European Committee of Social Rights, 2006

Observations/decisions on corporal punishment in the European Committee of Social Rights' conclusions on states examined in 2006

Bulgaria

(2006, Conclusions 2006, vol. 1, pages 114-115)

"The Committee previously asked whether all forms of corporal punishment of children were prohibited, including corporal punishment within the family. According to the report there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in Bulgaria. However it cites the Child Protection Act 2000, which stipulates that children shall have the right to be protected against any activities, which violate their dignity, and includes any physical or psychological violence and all forms of influence, which are not in a child’s interest. The Home Violence Protection Act 2005 protects child victims of domestic violence.

"The Committee highlights that where legislation which may be interpreted as prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment is relied upon by a state party it must be accompanied by strong evidence that such legislation is so interpreted and applied and that the necessary measures have been taken to ensure that there is widespread awareness of this. The Committee asks the next report to provide such evidence."

Croatia

(2006, Conclusions XVIII-1-vol.1, pages 188-189)

"Article 17 prohibits all forms of violence against children, both physical and emotional, it covers all violence no matter how light or for what purposes it is inflicted (educational or disciplinary etc), and irrespective of the identity of the perpetrator (General introduction to Conclusions XV-2, p. 29; World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) v. Greece, Collective complaint No 17/2003, decision on the merits § 32; OMCT v. Ireland Collective complaint No 18/2003 decision on the merits § 64; OMCT v. Belgium Collective complaint No 21/2003 decision on the merits § 35).

"Therefore Article 17 covers and requires the prohibition in law (including the removal any defence or justification) of corporal punishment, no matter where it occurs, in the home, in school, in institutions or elsewhere (see above references).

"Physical punishment of children has been prohibited by family legislation since 1999. According to Article 88 of the 2003 Family Act as amended in 2004, parents and other family members are not allowed to subject the child to humiliating actions, mental or physical violence or abuse."

Cyprus

(2006, Conclusions 2006, vol. 1, pages 152-153)

"As regards corporal punishment of children, the report refers to the Violence in the Family (Prevention and Protection of Victims) Law 2000 which defines violence as any action, omission or behaviour which causes physical, sexual or psychological damage. Further the report states that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has superior force to domestic law prohibits all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings. However the Committee notes that in Cyprus’s response to the UN Secretary General’s Study on violence against children (submitted August 2005) according to the Children Law (Cap.352) the parent, teacher or other person having lawful control or care of a child have a right to administer punishment to him. Although the response states that the law is under review and the new legislation will explicitly prohibit corporal punishment and will include no defenses whatsoever. The Committee asks for further information on the situation i.e. the inter relationship between the legislation and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as information on the repeal of the defence.  Meanwhile it reserves its position on the situation."

In this session

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