Last updated: July 2017
Flag of Djibouti Country report for Djibouti

Summary of law reform necessary to achieve full prohibition

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

There appears to be no confirmation in law of a “right” of parents to administer “reasonable chastisement” or similar (unconfirmed), but provisions against violence and abuse in the Penal Code and the Family Code are not interpreted as prohibiting all corporal punishment in childrearing. Prohibition should be enacted of all corporal punishment by parents and others with children in their care.

Alternative care settings – Prohibition should be enacted in legislation applicable to all alternative care settings (foster care, institutions, places of safety, emergency care, etc).

Day care – Corporal punishment should be prohibited in all early childhood care (nurseries, crèches, kindergartens, preschools, family centres, etc) and all day care for older children (day centres, after-school childcare, childminding, etc).

Schools – Legislation should prohibit corporal punishment in all education settings (public and private).

Penal institutions – Prohibition should also be enacted in relation to disciplinary measures in all institutions accommodating children in conflict with the law.

Legality of corporal punishment


Corporal punishment is lawful in the home. There appears to be no confirmation in the Family Code Act No. 152/AN/02 2002 or the Criminal Code Act No. 59/AN/94 1995 of a “right” of parents to punish/discipline children. However, provisions against violence and abuse in these Codes and in the Constitution 1992 are not interpreted as prohibiting corporal punishment in childrearing. The Family Code is under review: we do not know if prohibition is being proposed in this context.


Alternative care settings

There is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in alternative care settings. Corporal punishment is lawful as for parents.


Day care

There is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in early childhood care and in day care for older children.



Corporal punishment is reportedly prohibited in schools by regulations applicable to all education institutions,[1] but we have been unable to confirm this. There is no prohibition of corporal punishment in the Education System Act No. 96/AN/00/4ème L 2000.


Penal institutions

There is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions.


Sentence for crime

Corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for crime. There is no provision for judicial corporal punishment in the Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 59/AN/94 or the Criminal Code Act No. 59/AN/94 1995.


Universal Periodic Review of Djibouti’s human rights record

Djibouti was examined in the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review in 2009 (session 4). The following recommendations were made:[2]

“Adopt and implement the legislation and policies concerning children, especially concerning birth registration, violence against children, juvenile justice, street children to name just a few (Slovenia) and to consider legislation which prohibits all forms of violence against children, including corporal punishment, and which promotes alternative forms of discipline (Brazil)”

The Government did not formally accept or reject the recommendation.

The second cycle review took place in 2013 (session 16). No recommendations were made specifically on corporal punishment of children. However, the following recommendations were made and were accepted by the Government:[3]

“Continue its on-going review of national laws to ensure that they are in line with its international human rights law obligations (Turkmenistan);

“Strengthen programs aiming at the promotion and protection of children rights (Algeria);

“Redouble efforts to prevent, combat and punish violence against women and children and to fight effectively against traditional practices harmful to women, particularly in rural areas (Togo).”

Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations

Session 049 (2008)

(7 October 2008, CRC/C/DJI/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 35 and 36)

"While the Committee takes note of the State party’s indication that corporal punishment has been forbidden in schools and that the Educational Plan of Action 2006-2008 lauds the implementation of measures prohibiting corporal punishment the Committee is concerned that children are still subjected to corporal punishment, particularly in the home.

"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, and implement those laws effectively. It also recommends that the State party intensify its awareness-raising campaigns in order to promote the use of alternative forms of discipline in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in accordance with the Convention, taking 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."

Read more from Session 049 (2008)

Committee Against Torture, Concluding Observations

CAT session 047 (2011)

(22 December 2011, CAT/C/DJI/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 23)

"The Committee notes with concern that the use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure in the home is not prohibited, according to the interpretation of the provisions of the Criminal Code (1995), the Family Code (2002) and the Constitution (art. 16).

The State party should consider amending its Criminal Code and revised Family Code to prohibit the use of corporal punishment in all settings, including the home, and to raise public awareness of positive, participatory and non-violent forms of discipline."

Read more from CAT session 047 (2011)

Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations

HRC session 109 (2013)

(19 November 2013, CCPR/C/DJI/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 14)

"The Committee expresses concern that corporal punishment is not explicitly prohibited in the State party. It expresses concern that it is tolerated in the home, where it is traditionally practised although unreported (arts. 7 and 24).

The State party should take practical steps to put an end to corporal punishment of children in all settings, including in the home. It should encourage non-violent forms of discipline and conduct public information campaigns to raise awareness of the harmful effects of any form of violence against children."

Read more from HRC session 109 (2013)

Prevalence/attitudinal research for Djibouti in the last 10 years

None identified. 


[1] 23 September 2008, CRC/C/SR.1347, Summary record of examination by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, para. 48

[2] 5 October 2009, A/HRC/11/16, Report of the working group, para. 68(5)

[3] 8 July 2013, A/HRC/24/10, Report of the working group, paras. 143(20), 143(73) and 143(81)

Child population

346,700 (UNICEF, 2013)

National and regional advocacy for law reform

No known campaign for law reform

Forthcoming treaty body examinations and UPRs

Universal Periodic Review (UPR): 2018, session 30, deadline for briefing has passed (5 October 2017)


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