Committee on the Rights of the Child: Pakistan

Session 072 (2016)

(3 June 2016, CRC/C/PAK/CO/5, Concluding observations on fifth report, paras. 32, 33, 34, 35, 79 and 80)

"… The Committee is seriously concerned that Shariah Law allows children to be subjected to punishments for Hadood offences involving amputation, whipping, stoning and other forms of cruel and degrading punishments.

"With reference to the Committee’s general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence and Sustainable Development Goal 16.2, the Committee … recommends that the State party review its laws and practices and exempt all children below the age of 18 years from punishment for Hadood offences which involve amputation, whipping, stoning and other forms of torture and cruel and degrading punishment.

"The Committee notes the efforts of the State party to eradicate corporal punishment in schools through directives and establishing of hotlines. However, it is concerned about its widespread use in all settings.

"In the light of its general comment No. 8 (2006) on corporal punishment, the Committee urges the State Party to eradicate and prohibit all forms of corporal punishment. It also recommends that the State party undertake awareness raising campaigns on the harmful effect of corporal punishment with a view to changing the general attitude towards the practice and promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline.

"The Committee deplores the worsening situation of juvenile justice in the State party and is seriously concerned about: …

b) Sentencing to death and lengthy prison terms of children by the  judiciary mostly for terrorism related crimes or Hadood offences under the Shariah Law….

"In the light of its general comment No. 10 (2007) on children’s rights in juvenile justice, the Committee urges the State party to bring its juvenile justice system fully into line with the Convention and other relevant standards. In particular, the Committee urges the State party to: …

b) review its legislation with a view to prohibiting cruel and inhuman punishments of all persons below the age of 18 years, including death sentences, lengthy prison terms and sentences,

c) ensure the prevalence of the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance of 2000 over all other laws, including Shariah Law. The attention of the State party is drawn to sections 11 (penalties for children convicted of offences) and 12(a) (no death penalty for children) of the Ordinance which both apply “notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law for the time being in force”…."

Read more from Session 072 (2016)

Session 052 (2009)

(15 October 2009, CRC/C/PAK/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 47, 48, 80 and 81)

"The Committee welcomes the State party’s commitment to eradicate corporal punishment in all settings, as demonstrated by the incorporation of the prohibition of corporal punishment in the National Plan of Action for Children and directives issued in all provinces. The Committee is, however, deeply concerned that corporal punishment is currently lawful under section 89 of the Penal Code of 1860 and extensively used as a disciplinary measure in homes, schools, and alternative care settings and that it is still used in the penal system despite its prohibition through the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO). 

"The Committee recommends that the State party, as a matter of urgency:

a) repeal section 89 of the Penal Code of 1860 and explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings; 

b) set up an effective monitoring system in order to ensure that abuse of power by teachers or other professionals working with and for children does not take place in schools and other institutions; and

c) introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing general attitudes towards this practice and promote positive, non-violent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education.

"The Committee ... is deeply concerned at reports of violence, ill-treatment, corporal punishment, sexual abuse and illegal detention within madrasas and of madrasas being used for military training, as well as instances of recruitment of children to participate in the armed conflict and terrorist activities.

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

c) ensure the protection of children from maltreatment within madrasas through the establishment of an adequate monitoring mechanism; ...

e) take into account the Committee’s general comment No. 1 (2001) on the aims of education."

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Session 034 (2003)

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.217, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 42, 43, 60 and 63)

"The Committee is deeply concerned that the State party’s Penal Code (sect. 89) allows for corporal punishment to be used as a disciplinary measure in schools and at the fact that corporal punishment is widely practised, especially within educational and other institutions and within the family, many times resulting in serious injuries. The Committee is further concerned that, despite the 1996 Abolition of the Punishment of Whipping Act, whipping is still used as a sentence for Hadood crimes.

"The Committee recommends that the State party, as a matter of urgency:

a) repeal section 89 of the Penal Code of 1860 and explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment;

b) abolish the sentence of whipping, under any circumstance or law;

c) undertake well-targeted public awareness campaigns on the negative impact of corporal punishment on children, and provide teachers and parents with training on non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.

"The Committee … remains deeply concerned that: ...

g) the code of conduct for teachers does not prohibit corporal punishment, nor does it deal with the problem of violence against children in school.

"The Committee recommends that the State party: …

i) take proactive measures to eliminate violence against children in schools, notably by including in the code of conduct for teachers the prohibition of corporal punishment and by limiting the role of school counsellors to those functions that help the pupil and revoking their disciplinary functions."

Read more from Session 034 (2003)

Session 006 (1994)

(25 April 1994, CRC/C/15/Add.18, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 12 and 23)

"… the Committee notes the non-compatibility of certain areas of national legislation with the provisions and principles of the Convention, including the punishment of flogging and the death penalty and life imprisonment for children below the age of 18.

"The hope is … expressed that … the State party will take into account the Committee’s concerns, particularly its recommendations with regard to the abolition of flogging and capital punishment for children under the age of 18…."

Read more from Session 006 (1994)

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