Committee on the Rights of the Child: Bolivia

Session 052 (2009)

(16 October 2009, CRC/C/BOL/CO/4, Concluding observations on fourth report, paras. 6, 7, 8, 40, 41 and 42)

"The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations from the concluding observations on the third periodic report (CRC/C/15/Add.256) that have not yet been implemented or sufficiently implemented, notably those related to … corporal punishment…. 

"The Committee welcomes the new Constitution which includes a section on child rights. However, it regrets that national legislation is not in conformity with the Convention in certain areas, for instance the Child Code (Codigo del Niño, Niña y Adolescente) and civil and penal laws concerning the prohibition of corporal punishment…. The Committee also notes difficulties with the dual legal system and certain incompatibilities between positive law and the indigenous customary law. 

"The Committee recommends that the steps taken towards legislative reforms should be part of a comprehensive analysis of the legislative system in order to ensure that both positive law and indigenous customary law meet the obligations under the Convention, in particular regarding … corporal punishment…. The Committee also recommends that a clear division of the different competencies be established between the judicial bodies and the indigenous local authorities in civil, criminal and administrative matters, and that the State party promote awareness of legislation, in particular among communities which continue to apply customary laws. 

"While welcoming that the new Constitution of 2009 prohibits all violence against children, both in the family and society, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and in residential or institutional care settings, and that there is no explicit prohibition of this form of ‘discipline’ in all settings. 

"The Committee recommends that the State party expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in all settings, 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. The Committee further recommends that the State party carry out public education campaigns, including through media, about the negative consequences of corporal punishment of children, and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline. 

"With reference to the United Nations Study on violence against children (A/61/299), the Committee recommends that the State party: 

a) take all necessary measures for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the independent expert for the United Nations study on violence against children while taking into account the outcome and recommendations of the regional consultation for Latin America held in Buenos Aires between 30 May and 1 June 2005. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party pay particular attention to the following recommendations: 

(i) prohibit all violence against children, including corporal punishment in all places…."

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Session 038 (2005)

(11 February 2005, CRC/C/15/Add.256, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 35 and 36)

"The Committee expresses deep concern that, despite its prohibition in the Code for Children and Adolescents, corporal punishment is still widely used within the family and in schools and other institutions.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures, including through public awareness campaigns, to promote positive, participatory and non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society, and to effectively implement the law prohibiting corporal punishment."

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Session 019 (1998)

(26 October 1998, CRC/C/15/Add.95, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 21)

"While the Committee takes note of existing legislation prohibiting corporal punishment of children, it remains concerned that corporal punishment is still widely used within the family and in schools and institutions. In connection with the child’s right to physical integrity, recognized by the Convention in its articles 19, 28, 29 and 37, the Committee recommends that the State party consider the possibility of undertaking educational campaigns. Such measures would help to change societal attitudes towards the use of physical punishment within the family and in schools and institutions."

Read more from Session 019 (1998)
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