Committee on the Rights of the Child: Dominica

Session 036 (2004)

(30 June 2004, CRC/C/15/Add.238, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 28, 29, 46 and 48)

"The Committee is deeply concerned at the wide use of corporal punishment in the State party. It also notes with concern that corporal punishment is mentioned in the Education Act of 1997 and that the Magistrate Code of Procedure allows the whipping of a male child or a young person.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) remove all provisions from laws that allow corporal punishment and explicitly prohibit corporal punishment by law in the family, schools and other institutions;

b) continue the constructive dialogue with political leaders and the judiciary with the aim of abolishing corporal punishment;

c) continue to strengthen public education campaigns among community leaders, school administrators and parents about the negative consequences of corporal punishment of children, and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment;

d) establish an effective mechanism, either separate or as a part of a mechanism that includes dealing with child abuse, to receive, monitor and investigate complaints, including intervening where necessary, and ensure that victims of corporal punishment have access to assistance for recovery….

"The Committee is concerned at the lack of juvenile courts and at the fact that children may be sentenced to a penalty at the ‘President’s pleasure’, to life imprisonment and to whipping in private.

"The Committee also recommends that the State party: ...

b) abolish the sentences of whipping and life imprisonment…."

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