Committee on the Rights of the Child: Swaziland

Session 043 (2006)

(16 October 2006, CRC/C/SWZ/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras 36, 37, 67 and 68)

"The Committee is deeply concerned that corporal punishment is legal and traditionally accepted and widely practised in the family, in schools and in other settings. The Committee is further concerned that the new Constitution allows the use of ‘moderate chastisement’ of children.

"The Committee recommends that the State party consider, as a matter of priority, amending the Constitution and explicitly prohibiting by law corporal punishment in all settings, including in the family, schools, the penal system and all alternative care settings. It also recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising and educational campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are used, in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2, taking 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/C/GC/8).

"While welcoming the establishment of a Children’s Court in 2005, the Committee is nevertheless concerned at the lack of a functioning juvenile justice system throughout the country. In particular, the Committee is concerned at: ...

e) the use of corporal punishment as a sanction for juveniles.

"The Committee urges the State party to ensure that juvenile justice standards are fully implemented, in particular articles 37 (b), 40 and 39 of the Convention, as well 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), and in the light of the Committee’s day of general discussion on the administration of juvenile justice. In particular the Committee recommends that the State party: ...

f) abolish, as a matter of urgency, the use of corporal punishment as a sanction in the juvenile justice system...."

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