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Consultation summary: physical punishment of children


The Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies has published a summary of the responses received to the Welsh Government consultation about its plans on removing the legal defence of 'reasonable punishment' in cases of physical punishment of children. 

The three-month consultation was designed to gather feedback from the public and organisations to help the Welsh Government address concerns as the legislation develops.  

The consultation received more than 1,890 responses from individuals, organisations and groups. It found that just over half (50.3 percent) of the respondents agreed that the proposal to ban smacking a child would achieve the aim of protecting children’s rights, while 48.1 percent said they disagreed and 1.5 percent said they didn't know. 

It is against the law for a parent or carer to smack their child, except where this amounts to ‘reasonable punishment’ (section 58 Children Act 2004).

The Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care said: 

‘As a government, we are committed to introducing legislation to remove the defence of reasonable punishment, which will prohibit the physical punishment of children by parents and those acting in loco parentis. This reinforces our long-standing commitment to children’s rights.’

More information