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Report updated November 2012

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Child population
35,000 (UNICEF, 2010)

Summary of law reform necessary to achieve full prohibition

Prohibition is still to be achieved in the home, schools, penal system and alternative care settings.

Article 54(i) of the Criminal Code allows for the use of “justifiable force” under the “authority to correct a child, servant or similar person for misconduct”. This provision should be repealed and explicit prohibition enacted of all corporal punishment in all settings, including the family home and all settings where adults have authority over children.

All authorisations for the use of corporal punishment in schools and the penal institutions, including provisions in the Education Act, the Criminal Code and the Corporal Punishment (Caning) Ordinance, should be repealed and replaced with explicit prohibition of all corporal punishment. Explicit prohibition should also be enacted in legislation applicable to all alternative care settings, including public and private day care, residential institutions, foster care, etc.

Current legality of corporal punishment

Home

Corporal punishment is lawful in the home. Article 54(i) of the Criminal Code allows for the use of “justifiable force” under the “authority to correct a child, servant or similar person for misconduct”. Provisions against violence and abuse in the Child Protection and Adoption Act (2010), the Domestic Violence Act (2010) and the Criminal Code are not interpreted as prohibiting corporal punishment in childrearing.

Schools

Corporal punishment is lawful in schools under the Education Act (2002), Act No.11 (2003) and article 54(i) of the Criminal Code.

Penal system

Corporal punishment is lawful as a sentence for crime for males. The Criminal Code includes flogging and whipping as sentences for crime (article 70). Boys aged 7-15 cannot be sentenced to flogging but may be sentenced, in lieu, to whipping (article 75), and whipping can be ordered in lieu of imprisonment for boys aged 7-15 (article 78). The Code includes in its provisions for “justifiable force” that which is used under the authority to execute the lawful sentence or order of a Court (article 54(b)). Judicial corporal punishment is governed by the Corporal Punishment (Caning) Ordinance (1960), but we have no details of its provisions. Corporal punishment may be carried out only after medical examination and under the supervision of a prison official.

The new Juvenile Justice Act (2012) explicitly prohibits corporal punishment, stating in article 64(2): “A sentence of flogging or whipping shall not be imposed on a child.” The Act defines a child as a person under 18 years of age (article 2). As at November 2012, the Act has been assented to by His Excellency the Governor-General but the date of commencement is still to be determined.

Corporal punishment is lawful as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions, but we have no details of relevant legislation. Article 54 of the Criminal Code applies (see above). The new Juvenile Justice Act does not explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in penal institutions.

Alternative care

The Requirements of the Approval and Licensing of Child Care Homes, Grenada Bureau of Standards GDS 654:2002 prohibit the corporal punishment of children in care institutions, but this is undermined by article 54 of the Criminal Code (see above). We have yet to examine the full text of the Child Protection and Adoption Act, but in its draft form in 2007 it stated that a person authorised to provide care for a child shall “correct and manage the behaviour of the child” (article 29(c)) and the Minister shall make regulations for “the management and discipline of an approved child care service” (article 140(2)(m)).

Prevalence research

None identified.

Recommendations by human rights treaty bodies

Committee on the Rights of the Child

“The Committee welcomes efforts by the State party to implement the Committee’s concluding observations on the State party’s initial report. Nevertheless, the Committee notes with regret that many of these concluding observations have not been significantly addressed.

“The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations it made in its concluding observations on the initial report that have not yet been implemented or sufficiently implemented, in particular on … harmonization of legislation, corporal punishment and juvenile justice, and to provide adequate follow-up to the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations on the second periodic report….

“While the Committee notes the State party’s indication that the use of corporal punishment is discouraged in the 2002 Education Act and that the Standards for Childcare Homes prohibit the use of corporal punishment, it nevertheless recalls the concern expressed in its previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.121, para. 21) and is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home, that authorized persons in schools are permitted to administer corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure and that corporal punishment is a sentencing option in the judicial system.

