Committee Against Torture: Bulgaria

CAT session 047 (2011)

(14 December 2011, CAT/C/BGR/CO/4-5, Concluding observations on fourth/fifth report, para. 30)

"While taking note that corporal punishment is explicitly forbidden in law, the Committee is concerned by persistent lack of implementation and notes that the Committee on the Rights of the Child has found that children are still victims of corporal punishment in the home, schools, the penal system, alternative care settings and situations of employment. The Committee is concerned that a 2009 survey shows that 34.8 per cent of public opinion is in favour of corporal punishment in childrearing in some circumstances and that 10.9 per cent felt it was acceptable if the parent believed that it would be effective. It is concerned in particular that the use of corporal punishment is substantially higher in institutions for children with disabilities and that a number of cases of physical abuse were documented in the children’s personal files (art. 16).

The Committee recommends that the State party carry out professional and public awareness-raising in order to promote non-violent, positive and participatory methods of childrearing and education; and that the State party take a comprehensive approach to ensuring that the law prohibiting corporal punishment is widely enforced and known, including among children with regard to their right to protection from all forms of corporal punishment. There should be an absolute prohibition of corporal punishment in institutional settings, including for children with disabilities. The State party should provide effective and appropriate responses to corporal punishment, including investigations, prosecution and sanctioning of perpetrators."

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