European Committee of Social Rights: TFYR Macedonia

2015

(January 2016, Conclusions 2015)

“In its previous conclusion the Committee held that the situation was not in conformity with the Charter as corporal punishment was not prohibited in the home and in institutions.

“According to the report, the Child Protection Act foresees protection of children against any form of discrimination, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, abduction, sale or trafficking, physical or psychological violence or inhuman treatment, exploitation and commercial exploitation.

“The Family Act regulates the protection of children from neglect, abuse and violence by establishing measures of protection and supervision over the parental rights as well as by the introduction of provisions on domestic violence.

“The Committee notes from the Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment of Children that Corporal punishment is unlawful in the home. Section 12(2) of the Child Protection Act of 2013 prohibits all forms of corporal punishment. Section 12(6) states that children are to be protected in all settings: the state and institutions are obliged to take all necessary measures to ensure the right of the children and prevent any form of discrimination or abuse regardless of the place where they are committed, the severity, intensity and duration.

“Corporal punishment is prohibited in alternative care settings (foster care, institutions, places of safety, emergency care, etc) under Section 12 of the Child Protection Act of 2013.

“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 asks the next report to indicate the precise legal provisions and the case law which explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment of children (including the mildest forms) in the home and in institutions. In the meantime, the Committee reserves its position on this issue.”

“Pending receipt of the information requested, the Committee defers its conclusion.”

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