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Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 - Part 5 (Intimate piercing)

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The provisions on intimate piercing at Part 5 of the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 came into force on 1 February 2018.

The Act (external link) makes it an offence to intimately pierce children and young people under 18 in Wales. It is also an offence to make arrangements to perform an intimate piercing on a person under 18 in Wales. There are ten 'intimate areas' set out within the Act, including the tongue, and these apply to all genders. 

This new law is to protect children and young people from infections and injuries which can be caused by an intimate piercing, and who may be less able to keep up with aftercare requirements.This law is to protect children by removing circumstances where they are placed in potentially vulnerable situations. 

A person under the age of 18 will not be able to give their consent to an intimate piercing, nor will a parent or guardian be able to give consent on behalf of a young person. 

Local authorities will enforce this law in Wales, including:

  • bringing forward prosecutions 
  • investigating complaints and taking other steps. 

The police in Wales also have a duty to assist local authorities, where necessary, in undertaking enforcement actions.