Antigua and Barbuda government reminded of treaties it ratified against corporal punishment


The Cabinet spent considerable time discussing the need to end corporal punishment within schools and, possibly, homes as well.

While there was no consensus among the 12 members, the Cabinet agreed that consultations will continue and experts are to be heard as the Cabinet seeks to reach a consensus.

The Cabinet invited the Chairperson of the CHILD JUSTICE BOARD, a Magistrate in our Court system, to make a presentation.

The Magistrate shared a paper that was prepared by her, pointing out that Antigua and Barbuda has signed and ratified the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which speaks to ending punishment of children by inflicting pain on the child.

The Magistrate quoted several officials who expressed differing points of view on the subject, publicly, including the current Minister of Education, and a former Director of Education with divergent views.

The religious intonement that speaks to “sparing the rod” was significantly challenged by members who are themselves fathers; and, it was upheld by other members who believed that the biblical expression ought to still be invoked.  Notwithstanding their differing views, the Magistrate pointed out that when treaties and conventions are ratified by the Parliament, they become the law of Antigua and Barbuda.

The Education Act which stipulates how corporal punishment is to be administered in schools, conflicts with the adopted treaties and conventions that seek to end corporal punishment as a means of correction; it also conflicts with the Child Justice Act  which outlaws corporal punishment of children.

The courts will be compelled to provide protection to children under the law, should this issue be brought before the Magistracy or the High Court.

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  1. Wow! what else is new? So the government has signed international treaties outlawing corporal punishment yet corporal punishment is still administered in the schools. Didn’t they know the ramifications of signing such Treaties. I am not surprised anyway since it would appear we have a government that does not understand or respect the Rule of Law. It is the same way they disregarded the RAMSAR Treaty on the protection of wetlands and proceeded to wreak environmental havoc on Barbuda’s protected ecosystems. The government breaks both domestic and international law with impunity. What a shame.

  2. We are backwards. We will always be backwards until we move past the control methods of the plantocracy of the past. We place ourselves in the chains of history when we refuse to move forward with first-world, developed nations.

  3. Look at the children who aren’t being punished vs the ones who got punished and learned. These little girls will start turning up pregnant because they aren’t being punished wait n see. Taking away phones and so ain’t it. Being grounded ain’t it. This Is gonna get out of hand. Y’all don’t watch movies where the child is out of hand all they say is go to ur room, the child sneaks out the window. Really Antigua following the wrong things and not saying kill them with blow but seriously

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