Committee on the Rights of the Child: St Lucia

Session 066 (2014)

(13 June 2014, CRC/C/LCA/CO/2-4 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on second-fourth report, paras. 6, 7, 28 and 29)

"The Committee, while welcoming the State party’s efforts to implement the Committee’s concluding observations of 2005 (CRC/C/15/Add.258) on the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/28/Add.23), notes with regret that many of the recommendations contained therein have not been fully addressed.

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations from the concluding observations of the initial report (CRC/C/15/Add.258) under the Convention that have not been implemented or sufficiently implemented, particularly those related to training/dissemination of the Convention, corporal punishment, parental guidance and responsibilities, children deprived of a family environment, abuse and neglect, adolescent health, economic exploitation of children, including child labour, sexual exploitation and abuse and juvenile justice.

"The Committee notes efforts to address the issue of corporal punishment, such as the recent national consultations on the abolition of corporal punishment, and the project ‘Fostering the positive behavioural management of children in inclusive child-friendly classrooms in Saint Lucia’, which includes parenting skills training and training for principals and teachers.  The Committee, however, reiterates its concern that corporal punishment is still seen as a lawful way of disciplining children, both under the 1972 Children and Young Persons Act and the 1999 Education Act, that corporal punishment continues to be practised within the family, schools and in institutions and is widely accepted in society (CRC/C/15/Add.158, para. 34).   

"In line with its general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of 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) strengthen and expand its efforts through awareness-raising campaigns to inform the public in general about the negative impact of corporal punishment on children and actively involve children and the media in the process;

b) promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment, and expand parenting education programmes and training for principals, teachers, and other professionals working with and for children, and especially the Child Friendly School project; and  

c) finally amend its legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in the family, schools and institutions."

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Session 039 (2005)

(21 September 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.258, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 9, 34 and 35)

"While the Committee appreciates that the State party has made various amendments to existing legislation as well as adopted the Family Court Act in 1994 and the Domestic Violence Act in 1995, it is nevertheless concerned that existing legislation does not fully reflect the principles and provisions of the Convention, for example regarding non-discrimination, corporal punishment and juvenile justice.

"The Committee is concerned at the fact that corporal punishment is a lawful way of disciplining children, both under the Children and Young Persons Act and the Education Act. The Committee is further concerned that corporal punishment is widely practiced as a highly favoured method of punishment.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) amend its legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in the family, schools and institutions;

b) conduct awareness-raising campaigns to inform the public in general about the negative impact of corporal punishment on children and actively involve children and the media in the process;

c) ensure that positive, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline are administrated in a manner consistent with the Convention, especially article 28 (2) as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society."

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