Committee on the Rights of the Child recommends prohibition and elimination of corporal punishment in all settings

 At its 68th session in January 2015, the Committee on the Rights of the Child raised the issue of corporal punishment of children with the Governments of all the states being examined and made the following comments and recommendations in its concluding observations:

  • To Colombia, the Committee recommended repeal of the “right of correction” in the Civil Code and explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings.
  • To the Dominican Republic, the Committee notes the adoption of a National Roadmap to eliminate violence against children and the Government’s statement that a law to prohibit corporal punishment will be adopted. The Committee recommendation explicit prohibition in all settings.
  • To Gambia, the Committee welcomed provisions in the Children’s Act that those with parental authority must ensure that discipline respects the child’s dignity and recommended law reform to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings and to repeal the common law defence of “reasonable chastisement”.
  • To Iraq, the Committee expressed concern at the legality of corporal punishment of children and that the Penal Code authorises a husband to discipline his wife by beating. The Committee recommended that corporal punishment be explicitly prohibited in all settings.
  • To Jamaica, the Committee noted the achievement of prohibition in the penal system, alternative care settings and early childhood institutions and recommended further law reform to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings and to repeal the common law right to inflict “reasonable and moderate” punishment on children.
  • To Mauritius, the Committee recommended explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings.
  • To Sweden, where corporal punishment has been prohibited in all settings since 1979, the Committee referred to its General Comment No. 8 on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment in recommending law reform to prohibit the use of solitary confinement of children in remand prisons and police cells and the use of straps or belts and seclusion in mental health care settings and other institutions.
  • To Switzerland, the Committee expressed concern that despite legal amendments to strengthen children’s protection from assault, corporal punishment is not considered physical violence if it does not exceed the socially accepted level. The Committee recommended explicit prohibition in all settings.
  • To Turkmenistan, which achieved prohibition of all corporal punishment of children in 2002, the Committee recommended actions to ensure implementation of the prohibition.
  • To UR Tanzania, the Committee welcomed the Government’s statement that it would review the Education Act with a view to abolishing corporal punishment in schools and recommended law reform to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in all settings and to repeal or amend provisions for “justifiable” correction or discipline.
  • To Uruguay, where prohibition in all settings was achieved in 2007, the Committee made recommendations concerning effective implementation of the prohibition.

For further details see the Global Initiative’s individual country reports for Colombia, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Iraq, Jamaica, Mauritius, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, UR Tanzania and Uruguay.

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