At its 116th session in March, the Human Rights Committee examined states on their implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – including on the obligation to prohibit all corporal punishment of children.
In its concluding observations on the review of Slovenia, the Committee expressed concern that corporal punishment is not explicitly prohibited and recommended practical steps, including legislative measures, to end corporal punishment in all settings. It further recommended that the state encourage non-violent forms of discipline as alternatives to corporal punishment, and conduct public information campaigns to raise awareness of its harmful effects.
To South Africa, the Committee stated its concern that corporal punishment in the home is not prohibited, that it is traditionally accepted and widely practiced, and again recommended practical steps, including legislative measures, to end corporal punishment in all settings.
Legislation to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings is currently being drafted in both states, as part of Slovenia’s new family law and under amendments to the Children’s Act in South Africa. Here’s hoping the Human Rights Committee’s recommendations to take legislative measures to end corporal punishment in all settings will serve to boost that process.
- For details of the current legality of corporal punishment and the reforms necessary to achieve prohibition, see the Global Initiative’s country reports for Slovenia and South Africa.
- For further information on the obligation to prohibit corporal punishment under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, see the Global Initiative’s page on the Human Rights Committee.