European Committee of Social Rights: Russian Federation


(January 2016, Conclusions 2015)

“The Committee recalls that under Article 17 of the Charter, 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 has noted that there is now a wide consensus at both the European and international level among human rights bodies that the corporal punishment of children should be expressly and comprehensively prohibited in law. The Committee refers, in particular, in this respect to the General Comments Nos. 8 and 13 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Complaint No 93/2013 Association for the Protection of All Children (APPROACH) v. Ireland, decision on the merits of 2 December 2014, §§45-47).

“The Committee notes from the another source (Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment, Russia) that Article 54 of the Family Code of 1995 provides for the protection of children’s human dignity by their parents and protection from abuse by parents (Articles 56 and 69). It states that parents have a right and duty to educate their children and must care for their children’s “health, physical, mental, spiritual and moral development” (Article 63) and that “methods of parenting should not include neglectful, cruel or degrading treatment, abuse or exploitation of children” (Article 65). The Criminal Code 1996 punishes intentional serious, less serious and minor harm to health (Artciles 111 to 115) and beating or other violent acts which cause physical pain.

“According to the same source, in 2010, the Ministry of Justice stated that these provisions in the Family and Criminal Codes amount to prohibition of corporal punishment of children. However, in the absence of an explicit prohibition it is not clear that they effectively prohibit all forms of physical punishment in childrearing.

“As regards children in institutions, according to the same source there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment (foster care, institutions, places of safety, emergency care, etc). Children are legally protected from some but not all physical punishment under the Family Code 1995 and Criminal Code 1996.

“As regards schools, section 34 of the Law on Education 2012 states that students have the right to respect for human dignity, protection from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury personality, the protection of life and health. Section 43(3) states that discipline in educational activities is provided on the basis of respect for human dignity of students and teachers and application of physical and mental violence to students is not allowed.

“The Committee considers that not all forms of corporal punishment are explicitly prohibited in the home and in institutions. Therefore, the situation is not in conformity with the Charter.”

“The Committee concludes that the situation in Russian Federation is not in conformity with Article 17§1 of the Charter on the ground that not all forms of corporal punishment are prohibited in the home and in institutions.”

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