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Honduras by meiqinpt

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									HONDURAS – COUNTRY REPORT
Child population: 3,311,000 (UNICEF, 2009)


Summary of necessary legal reform to achieve full prohibition
Settings where explicit prohibition is necessary
home, ?schools, penal institutions, alternative care settings


Is there a legal defence for corporal punishment which must be repealed?
Yes – The Civil Code (article 231) and the Family Code (article 191) state that parents have the
authority “to reprimand and adequately and moderately correct their children”. Article 24 of the Code
on Children and Adolescents recognises the child’s dignity and states that children should be protected
“from all inhuman, violent, terrorizing, humiliating or destructive treatment, even when it is
supposedly done for disciplinary or corrective measures, regardless of who commits it”, but under
article 57 paternal relationships are governed by the Family Code. The near universal social
acceptance of corporal punishment in childrearing necessitates clarity in law that no level of corporal
punishment is acceptable. The “moderate correction” defence in the Civil and Family Codes should be
repealed and the law should explicitly prohibit all corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading
forms of punishment, in the home and all other settings where adults have parental authority.


Other legislative measures necessary
Schools – Explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in all education settings (public and private) is
necessary.
Penal institutions – Explicit prohibition should be enacted in legislation applicable to the disciplinary
measures used in all institutions accommodating children in conflict with the law.
Alternative care settings – Explicit prohibition should be enacted in legislation applicable to all
alternative care settings, including public and private day care, residential institutions, foster care, etc,
in addition to repeal of the “moderate correction” defences.




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DETAILED COUNTRY REPORT

Legality of corporal punishment
Home
Corporal punishment is lawful in the home. The Civil Code (1906, article 231) and the Family Code
(1984, article 191) both confirm the authority of parents “to reprimand and adequately and moderately
correct their children”. Article 24 of the Code on Children and Adolescents (1996) protects a child
from “all inhuman, violent, terrorizing, humiliating or destructive treatment, even when it is
supposedly done for disciplinary or corrective measures, regardless of who commits it” (article 24) but
also confirms that paternal relationships are governed by the Family Code (article 57).Provisions
against violence and abuse in the Criminal Code (1983), the Law Against Domestic Violence (1997)
and the Constitution (1982) are not interpreted as prohibiting all corporal punishment in childrearing.


Schools
Corporal punishment was explicitly prohibited in schools by article 134 of the Public Education Code
(1923) and the General Public Education Act, but we have yet to establish that these laws are still in
force. The prohibitions are not reiterated in more recent laws. Article 24 of the Code on Children and
Adolescents (see above) applies, and article 35 stipulates that there must be reciprocal respect and
dignified treatment between educators and students. In the Statute of the Honduran Teacher (1997),
educators’ obligations include respect for dignity, physical, psychological and moral integrity of the
students (article 9).


Penal system
Corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for crime. Article 68 of the Constitution prohibits
cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
There is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure in penal
institutions. Article 24 of the Code on Children and Adolescents (see above) applies, and article 199
states that children in detention centres have the right to “receive an appropriate treatment on the part
of authorities responsible for their custody, who will seek to avoid the use of force or any type of
weapon in carrying out their responsibilities” but does not categorically prohibit corporal punishment.
Article 282(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure states: “It is unlawful to commit or to encourage or
permit any act of torture, mistreatment or other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment either
at the time of arrest or during detention.” Article 68 of the Constitution protects the human dignity of
persons deprived of their liberty.


Alternative care
Corporal punishment is lawful in alternative care settings.


Prevalence research
According to statistics from UNICEF relating to the period 2001-2007, of girls and women aged 15-
49, 16% think that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances.
(UNICEF (2009), Progress for Children: A report card on child protection, NY: UNICEF)



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Recommendations by human rights treaty bodies
Committee on the Rights of the Child
(3 May 2007, CRC/C/HND/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 54 and 55)
“The Committee is concerned that article 191 of the Family Code seems to authorize corporal
punishment in the home and that there is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in alternative
care settings.
“The Committee recommends that the State party, taking into account the Committee’s general
comment No. 8 on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or
degrading forms of punishment (2006), introduce – and enforce where applicable - legislation
explicitly prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home.
The State party should also conduct awareness-raising and public-education campaigns against
corporal punishment and promote non-violent, participatory methods of child-rearing and education.”


Universal Periodic Review
Honduras was examined in the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review in 2009. The Government
accepted a recommendation to “make efforts to incorporate into national legislation the prohibition of
all forms of corporal punishment of children”, stating that it considers this is already implemented or
in the process of being implemented (A/HRC/WG.6/9/L.8, Draft report of the Working Group, para.
82(4)). Examination in the second cycle is scheduled for 2015.


Report prepared by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children
www.endcorporalpunishment.org; info@endcorporalpunishment.org
January 2012




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