The Committee on the Rights of the Child has made strong recommendations on prohibition and elimination of corporal punishment to states examined at its 71st session held in January 2016. In a number of cases, the Committee referred to the new context of the Sustainable Development Goals, target 16.2 on ending violence against children.
- To Benin, the Committee noted that the law prohibits all corporal punishment and recommended that information on the ban be widely disseminated, an educational programme be developed and positive, non-violent childrearing and discipline be promoted
- To Brunei Darussalam, the Committee expressed deep concern at the coming into force of the Sharia Penal Code 2013, which provides for corporal punishment of children including hand cutting and whipping, and recommended the repeal of these provisions and prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings including the home
- To France, the Committee reiterated its previous recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings, emphasising that “no violence against children is justifiable” and “corporal punishment is a form of violence, invariably degrading and preventable”
- To Haiti, the Committee expressed concern at the lack of clarity in the law on corporal punishment and at the widespread use of violent punishment against children, and recommended explicit prohibition in all settings together with appropriate monitoring, awareness raising and promotion of non-violent childrearing and discipline
- The Committee welcomed the abolition of flogging of children for ta’zir offences in the Islamic Penal Code 2013 of Iran but expressed serious concern at the retention of judicial corporal punishment for Hudud and Qisas offences and at the Civil Code provisions allowing “reasonable” punishment in the home and other settings; the Committee recommended prohibition in all settings
- The Committee welcomed the adoption of the Children First Act 2015 in Ireland, which explicitly repeals the defence of “reasonable chastisement”
- To Kenya, the Committee expressed concern at the prevalence of corporal punishment despite its prohibition in the Constitution and recommended that all relevant laws be revised to conform to the prohibition together with a range of other measures to ensure effective implementation of the ban
- The Committee expressed concern at the continued use of corporal punishment in Latvia, where prohibition was achieved in 1998, and made recommendations with reference to SDG target 16.2
- The Committee made extensive recommendations to the Maldives to effectively prohibit all corporal punishment in all settings, after expressing concern that legislation allows children to be sentenced by the courts to corporal punishment and that corporal punishment continues to be widely used
- To Oman, the Committee recommended that the Child Act be amended to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings and that article 38(2) of the Penal Code which provides for punishment of children according to “public customs”, be repealed
- The Committee welcomed the achievement of prohibition in Peru and recommended that measures be taken to ensure its effective implementation
- To Senegal, the Committee welcomed the National Plan of Action to Criminalise Corporal Punishment and All Forms of Violence Against Children and recommended the repeal of article 285 of the Family Code, which allows the infliction of punishment on children, and the enactment of explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in the family and all other settings
- To Zambia, the Committee noted that corporal punishment is prohibited in schools and the prison system and recommended that it be prohibited in all settings, including the family, and that the “right to administer lawful punishment” in the Juveniles Act be repealed
- The Committee expressed concern at the widespread use of corporal punishment in Zimbabwe and recommended the repeal/amendment of all provisions authorising such punishment and explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings, together with appropriate public and professional education and the promotion of non-violent childrearing and discipline
For further details, see the Global Initiative’s individual country reports for Benin, Brunei Darussalam, France, Haiti, Iran, Ireland, Kenya, Latvia, Maldives, Oman, Peru, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Committee’s recommendations can also be seen in full on the Committee on the Rights of the Child page on this website.