European Committee of Social Rights: Lithuania

2015

(January 2016, Conclusions 2015)

“In its previous conclusion (Conclusions 2011) the Committee found that the situation was not in conformity with the Charter as corporal punishment was not explicitly prohibited in the home, in schools and in institutions.

“According to the report, corporal punishment was set to be explicitly prohibited by a new law on Child Protection, to amend the Act on the Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child. The draft Law was under preparation and available online since summer 2012 for consultation of civil society. Section 45 of the draft Law provided an extensive definition of child protection from violence, stating that the child shall be educated, trained and disciplined without violence and with respect for dignity.

“However, according to the report, it was decided not to adopt a new law, but to amend the current Act.

“The amendment of the current Act on the Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child has been prepared, according to which Section 43 (2) will establish administrative or criminal liability for the demonstration of physical or mental violence against children. The amendment is approved by all relevant national institutions and, according to the report, will be presented to the Government and the Parliament for the adoption. The Committee wishes to be kept informed of these developments.

“In the meantime, the Committee notes from the Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment of Children that prohibition is still to be achieved in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and penal institutions.

“The Committee considers that the situation which it has previously found not to be in conformity with the Charter has not changed. Prohibition of corporal punishment in the home, in schools and in institutions does not have a precise legal basis.”

“The Committee concludes that the situation in Lithuania is not in conformity with Article 17§1 of the Charter on the ground that corporal punishment is not prohibited in the home, in schools and in institutions.”

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2011

(January 2012, Conclusions 2011)

"In its previous conclusion the Committee considered that the situation in Lithuania was not in conformity with Article 17§1 of the Charter since there was no prohibition in legislation of corporal punishment within the family. It recalls that the CRC has recommended that Lithuania explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in the family and implement existing prohibitions (2006 Concluding Observations). The Committee also enquired whether corporal punishment was prohibited in schools and institutions.

"The Committee notes that the situation has not been remedied. Section 49(1) of the Act on the Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child (1996) states: 'Parents and other legal representatives of the child may appropriately, according to their judgment, discipline the child, for avoiding to carry out his duties and for disciplinary infractions, with the exception of physical and mental torture, other cruel behaviour and the humiliation of the child’s honour and dignity.'

"However, the Committee notes from another source that provisions against violence and abuse in this Law as well as in the Criminal Code (2000), the Constitution (1992), the Civil Code (2000), and the Code of Administrative Offences (2002) are not interpreted as prohibiting all corporal punishment in childrearing.

"As regards corporal punishment in schools, the Committee notes from the report that it is considered unlawful, but there is no explicit prohibition. Section 25 of the Act on Education (1991) states that ‘parents, guardians, and teachers who do not carry out their responsibilities, or who cause physical, psychological, or moral harm to their pupils, shall be accountable in accordance with the procedures established by law’. Section 49(2) of the Act on the Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child states: ‘Disciplinary and educative enforcement measures: criticism, reprimand, severe reprimand, appropriate evaluation of behaviour and other enforcement means, established by laws, may be applied to a child for violations of internal order regulations of teaching and educative (care) institutions.’

"The Committee further notes from the above-mentioned source that there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in alternative care settings. It is considered unlawful as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions, but there is no explicit prohibition in law. Corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for a crime.

"The Committee recalls that according to its case law, to comply with Article 17 with respect to the corporal punishment of children, states' domestic law must prohibit and penalise 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 therefore considers that the situation in Lithuania is not in conformity with Article 17§1 since corporal punishment is not explicitly prohibited in the home, in schools and in other institutions.…

“The Committee considers that the situation in Lithuania is not in conformity with Article 17§1 of the Charter on the ground that corporal punishment is not explicitly prohibited in the home, in schools and in institutions."

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2005

(March 2005, Conclusions 2005)

"The Committee notes that the Criminal Code, which was applicable until 1 May 2003, envisaged penal liability for violence against minors. The Committee notes that according to the Act on Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child, a child can be taken away from the parents in case of abuse or violence of the child. The Committee asks that the next report clarify whether corporal punishment is prohibited in schools and institutions.

"From another source, the Committee notes that corporal punishment within the family is not prohibited and it further notes that the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended that the Lithuanian Government adopt legislation to explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment of children within the family. The Committee recalls that Article 17 of the Revised Charter requires a prohibition in legislation against any form of violence against children, whether at school, in other institutions, in their home or elsewhere. It considers that this prohibition must be provided for in legislation and combined with adequate sanctions in penal or civil law. Therefore, it considers that since there is no prohibition in legislation of corporal punishment within the family, the situation in Lithuania is not in conformity with Article 17 of the Revised Charter.

"The Committee concludes that the situation in Lithuania is not in conformity with Article 17.1 of the Revised Charter on the ground that corporal punishment of children is not prohibited within the family."

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