Committee on the Rights of the Child: Poland

Session 070 (2015)

(2 October 2015, CRC/C/POL/CO/3-4 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 24 and 25)

“The Committee commends the State party for legislating a total ban on corporal punishment in all settings, yet is concerned that:

a) while there have been no official complaints filed or convictions made in relation to inhuman or degrading treatment of children in police emergency youth centers, youth shelters or reform schools in recent years, certain ill-treatments in such facilities have been identified, including extended periods of detention in a transitional facility, penalties not compliant with the regulations, constraints on correspondence and complaints and restrictions on visits; and

b) corporal punishment is still used in schools, youth centres and alternative care facilities despite its legal prohibition.

“In the light of its 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 recommends that the State party:

a) fully investigate all allegations of ill-treatment of children and ensure that such acts are given an appropriate response through judicial processes, in order to avoid impunity for perpetrators;

b) review existing complaints mechanisms and ensure that all children deprived of liberty, including in the course of criminal or corrective procedure, have access to a safe and child-friendly mechanism  for complaints related to their deprivation of liberty, conditions of detention/internment and treatment;

c) ensure that child victims of ill-treatment are provided with care and rehabilitation programmes;

d) ensure that the prohibition of corporal punishment is adequately monitored and enforced in all settings;

e) strengthen capacity-building programmes for teachers and staff members of child care facilities, in order to promote positive and alternative forms of discipline and respect for children’s rights and to raise awareness about the adverse consequences of corporal punishment on children;

f) further strengthen collaboration with the Ombudsman for Children and the Human Rights Defender in this regard.”

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Session 031 (2002)

(30 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.194, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 34 and 35)

"The Committee notes the establishment of the ‘Blue Card’ programme to address family violence, but is concerned that child abuse, and violence in the home and in schools, remain a problem in the State party.… Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is widely practised in the home, in schools and other institutions, such as prisons, and in alternative care contexts.

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

d) expressly prohibit corporal punishment in the home, schools and all other institutions;

e) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment."

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Session 008 (1995)

(15 January 1995, CRC/C/15/Add.31, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 18 and 30)

"The Committee regrets that appropriate measures have not yet been taken to effectively prevent and combat corporal punishment and ill-treatment of children in schools or in institutions where children may be placed. The Committee is also preoccupied by the existence on a large scale of child abuse and violence within the family and the insufficient protection afforded by the existing legislation in that regard....

"The Committee further suggests that the clear prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as well as the ban on corporal punishment in the family, be reflected in the national legislation. In this field, the Committee also suggests the development of procedures and mechanisms to monitor complaints of maltreatment and cruelty within or outside the family. Moreover, special programmes should be set up to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children victims of any form of neglect, abuse, exploitation, torture or ill-treatment in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child."

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