Rights Bahamas Education Committee
Sep 6, 2018 - 10:31:43 AM
Rights Bahamas Education Committee has been made aware of a most disturbing situation regarding a young man that attends C.H Reeves Junior Highschool in Nassau, Bahamas. The situation shed light on the violation of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”. The act of corporal punishment especially as it regards to children in a public-school setting is considered a violation of this Article. Additionally, Child Protection laws have been breached, citing article 62 of the Child Protection laws within the constitution.
Rights Bahamas also calls on the staff of C.H Reeves to revisit corporal punishment methods within their school. We instead suggest that the school adopt an inclusive punishment method that does not include the public degradation of students within their system. These methods can include, but are not limited to; after school programs, counseling and community consultation, NGO involvement in after school program implementation. It has been proven that implementing non-physical methods of punishment within schools positively reinforces effective communication practices and reduces the tendencies of violent problem resolution.
By Ronelle King;
The Committee for Gender Equality & the Rights of the Child retains that discipline is not synonymous with abuse. We affirm that teachers should exercise restraint when disciplining a child. Children have to the right to learn in an environment which does not cause them harm. Corporal punishment is an archaic method of punishment which causes more psychological harm that it helps with behavioral restructuring. We implore teachers to utilize alternative methods of punishment which promote individual growth.
We wish to advise the public that the rights of the child have also been infringed upon by members of the public that share the young man’s picture. Please refrain from further sharing and distributing these pictures. This is also directly a form of public degradation as peers of the student now have and will share pornographic images of the young mans posterior.
In conclusion we wish to allow the school 2 weeks to correct, publicly, this violation of this child’s human rights by method of punishment toward the offending parties. After this period, we expect a statement from the Ministry of Education on behalf of this Governmental Organization providing a follow up on the violation and an acknowledgment of ill-judgment and the breach of both Child Laws, and breach of a signed treaty. We wish not to work against the Government with respect to this issue, but rather we hope this opens the door to further conversation and child violation resolutions.
Rights Bahamas Committee Chairman and Woman,
Ronelle King (Chairwoman; Committee for Gender Equality and the Rights of the Child)
Dawrin Thompson (Chairman; Committee for Education)
According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need;
(c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means;
(d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children;
(e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.
3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
simplified: Article 28: (Right to education): All children have the right to a primary education, which should be free.
Wealthy countries should help poorer countries achieve this right. Discipline in schools should respect
children’s dignity. For children to benefit from education, schools must be run in an orderly way – without
the use of violence. Any form of school discipline should take into account the child's human dignity.
Therefore, governments must ensure that school administrators review their discipline policies and
eliminate any discipline practices involving physical or mental violence, abuse or neglect. The Convention
places a high value on education. Young people should be encouraged to reach the highest level of
education of which they are capable.
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