Human Rights Committee recommends law reform to end all corporal punishment of children

At its 111th session (7-25 July 2014), the Human Rights Committee raised the issue of corporal punishment of children with the Governments of Georgia, Ireland, Japan and Malawi. The Lists of Issues adopted by the Committee for these states asked for information on progress towards prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings, including the home. In the List of Issues for Sudan, the Committee asked about abolition of flogging and amputation as a sentence for crime.

Following examination of the states, the Committee made the following remarks and recommendations in its concluding observations:

  • To Georgia, the Committee expressed concern at corporal punishment in the home and recommended that measures be taken, including legislative measures, to end it in all settings, together with relevant public awareness raising campaigns.
  • To Ireland, the Committee expressed concern that the law still recognised the common law defence of reasonable and moderate chastisement, and recommended that legislation be adopted to put an end to corporal punishment in all settings, that non-violent forms of discipline be promoted and that public information campaigns be undertaken on the harmful effects of corporal punishment.
  • To Japan, the Committee noted that corporal punishment is prohibited in schools but remains prevalent and socially accepted, and recommended legislative and other measures to end all corporal punishment of children.
  • To Sudan, the Committee reiterated its previous concerns about flogging and amputation and urged the state party to abolish all corporal punishment in the penal system.

In replying to the List of Issues for Malawi, the Government stated that corporal punishment is prohibited in all settings, including the home, under the Constitution. However, section 19 of the Constitution prohibits corporal punishment only “in connection with any judicial proceedings or any other proceedings before any organ of the state”. The Global Initiative is seeking further information regarding the Government’s interpretation of the law.

For further details see the Global Initiative’s individual country reports for GeorgiaIrelandJapanMalawi and Sudan.