Committee on the Rights of the Child: Tunisia

Session 054 (2010)

(16 June 2010, CRC/C/TUN/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 7, 8, 40 and 41)

"The Committee notes with appreciation efforts by the State party to implement the 2002 concluding observations of the Committee on the second periodic report of the State party (CRC/C/15/Add.181). Nevertheless, the Committee regrets that some of its concerns and recommendations have been insufficiently or only partly addressed. 

"The Committee refers the State party to its general comment No. 5 (2003) on general measures of implementation for the Convention on the Rights of the Child and recommends that it take all necessary measures to address the recommendations from the concluding observations on the second periodic report that have not yet been implemented or sufficiently implemented, including those related to corporal punishment (CRC/C/15/Add.181, para. 34)…. 

"While welcoming that a draft law amending article 339 of the Penal Code is under consideration, the Committee is concerned that by virtue of this provision “castigation inflicted on a child by persons having authority over him or her shall not give rise to punishment”. The Committee is further concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and in alternative care settings and that, despite internal regulations of the Ministry of Education prohibiting corporal punishment, it continues to be inflicted on children by teachers throughout the State party. Furthermore, the Committee expresses concern that the interpretation of the provision prohibiting “usual ill-treatment” of children is much narrower than the Committee’s interpretation of corporal punishment. It regrets the insufficient information about and awareness of domestic violence and its harmful impact on children. 

"Recalling its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.181, para. 34), the Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, according to which eliminating violent and humiliating punishment of children is an immediate and unqualified obligation of States parties. The Committee therefore urges the State party: 

a) to amend the penal code so as to explicitly prohibit by law all forms of corporal punishment in all settings and ensure that those laws are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible for mistreating children; 

b) to amend the definition of 'usual ill-treatment' so as to ensure that it is in line with the Committee’s interpretation of corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment as per general comment No. 8 (2006); 

c) to conduct a comprehensive study to assess the causes, nature and extent of corporal punishment throughout the State party and design policies and programmes to address it; 

d) to introduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on the harmful effects of corporal punishment and domestic violence with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice and promoting positive, non-violent, participatory values and forms of child-rearing and education."

Read more from Session 054 (2010)

Session 030 (2002)

(13 June 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.18, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 33 and 34)

"While noting the provision in the Code of Child Protection regarding ill-treatment (art. 24) and the relevant provision in the Penal Code (art. 224), as well as the Ministerial Circular of December 1997 banning all forms of corporal punishment and practices hurting the dignity of children, the Committee is concerned that, as noted by the delegation, corporal punishment is only a crime if it is prejudicial to the health of the child. It notes with concern that violence as a means of discipline in the home and at school continues to be acceptable in the State party. The Committee regrets that no follow-up to the Committee’s previous recommendation has been initiated to protect children from ill-treatment (ibid., para. 17). The Committee is furthermore concerned that there is insufficient information about and awareness of domestic violence and its harmful impact on children.

“The Committee urges the State party to:

a) take all legislative measures to prohibit in the most effective way possible all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse, against children in the family, in the schools and in institutions;

b) conduct a study to assess the nature and extent of ill-treatment and abuse of children, and design policies and programmes to address it;

c) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment…."

Read more from Session 030 (2002)

Session 009 (1995)

(21 June 1995, CRC/C/15/Add.39, Concluding observations on initial report, para. 17)

"As far as protection from ill-treatment is concerned, the Committee recommends that the social preventive approach be strengthened and that further measures be undertaken to educate parents about their responsibilities towards their children, including through the provision of family education which should emphasize the equal responsibilities of both parents and contribute to the prevention of the use of corporal punishment."

Read more from Session 009 (1995)
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