During the 17th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, eight states were examined on their implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee issued three recommendations – under articles 15 and 16 of the Convention – to prohibit corporal punishment of children:
- In its concluding observations on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s initial report, the Committee expressed concern that corporal punishment of children was not explicitly prohibited in the home and in alternative and day care settings. The Committee recommended that corporal punishment is explicitly and universally prohibited “with particular attention for children with disabilities living in institutions”. Bosnia and Herzegovina is committed to prohibition and legislation is currently being drafted to explicitly prohibit all corporal punishment of children.
- To Iran, the Committee stated its concern over the lack of complaint mechanisms available to persons with disabilities in cases of torture and cruel treatment, particularly in residential institutions or psychiatric hospitals. It issued a recommendation to enact legislation to prohibit all corporal punishment of children with disabilities and to ensure their protection from its practice.
- The Committee also stated its concern to Jordan about the provisions within the Jordanian Criminal Code which provide a legal defence to the use of violence and physical punishment against children with disabilities. The Committee recommended that these provisions are repealed from the Criminal Code in order to fully prohibit corporal punishment.
Although the Committee did not specifically refer to corporal punishment in its review of Armenia, it expressed concern at the violence and abuse children with disabilities suffer from at home and in institutional settings and recommended that the Government “prohibit and criminalize all forms of violence and abuse against children with disabilities in all settings, including home and residential institutions”. Since 2013 Armenia has been going through a legal reform process to amend the Family Code which would include prohibition of all corporal punishment – we can only hope that this will move the legislative process further forward.
For further information on the obligation to prohibit corporal punishment under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to see the Committee’s recommendations in full, see the Global Initiative’s page on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.