States respond to UPR recommendations to prohibit corporal punishment

At the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, held in February/March 2017, the working group reports of states reviewed at the 26th session of the UPR in November 2016 were adopted. The formal responses of Governments that did not respond at the time to recommendations made during their reviews are included in the reports. Eleven states were reviewed at the 26th session – the final session of the second cycle of the UPR:

  • Lithuania accepted recommendations to prohibit all corporal punishment; legislation to achieve this was passed weeks earlier, in February 2017.
  • Timor-Leste accepted a recommendation to prohibit all corporal punishment and reaffirmed its commitment to full prohibition.
  • Venezuela, having achieved full prohibition in 2007, “did not support” a recommendation to prohibit all corporal punishment, which the Government said was “biased, confused, politically malicious, elaborated on false bases and contrary to the spirit of cooperation and respect that should prevail in the UPR”.
  • Zimbabwe had received a recommendation to abolish corporal punishment in all settings. The Government was “unable to support the part of the recommendation concerning corporal punishment”, explaining that the issue of corporal punishment was still pending before the Constitutional Court. The High Court has ruled in 2014 and 2017 decisions that corporal punishment was unconstitutional, but this decision of unconstitutionality needs to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court’s ruling on the 2014 decision has been pending since 2015 and the recent decision has not yet been referred to the Constitutional Court.
  • No recommendations specifically on corporal punishment were issued to Haiti, the Syrian Arab Republic or Uganda. Haiti and Uganda accepted recommendations to strengthen the protection of children’s rights. The Syrian Arab Republic’s response to recommendations is not yet available in English.

Iceland, the Republic of MoldovaSouth Sudan and Togo were also reviewed during the 26th session; all have already achieved prohibition of all corporal punishment of children.

For further details, see the Global Initiative’s individual country reports: HaitiIcelandRepublic of MoldovaLithuaniaSouth SudanSyrian Arab RepublicTimor-LesteTogoUgandaVenezuela, and Zimbabwe.