Committee on the Rights of the Child: Samoa

Session 072 (2016)

(3 June 2016, CRC/C/WSM/CO/2-4, Concluding observations on second-fourth report, paras. 30 and 31)

"The Committee notes with appreciation that the Education Act of 2009 prohibits corporal punishment in the schools. It also notes a number of measures, including the National Violence-Free School Policy, the Minimum Service Standards for primary and secondary schools and training for teachers on the ban of the corporal punishment. However, the Committee is seriously concerned that corporal punishment: 

a) despite being outlawed in schools and in early childhood settings, is not prohibited in other settings such as family, alternative care and private schools; 

b) is reportedly still widely used in schools and by caregivers due to the traditional believes and attitudes on disciplinary measures;

c) is not clearly prohibited under the Crimes Act 2013 and Family Safety Act 2013, which do not explicitly repeal the “right to administer reasonable punishment” in the Infants Ordinance 1961.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) revise its existing legislation and ensure that the Child Care and Protection Bill explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including at home, in the community, at schools and justice system without any exception;

b) explicitly repeal clauses related to the “right to administer reasonable punishment” in the Infants Ordinance 1961 as a matter of priority;

c) immediately and effectively implement the Education Act 2009 prohibiting corporal punishment in schools and the National Violence-Free School Policy, and in this regard, strengthen teacher training on positive discipline and ensure that the Behaviour Management Guidelines are part of the teacher service training programmes;

d) strengthen complaints mechanism in schools so that children can safely and confidentially report teachers who continue to use corporal punishment;

e) strengthen awareness raising programmes, trainings and other activities to promote the change of mind set with regard to corporal punishment, particularly in schools, family and on the community level."

Read more from Session 072 (2016)

Session 043 (2006)

(16 October 2006, CRC/C/WSM/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 35 and 36)

"The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment in the family, in schools and in alternative care settings is not formally prohibited and widely practised.

"The Committee recommends that the State party introduce and enforce legislation prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, including in the family and the alternative childcare system and in this respect the Committee fully supports the actions planned by the State party. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are administrated in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2, and take into account 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/GC/2006/8)."

Read more from Session 043 (2006)

Country report

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