Committee Against Torture, session 67 (2019)



(26 August 2019, CAT/C/BGD/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 6, 46, 47, 48 and 49)

“The Committee welcomes the initiatives of the State party to amend its policies, programmes and administrative measures to give effect to the Convention, including: (…) (c)Issuance by the Supreme Court in writ petition No. 5684 of directives to stop all forms of corporal punishment in primary and secondary educational institutions, in 2010…”

“While noting that article 35 (5) of the Constitution clearly stipulates that “No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment”, the Committee is concerned that the legislation in Bangladesh permits the imposition of whipping as a punishment and the use of iron bar fetters, and that section 35 (6) of the Constitution states that its prohibition against torture does not apply to any legally prescribed punishment (arts. 1, 2, 4, 11 and 16).

“The State party should take the necessary legislative measures to eradicate and explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, as they amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in violation of the Convention. Notably, the State party should ensure the amendment of the Prisons Act of 1894.

“While taking note of the directives issued in 2010 to stop all forms of corporal punishment in primary and secondary educational institutions and the 2011 declaration by the High Court of Bangladesh that all types of corporal punishment in schools, including caning, beating, chaining and confinement, are “illegal and unconstitutional” and a form of ill-treatment, the Committee is concerned that the State party has not outlawed corporal punishment in all settings and that it continues to take place on a broad scale, including in schools (arts. 2 and 16).

“The State party should:

(a) Introduce additional amendments in the Children Act, the Penal Code and other national legislation in order to explicitly and clearly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings ;

(b) Take all the measures necessary to prevent corporal punishment, including in schools, and investigate and take appropriate action against teachers who continue to apply corporal punishment in educational institutions ;

(c) Conduct public information campaigns to raise awareness among the general population of the harmful effects of corporal punishment and encourage non-violent forms of discipline as alternatives to corporal punishment.”


(27 August 2019, CAT/C/TGO/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 32 and 33)

“With reference to its previous concluding observations, the Committee is concerned that, in spite of articles 353–356 and 376 of the Children’s Code, which criminalize the corporal punishment of children in all settings and contexts, many children continue to be victims of multiple forms of abuse on a daily basis and are exposed to various harmful practices, such as forced and early marriage, or face accusations of witchcraft. Taking note of the recent findings of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, on her visit to Togo from 27 to 31 May 2019, the Committee is deeply concerned about the exploitation of children, with many children working as domestic servants, porters or market vendors, performing the worst forms of labour in agriculture or being subjected to sexual exploitation and prostitution, despite the provisions of the new Criminal Code, which, in article 317, defines and sanctions the various forms of trafficking in persons and, in article 338, criminalizes and sanctions forced labour (arts. 2, 11–14 and 16).

“The State party should:

(a) Introduce legislation that expressly and comprehensively prohibits all forms of violence against children in all settings;

(b) Implement existing relevant legislation and systematically launch investigations and proceedings whenever cases of suspected child abuse, including sexual violence, are uncovered, so that the perpetrators are punished and the victims receive reparation, including rehabilitation and health care services that encompass psychological support;

(c) End the phenomenon of domestic servitude by establishing effective monitoring mechanisms and ensure the effective and systematic registering of complaints, investigations and convictions;

(d) Continue awareness-raising and training campaigns on child protection for teachers as well as traditional and religious leaders.”