The Welsh Government is urging people to have their say on plans to end the physical punishment of children in Wales, before the consultation closes on Monday 2nd April 2018.

First published:
29 March 2018
Last updated:

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The plans are part of a much wider package of measures the Welsh Government is taking to support children to have the best start in life, and to support their parents to do the best job they can. 

It is already against the law for a parent or carer to physically punish their child, except where this amounts to ‘reasonable punishment’ 

The proposed legislation would not involve the creation of a new offence. It would instead remove the defence of ‘reasonable punishment’ to the existing offences of assault and battery. 

It would mean any adult looking after a child would no longer be able to use physical or corporal punishment against them. 

Ministers want to accelerate existing trends in the way parents in Wales discipline their children and to support them in feeling confident to choose positive and more effective methods of discipline. 

Minister for Children, Huw Irranca-Davies said:

“The Welsh Government has a long standing record of working to ensure children have the best start in life and of promoting children’s rights. This is why we intend to bring forward legislation to make it clear that physically punishing a child is no longer acceptable in Wales. 

“Children need discipline to understand what is right and wrong and how to behave. Removing the defence makes it clear that physically punishing children isn’t acceptable in Wales.

“I am aware there are differing views on this; so the consultation provides an opportunity for everyone to have their say to help us try to address concerns as the legislation develops.

“The consultation closes on Monday 2nd April – so I’m encouraging as many people as possible to take part.”