The final working group reports of states examined during the 27th Universal Periodic Review were adopted in September 2017 at the Human Rights Council’s 36th session. States were under the obligation to confirm their formal responses to recommendations – either ‘supporting’ (accepting) or ‘noting’ them – before the start of the session. The meaning of ‘noting’ a recommendation is ambiguous, but it is often similar to ‘rejecting’ as it signifies that the state refuses to commit to implementing the recommendation.
- India supported recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home, reaffirming its commitment to prohibition. The Netherlands accepted similar recommendations in relation to its Caribbean territories.
- Morocco supported recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings, adding that they were considered as fully implemented. In Moroccan legislation, corporal punishment of children is only prohibited in the penal system.
- A recommendation to “explicitly prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings” was only partially supported by Algeria, which ‘noted’ the part stating “in all settings”. We are seeking to establish whether the Government is still committed to prohibition in all settings, including the home.
- South Africa ‘noted’ recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment in the home, stating that ‘noted’ recommendations were “those which South Africa is in the process of considering and cannot commit to at this stage”. A recent judicial decisionfound the common law defence of “reasonable or moderate chastisement” to be unconstitutional – we are awaiting the Government’s reaction to the High Court ruling and seeking to establish whether the Government is still committed to prohibition in all settings, including the home.
- The United Kingdom had received seven recommendations on the prohibition of corporal punishment of children: it ‘noted’ them all, adding that “parents should not be criminalised for giving a child a mild smack in order to control their behaviour”.
- Bahrain’s response to a recommendation to prohibit in all settings is available in Arabic only – we are in the process of obtaining a translation.
- No recommendation specifically on corporal punishment was extended to the Philippines, which supported a general recommendation on the eradication of violence against children.
- Contrary to its obligations, Poland is yet to clearly respond to recommendations extended in May 2017. No recommendations on corporal punishment had been received.
- Both Brazil and Finland supported recommendations to implement their existing bans.
Tunisia, which prohibited all corporal punishment in 2010, was also examined but did not receive recommendations on corporal punishment. Ecuador and Indonesia had immediately supported recommendations to prohibit extended in May 2017.
For further details, see the Global Initiative’s individual country reports: Algeria, Bahrain, Brazil, Ecuador, Finland, India, Indonesia, Morocco, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Tunisia and the United Kingdom.