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Smacking ban comes into force in Wales

Credit: Welsh Government

Today (Friday 20th) the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill received Royal Assent and became the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020.

The new law seeks to end the physical punishment of children in Wales, protect their rights and build upon the Welsh Government’s commitment to the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Today’s occasion was marked by the First Minister Mark Drakeford officially sealing the Bill, meaning the law will come into force on Monday 21st March 2022.

The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Julie Morgan, who has led on the Bill, said:

“There is no reason to ever hit a child – that may have been deemed appropriate in the past but it is no longer acceptable. Our children deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity as adults.

“Although unfortunately the sealing of the Bill was held behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we are proud to have taken this historic step to help protect children and their rights.

“I would like to thank all of those who have campaigned for and supported this legislation.”