Committee on the Rights of the Child: Niue

Session 062 (2013)

(26 June 2013, CRC/C/NIU/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 34 and 35)

"The Committee expresses concerns that there is no explicit legal prohibition of corporal punishment in the State party and that provisions against violence and cruelty in the Niue Act 1966 are not interpreted as prohibiting corporal punishment. The Committee is also concerned about the provision on the defence of reasonable chastisement (art. 238 of this Act). The Committee is furthermore concerned that corporal punishment is still commonly practised in schools and in the home and that violent punishment, mockery, ridicule, public humiliation and verbal abuse of children are widely accepted as valid forms of discipline.

"In the light of its general comment No. 8 on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment (CRC/C/GC/8, 2007), the Committee urges that the State party:

a) ensure that corporal punishment is explicitly prohibited in the home, schools and any other settings, including through explicit repeal of the common-law defence of reasonable chastisement;

b) introduce public education on the harmful effects 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; and

c) provide information in the next periodic report on the legislative and concrete measures taken to eliminate corporal punishment."

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