European Committee of Social Rights: Slovenia

2015

(January 2016, Conclusions 2015)

“In its decision on the merits of 5 December 2014 of the Complaint No. 95/2013 Association for the Protection of All Children (APPROACH) Ltd v. Slovenia, §51,  the Committee noted that the provisions of the Family Violence Prevention Act and the Criminal Code prohibited serious acts of violence against children, and that national courts sanctioned corporal punishment provided it reaches a specific threshold of gravity. However, none of the legislation referred to by the Government set out an express and comprehensive prohibition on all forms of corporal punishment of children that is likely to affect their physical integrity, dignity, development or psychological well-being. Furthermore, there was nothing to establish that a clear prohibition of all corporal punishment of children had been set out in the case-law of national courts.

“The Committee notes in this regard from the report that the Slovenian Government is convinced that the national legislation in force protects children against violence, negligence or exploitation, as stipulated by Article 17 of the Charter. Corporal punishment of children is, according to the case law, one of the modes of committing the criminal offence of domestic violence.

“According to the report, the Government also believes that the explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in the national legislation alone does not and cannot provide children with adequate protection against violence. The system-wide regulation of the prevention of violence against children in Slovenia represents a much broader spectrum of the prohibition of violence against children, including a ban on corporal punishment, irrespective of the motive.

“The Committee further notes that at the request of international organisations (the United Nations, the Council of Europe), the Slovenian Government inserted an explicit ban on the corporal punishment of children in the proposed Family Code, which was adopted by the National Assembly on 16 June 2011. However, the Family Code was rejected at a referendum on 25 March 2012.

“The Committee considers that the situation which it has previously found not to be in conformity with the Charter has not changed. Therefore, the Committee reiterates the previous finding of non-conformity on the ground that not all forms of corporal punishment are prohibited in the home.

“The Committee concludes that the situation in Slovenia 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.”

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