The physical punishment of children has no place in a modern and progressive Wales, Minister for Children, Huw Irranca-Davies said today.
To mark Universal Children’s Day, the Minister has re-affirmed the Welsh Government’s plans to introduce legislation to remove the defence of reasonable punishment. If passed by the National Assembly for Wales, it means that children in Wales will be protected under the law from physical punishment.
The Minister outlined his commitment to engage with the public and interested stakeholders on the proposed law through a formal consultation in the New Year.
The Welsh Government has been engaging with parents through its #TalkParenting campaign, with nearly 1,000 responses so far to an online survey on parenting.
Speaking ahead of an event in Swansea to mark Universal Children’s Day, Huw Irranca-Davies said:
“The Welsh Government is rightly proud of its record of promoting children’s rights and working to ensure all children in Wales have the best start in life.
“As Minister for Children, I’ll work to ensure the rights of every child and young person in Wales are respected so they can grow up to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.
“When the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011 was passed, it broke new ground. We were brave enough to be the first in the UK, and amongst only a few in Europe and the World, to put such arrangements in place. I’m determined to continue to deliver on this commitment.
“Our understanding of what is needed to protect and support children and their families has changed considerably over the years, and societal norms have changed as a result. It can no longer be acceptable in a modern and progressive society for children to be physically punished. It is right that as a Government, we take action to protect children and support parents to use positive and effective alternatives to physical punishment.”