European Committee of Social Rights: Iceland


(January 2016, Conclusions 2015)

“In interpreting Article 17 of the Charter, the Committee has held that the prohibition of any form of corporal punishment of children is an important measure that avoids discussions and concerns as to where the borderline would be between what might be acceptable form of corporal punishment and what is not (General Introduction to Conclusions XV-2). The Committee recalls its interpretation of Article 17 of the Charter as regards the corporal punishment of children laid down most recently in its decision in World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) v. Portugal (Complaint No. 34/2006, decision on the merits of 5 December 2006; §§19-21):

“To comply with Article 17, states’ domestic law must prohibit and penalize all forms of violence against children, that is acts or behaviour likely to affect the physical integrity, dignity, development or psychological well-being of children.

“The relevant provisions must be sufficiently clear, binding and precise, so as to preclude the courts from refusing to apply them to violence against children.

“Moreover, states must act with due diligence to ensure that such violence is eliminated in practice.”

“The Committee asks what measures are taken to eliminate corporal punishment in practice, for example, through information campaigns.”

“Pending receipt of the information requested, the Committee concludes that the situation in Iceland is in conformity with Article 17 of the 1961 Charter.”

Read more from 2015


(January 2012, Conclusions 2011)

"The Committee notes from the report that Act No 52/2009 which amended the Child Protection Act No 80/2002 and completely removed any uncertainty as to the complete illegality of abusing children or employing other degrading conduct.

"The Committee notes from another source that corporal punishment is prohibited in the home, in institutions and in schools."

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(July 2005, Conclusions XVII-2)

"Under Icelandic law, all violence is punishable except where employed as an emergency measure to serve a greater interest. The Committee notes that corporal punishment (and mental punishment) is prohibited in homes and institutions for children (Section 82 of the Child Protection Act, No. 80/2002).

"It notes from another source that corporal punishment of children is prohibited in schools and asks that the next report indicates the legislation laying down this prohibition.

"The Committee notes that the Child Protection Act, No. 80/2002, states that parents are prohibited from using physical violence against their children. Section 1, paragraph 2 makes particular mention of care and consideration as elements in custodial and upbringing obligations. In this context the report states that the Icelandic Parliament, during discussions held on the Child Protection Act, interpreted this paragraph to imply the important principle that children should be shown respect, and not be subjected to corporal punishment. The Committee further notes that said obligation of parents is reinforced by the Children’s Act of 2003, which entered into force in November 2003, which explicitly prohibits all forms of corporal punishment of children in the home."

Read more from 2005


(1 January 2001, Conclusions XV-2 vol. 1, pages 281-283)

"The Committee notes that corporal punishment (and mental punishment) is prohibited in homes and institutions for children and youth (Section 53 of the Children and Youth Protection Act). However it wishes to know whether legislation prohibits all forms of corporal punishment of children, in schools, in the home and elsewhere…."

Read more from 2001
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