Prohibition of all corporal punishment of children in Togo (2007)

Article 353 of the Children’s Code (2007) states:

The State protects the child from all forms of violence including sexual abuse, physical or mental violence, neglect or negligence, abuse perpetrated by parents or any other person having authority or custody over him.” (unofficial translation)

Violence against children is punished according to article 356, including minor, repeated assaults. Article 357 clarifies that corporal punishment is considered to be a breach of the law:

Physical and psychological abuse, corporal punishment … is liable to the penalties provided for in paragraph 2 of article 356.” (unofficial translation)

The Code also explicitly prohibits corporal punishment in schools and in penal and care institutions. Article 376 states:

Corporal punishment and other forms of violence or abuse are prohibited in schools, vocational training, and institutions.

This includes any institution or orphanage, rehabilitation centre for disabled children, reception and rehabilitation centre, hospital, re-education centre or other place of childcare, temporary or permanent.” (unofficial translation)

The Government has taken a number of measures to support implementation of the prohibition, including:

  • officially launching the Learn Without Fear campaign with Plan Togo – the campaign led to the inclusion of a module on non-violence at school in the curriculum of the national training college for primary school teachers
  • training for school inspectors, school principals, teachers and parent/teacher committees on knowledge about the law and promoting non-violence at home and at school
  • setting up a child protection hotline that any person can use anonymously – this has led to a rise in reporting of serious violations of children’s rights
  • adopting Decree No. 2010-100/PR establishing the norms and standards for reception and protection centres for vulnerable children
  • setting up community-based groups with training on how to combat corporal punishment
  • ensuring that orphanages and reception and protection centres for vulnerable children have a code of conduct prohibiting all violence, including corporal punishment, which has to be signed by each social worker
  • launching training workshops in private schools

In its third/fourth report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2011), the Government noted that the majority of teachers and parents still believe that beating a child is the most appropriate punishment and corporal punishment continues to be used. Further work is needed to ensure full implementation of the law and elimination of corporal punishment in practice.

 

Further information

  • Global Initiative country report for Togo
  • Children's Code 2007 (French)
This is an automatic translation service. Extracts from laws, treaty body recommendations and Universal Periodic Review outcomes are unofficial translations.