Committee on the Rights of the Child, session 12 (1996)

Recommendations/observations on corporal punishment in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's concluding observations to states examined in the 12th session


(7 June 1996, CRC/C/15/Add.58, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 8 and 33)

"The decades of conflict affecting society have resulted in the frequent use of violence, including within the family.

"The Committee recommends that a comprehensive public information campaign be developed and implemented urgently to combat the abuse of children in the family and within society as well as the use of corporal punishment in schools."


(7 June 1996, CRC/C/15/Add.54, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 37)

"The Committee welcomes the policy of not allowing corporal punishment in schools or other official institutions and recommends a thorough review of the problem of domestic violence, including the possibility of stricter legislation against all forms of abuse against children in the spirit of article 19 of the Convention, as well as supportive social measures to assist families in crisis."


(7 June 1996, CRC/C/15/Add.57, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 10, 12, 19 and 34)

"The Committee is concerned at the inadequate measures adopted to ensure that national legislation fully conforms with the principles and provisions of the Convention. The Committee notes in particular the lack of conformity of legislative provisions concerning non-discrimination including in relation to marriage, inheritance and parental property, torture and corporal punishment. The Committee is also concerned about the gap between existing legislation and its practical implementation.

"… The Committee also expresses its concern at section 7 of the Children’s Act which allows parents, members of the family and teachers to beat a child ‘if it is thought to be in the interest of the child’, as well as at the fact that, as recognized in the State party’s report, the views of the child are unlikely to be respected. The persistence of such traditional practices and attitudes seriously hampers the enjoyment of the rights of the child.

"The Committee is concerned that appropriate measures have not yet been taken to effectively prevent and combat any form of ill-treatment and corporal punishment of children within the family. It is seriously worried about the absence of adequate legislation and mechanisms designed to ensure the recovery and reintegration of child victims in the light of article 39 of the Convention.

"In the light of article 19 of the Convention, the Committee further recommends that the Government take all appropriate measures, including of a legislative nature, to combat any form of ill-treatment and sexual abuse of children, including within the family. It suggests, inter alia, that the authorities gather information and initiate a comprehensive study to improve the understanding of the nature and scope of the problem and set up social programmes to prevent all types of child abuse and neglect."


(7 June 1996, CRC/C/15/Add.55, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 16, 18, 21, 31 and 33)

"The Committee further notes that insufficient attention has been paid to the principle of the best interests of the child both in legislation and practice, as well as to the respect for the views of the child in school, social and family life. In this regard, it is noted that, as recognized by the State party, the civil rights and freedoms of the child are to be exercised subject to parental consent or discipline, thus raising doubts as to the compatibility of this practice with the Convention, notably articles 5 and 12.

"The Committee expresses its concern at the acceptance in the legislation of the use of corporal punishment in school, as well as within the family. It stresses the incompatibility of corporal punishment, as well as any other form of violence, injury, neglect, abuse or degrading treatment, with the provisions of the Convention, in particular articles 19, 28 paragraph 2 and 37.

"The Committee is concerned at the present system of juvenile justice, including the lack of a clear prohibition of capital punishment, life imprisonment without possibility of release and indeterminate sentencing, as well as at the recourse to whipping as a disciplinary measure for boys.

"The Committee recommends that the State party adopt appropriate legislative measures to forbid the use of any form of corporal punishment within the family and in school.

"In the field of juvenile justice, the Committee recommends that the State party raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility and incorporate in the legislation a clear prohibition of capital punishment, life imprisonment without possibility of release and indeterminate sentencing as well as of the use of whipping as a disciplinary measure."