“The Committee recommends that the State party explicitly prohibit by law all forms of violence against children, including corporal punishment, in all settings, including in the family, schools, alternative childcare and places of detention for children, and implement those laws effectively. It also recommends that the State party intensify its awareness-raising campaigns in order to change perceptions regarding corporal punishment and promote alternative forms of discipline in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in accordance with the Convention, especially article 28, paragraph 2. The Committee encourages the State party to take into account the Committee’s general comment No.8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment and the Report on Corporal Punishment and Human Rights of Children and Adolescents prepared by the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child of the Organization of American States.

“… The Committee is also concerned that corporal punishment remains a part of the Criminal Code and is not explicitly prohibited in the Juvenile Justice Bill that the State party intends to adopt in 2010….

“The Committee urges the State party to ensure that juvenile justice standards are fully implemented, in particular articles 37 (b), 39 and 40 of the Convention, as well as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines) and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (the Havana Rules). In particular the Committee recommends that the State party, while taking into account the Committee’s general comment No. 10 (2007) on the administration of juvenile justice: …

e) enact legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment as a sentencing option in the judicial system….”
(22 June 2010, CRC/C/GRD/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 5, 6, 32, 33, 59 and 60)

“The Committee expresses grave concern that corporal punishment is still widely practised in the State party and that domestic legislation does not prohibit its use. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures, including of a legislative nature, to prohibit corporal punishment within the family, schools, the juvenile justice and alternative care systems and generally within the society. It further suggests that awareness raising campaigns be conducted to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention, especially article 28.2.

“... The Committee recommends that the State party:
b) ... prohibit and eradicate the use of corporal punishment (whipping) in the juvenile justice system....”
(28 February 2000, CRC/C/15/Add.121, Concluding observations on initial report, paras.21 and 28)

Human Rights Committee

“The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment, including flogging and whipping, is still administered in Grenada in accordance with the Criminal Code, the Prisons Act, and the Education Act of 2002. Particularly worrisome is the whipping of boys as a criminal punishment, and the use of corporal punishment in schools. The Committee further expresses its concern that the law provides for the sentencing of women and girls to solitary confinement in lieu of corporal punishment (arts. 7, 10 and 24).

The State party should immediately eliminate corporal punishment from its law and prohibit its use in places of detention and in schools, as well as in any other institution. Judicial sentences of solitary confinement should not be resorted to.”
(14 August 2009, CCPR/C/GRD/CO/1, Concluding observations in the absence of a report, para. 11)

Universal Periodic Review

Grenada was examined under the Universal Periodic Review process in 2010 (session 8). During the review, the Government stated that the use of corporal punishment was lawful but restricted under the Education Act (2002), and that because it was lawful the Government could not prohibit it (A/HRC/15/12, Report of the Working Group, para. 25). The following recommendations were made (A/HRC/15/12, Report of the Working Group, paras. 71(61), 71(62) and 71(64)):

“Abolish provisions in its domestic legislation that authorize the corporal punishment of children in all places, in particular in detention facilities and in schools (France);

“Adopt a law that prohibits corporal punishment against children in all areas of life (Uruguay);

“Amend the Criminal Code to ensure equal protection of boys and girls from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation as well as to eliminate corporal punishment provisions from existing laws and to prohibit the use of corporal punishment in places of detention and in schools (Germany)”

The Government rejected the recommendations (A/HRC/15/L.10, Report of the Human Rights Council on its fifteenth session, para. 510): “In relation to recommendations to abolish corporal punishment, Grenada informed the Council that it could not accept them since the use of corporal punishment was permitted under the local laws of Grenada in some instances. Grenada added, however, that awareness is being raised regarding the issue and in order to encourage its non-application.”

Examination in the second cycle is scheduled for 2015.

This analysis has been compiled from information from governmental and non-governmental sources, including reports on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every effort is made to maintain its accuracy. Please send us updating information and details of sources for missing information: info@endcorporalpunishment.org.

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