the Committee remains concerned about:

a) the absence of legislation explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment in the home, school and alternative care settings;

b) the existence of provisions in the common law allowing parents, guardians and others in loco parentis to “reasonably chastise” their child; and

c) frequent incidents of corporal punishment, including severe physical punishments suffered by children, especially in the home.

"With reference 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 recommends that the State party: 

a) repeal all provisions that authorize corporal punishment, including the Children’s Act provisions on the right for parents, guardians and others in loco parentis to “reasonably chastise” their child and explicitly prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings, including within the family, schools and other institutions and childcare settings;

b) strengthen public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization programmes, involving children, families, communities and religious leaders, on the harmful effects, both physical and psychological, of corporal punishment, with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice, and promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment in the family, schools, alternative care and penal institutions; and

c) ensure the involvement and participation of the whole society, including children, in the design and implementation of preventive strategies with regard to corporal punishment of children."

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Session 028 (2001)

(6 November 2001, CRC/C/15/Add.165, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 32 and 33)

"The Committee expresses grave concern that corporal punishment is still practised and accepted in schools, families, and care and juvenile detention institutions, and as a punishment in the penal system.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take legislative measures to prohibit all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment as a penal sanction within the juvenile justice system, in schools and care institutions, as well as in families. The Committee encourages the State party to reinforce its public awareness campaigns to promote positive, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society."

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