Seychelles prohibits corporal punishment in schools

The Education (Amendment) Act 2017 was passed by the National Assembly of the Seychelles in December 2017 to enact an explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in schools.

The Act amends article 68 of the Education Act 2004 to state:

“(1) All schools and educational institutions shall, in consultation with the Principal Secretary and in accordance with the relevant regulations, formulate and enforce rules of conduct and discipline of the students. (…)

(3) A teacher or headteacher or a person employed by a school, whether on a part-time or full-time basis, shall not administer corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure.”

This prohibition is however undermined by the existence of a legal defence in the Children Act 1982 which provides for the right of teachers “to administer proper punishment” (art. 70) and is still to be formally repealed. The Government has confirmed that corporal punishment is prohibited in schools and that its department of Social Affairs is pushing to remove corporal punishment from the Children Act.

While the Global Initiative welcomes this step towards full prohibition, in the Seychelles corporal punishment of children is still lawful in homes, alternative care and day care settings, and penal institutions. In January 2018, the Government of the Seychelles reiterated to the Committee on the Rights of the Child its commitment to enacting prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings. The current review of the Children Act 1982, the Civil Code and the Penal Code provide perfect opportunities to fulfil this commitment and grant Seychelles’ children equal protection from assault.

For more information, see our country report on Seychelles

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