Fourteen states were reviewed in the 25th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in May 2016. All states reviewed except one received recommendations on the issue of corporal punishment. At the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council, held in September 2016, the final working group reports of states reviewed in the 25th session were adopted and Governments gave their formal responses to any recommendations they hadn’t responded to during the UPR session.
- Suriname and Thailand supported recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings. Suriname also accepted a recommendation to raise public awareness about the harmful effects of corporal punishment.
- Tajikistan supported a recommendation to enforce prohibition in all settings, including in the domestic sphere and in care settings.
- Swaziland accepted in part a recommendation to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings, but the Government stated “Swaziland is not yet ready to accept prohibiting corporal punishment of children in the home.”
- Recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment were “noted” by Papua New Guinea, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa and Sudan. The Government of Samoa referred to a Bill which “seeks to prohibit corporal punishment, which is partly prohibited in schools and day care settings. This work is ongoing for Samoa in order to achieve prohibition in all settings, school, alternative care and at home…”.
- Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago did not support – “noted” –recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment of children. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda stated during the review that corporal punishment of children is an “issue that appeared in laws and for which time would be required in order to change the views of Antiguans.” The Government of Trinidad and Tobago stated “it has traditionally been accepted as a legitimate form of discipline for youngsters in the Caribbean and mainly inherited as a result of traditional lifestyles from the vast diaspora which constitutes the social and historical composition of most Caribbean countries.”
- United Republic of Tanzania rejected a recommendation to prohibit all forms of corporal punishment. The Government stated “a study by the Law Reform Commission revealed that the majority of citizens are in favour of corporal punishment. This form of punishment plays a significant deterrent role in the society.”
Greece, Hungary and Ireland were also reviewed in the 25th session; all three states have already achieved prohibition of all corporal punishment of children. Hungary and Ireland accepted recommendations to end corporal punishment; no recommendation on corporal punishment was made to Greece.
For further details, see the Global Initiative’s individual country reports: Antigua and Barbuda, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, UR Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago