At the 31st session of the Human Rights Council, held in February/March 2016, the working group reports of states reviewed in the 23rd session of the UPR in November 2015 were adopted and Governments that did not respond at the time to the recommendations made during their reviews have now given their formal responses to the Council. Ten states in all received recommendations concerning corporal punishment of children:
- Recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings were accepted by Georgia, Micronesia, Oman, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe. Significantly, the Government of Oman made a general statement that the recommendations it had accepted were compatible with the teachings of Islamic Sharia.
- St Lucia accepted four out of five recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment. Lebanon accepted a recommendation to improve legislation relating to corporal punishment but not a recommendation to prohibit it in all settings.
- Recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment were not accepted by Australia or by St Kitts and Nevis.
- No recommendations specifically on corporal punishment were made to Myanmar, Mauritania, Nepal or Nauru but general recommendations to improve legislation related to children and domestic violence and/or to harmonise national laws with the Convention on the Rights of the Child – reforms which clearly should include prohibition of all corporal punishment of children – were accepted.
Austria was also reviewed in the 23rd session. Austria achieved prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings in 1989. During its review the Government confirmed that eliminating corporal punishment is a “core priority” and drew attention to the high-level intergovernmental conference it is hosting in June 2016 aimed at speeding progress towards universal prohibition of corporal punishment.
For further details, see the Global Initiative’s individual country reports: Australia, Austria, Georgia, Lebanon, Mauritania, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Oman, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia