KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday December 20, 2018 – A Joint Select Committee of Parliament has recommended that the Child Care and Protection Act be amended to make corporal punishment prohibited in all public institutions, places of safety and other institutions.
The recommendation is contained in the Report of the Joint Select Committee appointed to complete the review of the Sexual Offences Act, the Offences Against the Person Act, the Domestic Violence Act and the Child Care And Protection Act.
“Members agreed that children should be free from all forms of corporal punishment, but recommend that corporal punishment should be prohibited in all schools, places of safety, public places and public institutions,” the report stated.
“We were of the view that the ban should extend to places such as Sunday schools, the Cadet Corps, the Boys Scouts, summer camps, service clubs and other places where children could be found.”
The report noted that members advocated for a total ban on corporal punishment, but conceded that a policy position would have to be developed on that issue before that approach could be taken.
“We, therefore, recommend that a provision should be inserted into this section (Section Nine), other appropriate section of the Act, to indicate that corporal punishment should be prohibited in all schools, public institutions for the care, instruction or guidance of children who are in the care of the State, and in all public places. We also agreed that the sanction to be imposed for breach would be a fine or such order as the court deems fit,” it said.
The Child Care and Protection Act was passed in 2004, and provides for the care and protection of children and young persons and for connected matters.