Committee on the Rights of the Child: Cambodia

Session 057 (2011)

(3 August 2011, CRC/C/KHM/CO/2-3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 38, 39, 40 and 41)

"The Committee expresses deep concern about allegations that children and adolescents addicted to drugs, children with mental disabilities and children in street situations have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including widespread beatings, whippings and administration of electric shock in drug rehabilitation and youth centres where some of them had been forcibly placed.

"The Committee urges the State party to:

a) ensure that children in any form of arbitrary detention, whether in drug treatment and rehabilitation, social rehabilitation or any other type of Government run centre are released without delay;

b) ensure prompt investigation into allegations of ill treatment and torture of children in those centres and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice;

c) set up an independent child-sensitive mechanism to receive complaints against law enforcement officers and to provide victims with redress as already recommended by the Committee against Torture (CAT/C/KHM/CO/2, para. 20).

"While noting that the State party has adopted various legislation to prohibit corporal punishment, the Committee is however concerned that article 1045 of the Civil Code allows a “parental power holder to personally discipline the child to the extent necessary” and that article 8 of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of the Victims implicitly authorizes corporal punishment of children for disciplinary purposes. The Committee expresses concern that physical punishment is frequently viewed as a culturally acceptable form of discipline by parents and teachers and widely practiced in the State party.

"The Committee urges the State party to:

a) repeal article 1045 of the Civil Code and provisions of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of the Victims authorizing corporal punishment of children;

b) enact legislation to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings, including within the family;

c) ensure that laws prohibiting corporal punishment are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible for violence against children;

d) introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice and promote positive, non-violent, participatory forms of child-rearing and education as an alternative to corporal punishment;

e) refer to 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."

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