Welsh Government announcement to introduce smacking ban legislation
Earlier this year we worked with Votes for Schools to enable 1,157 children in Wales to respond to a consultation to remove the defence of reasonable punishment in the physical chastisement of children.
We asked children at Rights Respecting Schools across Wales to think about what this change meant and share their views on smacking. 64% of children said that the law should change with 36% saying it should stay as it is: we then anonymised their comments and shared them with the Welsh Government.
Our government relations team also submitted a technical response from a policy position, stating that we supported a change to the law as this would give children the same protection from physical harm as adults.
The consultation closed in April and the Children’s Minister Huw Irranca-Davies published a summary of responses on Monday 6th August. In short, 54% of the young people who responded agreed that removing the defence of reasonable punishment would improve children’s rights in Wales. A further 51% of parents agreed with this and on average, 57% of all respondents to the consultation agreed with this proposal.
As a result of this, the First Minister has committed to introduce a Bill to remove the defence of reasonable punishment between September 2018 and July 2019 (the third legislative year of the Parliament). According to the First Minister’s statement, it will include a wider package of support for children and parents including providing positive parenting tips and information, access to services and the provision of support and advice to parents.