Committee on the Rights of the Child: Singapore

Session 067 (2014)

(19 September 2014, CRC/C/OPAC/SGP/CO/1 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on initial report (OPAC), paras. 21 and 22)

"The Committee regrets the imposition of caning on members of the armed forces, including underage volunteers, for various offences under the Singapore Armed Forces Act.

"With reference to the Committee’s concluding observations under the Convention (CRC/C/SGP/CO/2-3, para. 40), and in view of the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, the Committee urges the State party to take prompt measures to amend legislation in order to unequivocally prohibit by law all forms of corporal punishment, including caning, in all settings."

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Session 056 (2011)

(2 May 2011, CRC/C/SGP/2-3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 39, 40, 68 and 69)

"While noting the education programmes and guidelines that restrict and discourage the use of corporal punishment, the Committee reiterates its deep concern that corporal punishment, including caning, is still considered a lawful form of discipline in the family, schools and institutions. 

"In light of the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, the Committee recommends that the State party: 

a) prohibit unequivocally by law, without any further delay, all forms of corporal punishment, including caning, in all settings;

b) continue to systematically train teachers and personnel working in institutions and youth detention centres on positive,  non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment; and

c) continue to sensitize and educate parents, guardians and professionals working with and for children on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice, and promote positive, non-violent, participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.

"While noting with appreciation the existence of a separate juvenile justice system in the State party, the Committee is deeply concerned that despite its previous concluding observations (para. 45): …

b) corporal punishment and solitary confinement are still used to discipline juvenile offenders;

c) male children between the ages of 7 and 16 years are subjected to caning and other forms of punishment for many offences in the Penal Code and other laws….

"The Committee recommends that the State party continue to strengthen its efforts to ensure the full implementation of juvenile justice standards, in particular articles 37, 39 and 40 of the Convention and other relevant international standards, such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines) and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty (the Havana Rules), taking into account the Committee’s general comment No. 10 (2007) on children’s rights in juvenile justice. It recommends that the State party: …

b) revise its legislation to prohibit the use of corporal punishment and solitary confinement in all detention institutions for juvenile offenders…."

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Session 034 (2003)

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.220, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 32, 33, 44 and 45)

"The Committee notes with concern that corporal punishment is permitted by law in the home, schools and institutions and as a form of punishment for male juvenile offenders.

"The Committee recommends that the State party amend its legislation to prohibit corporal punishment in the home, schools, institutions and the juvenile justice system. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party conduct well-targeted public awareness campaigns on the negative impact corporal punishment has on children, and provide training for teachers and personnel working in institutions and youth detention centres on non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment.

"The Committee is concerned that the minimum age of criminal responsibility is too low, that all persons in conflict with the law under 18 are not afforded special protection, and that corporal punishment and solitary confinement are used to discipline juvenile offenders.

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

d) prohibit the use of corporal punishment, including whipping and caning, and solitary confinement in all detention institutions for juvenile offenders, including police stations…."

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