Committee on the Rights of the Child: Tuvalu

Session 064 (2013)

(4 October 2013, CRC/C/TUV/CO/1 Advance Unedited Version, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 35, 36, 62 and 63)

"The Committee is deeply concerned that the Constitution and the Penal Code allow parents and guardians to use corporal punishment to discipline children and that corporal punishment is still widely practiced in the homes and schools. The Committee is further concerned that Island Courts can authorize physical punishment as a criminal sentence. 

"With reference 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, the Committee urges the State party to: 

a) undertake awareness-raising programmes, including campaigns, about the negative impact of corporal punishment on the psychological development of children, especially concerning their dignity, with a view to changing adult perceptions and societal attitudes towards corporal punishment;

b) bring all laws, policies, and regulations in full conformity with the Convention with a view to banning corporal punishment in all schools, homes and communities; 

c) abolish the physical punishment as a criminal sentence by the Island Courts; and

d) promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment and seek the assistance of UNESCO and UNICEF in this regard in order to build on other successful initiatives in the Pacific Region or elsewhere in the world. 

"The Committee is concerned that: ...

b) The Island Courts Act permits the court to order a parent or guardian to cane a child and that the Penal Code stipulates life imprisonment for child offenders; 

"The Committee strongly urges the State party to bring its juvenile justice system in full accordance with the Convention, in particular articles 37, 39 and 40, and with other relevant standards, including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines), the Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (the Havana Rules), the Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System, and the Committee’s general comment No. 10 (2007). The Committee recommends in particular that the State party: ...

c) Repeal the provisions that allow corporal punishment and life imprisonment for child offenders…."

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