Committee on the Rights of the Child: Jamaica

Session 068 (2015)

(4 February 2015, CRC/C/JAM/CO/3-4 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on third-fourth report, paras. 30 and 31)

"The Committee notes the significant progress in enacting legislation prohibiting corporal punishment in the penal system, alternative care settings and early childhood institutions, in particular, the Early Childhood Act, Child Care and Protection Act and the Act to Provide for the Regulation and Management of Early Childhood Institutions. The Committee, however, is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and schools, is widely accepted in society, and continues to be practised in the State party. 

"In line with its general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment, and general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, the Committee recommends that the State party:

a) amend its legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings, including the family, schools and institutions, and explicitly repeal the common law right to inflict “reasonable and moderate” punishment; 

b) finalize and approve the draft National Safe Schools Policy which addresses the use of corporal punishment in schools;

c) promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment, and expand parenting education programmes and training for principals, teachers, and other professionals working with and for children; and

d) strengthen and expand its efforts through awareness-raising campaigns to inform the public in general about the negative impact of corporal punishment on children and actively involve children and the media in the process."

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Session 033 (2003)

(4 July 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.210, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 33, 48 and 49)

"The Committee urges the State party to considerably strengthen its efforts to address and condemn violence in society, including violence against women and children, particularly in the context of the family, as well as in schools and other environments. Further, it recommends that the State party take steps to monitor and address any incidents of violence and sexual or other abuse against children and take measures to ensure the rehabilitation of traumatized and victimized children by, inter alia:

a) carrying out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of violence and ill-treatment of children and promoting positive, non-violent forms of conflict resolution and discipline, especially within the family and in the educational system;

b) taking all legislative measures to prohibit all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse, against children in all contexts in society as well as taking effective measures for the prevention of violent acts committed within the family, in schools and by the police and other State agents, making sure that perpetrators of these violent acts are brought to justice, putting an end to the practise of impunity;

c) providing care, recovery and reintegration for child victims of direct or indirect violence and ensuring that the child victim is not revictimized in legal proceedings and that his/her privacy is protected;

d) taking into consideration the recommendations of the Committee adopted on its days of general discussion on children and violence (CRC/C/100, para.866 and CRC/C/111, paras.701-745)....

"The Committee welcomes the State party’s progress in the field of education, but remains concerned about: ...

e) the use of corporal punishment in schools.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, in the light of the Committee’s general comment on article 29 (1) of the Convention (aims of education): ...

e) adopt appropriate legislative measures to combat the use of corporal punishment in the schools…."

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Session 008 (1995)

(15 February 1995, CRC/C/15/Add.32, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 7)

"The Committee is concerned that in the framework of the legislative reform under way, a number of areas remain where national legislation has not yet been brought into full conformity with the provisions of the Convention, including its general principles, as reflected in articles 2, 3, 6 and 12. In this regard, the Committee’s concerns relate in particular to the definition of the child, the need to protect children against corporal punishment…."

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