Wales is banning people from smacking and slapping children 3 months ago

Wales is banning people from smacking and slapping children

Many are calling on the rest of the UK to follow suit

A landmark piece of legislation has been passed in Wales, as the country bans all forms of physical punishment against children. Those found guilty of smacking or slapping their kids will now be committing a criminal offence as of Monday, March 21.

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The law change has been labelled as a "historic" moment by the Welsh government, which becomes the second nation within Great Britain to ban what many say is a cruel and antiquated practice following Scotland's ban in 2020.

The rule change also applies to those visiting the country.

Prior to the new legislation, parents have been able to hit children on the grounds of “reasonable punishment” - a clause that has existed unchanged from the Children Act 2004 but one that has existed in some form since the Victorian era.

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There are now roughly 60 countries around the world that have outlawed smacking or physically punishing children.

The new legislation will see slapping, smacking and shaking made illegal; anyone with information on these behaviours being carried out by parents will be encouraged to contact social services. These rules will also apply to visitors in the country.

Deputy minister for social services for Wales, Julie Morgan, celebrated making "physically punishing children a thing of the past” and suggested that the law follows changes in parenting over recent years: “The culture has started to change and I think this law will reinforce that”.

As per The Guardian, she went on to say she hopes that England and Northern Ireland will follow suit. Naturally, there has been opposition to the decision amongst sections of the Welsh public and the opposition; Welsh Conservative and shadow social services minister, Gareth Davies, said the law was “unnecessary, unworkable, and undesired”.

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Other Welsh conservatives suggested that the legislation could lead to a "Stasi culture" wherein people would report their neighbours for suspected breaches of the law or potentially make malicious allegations.

However Morgan countered these ideas, saying: “We don’t want people spying,” before adding that “Looking after children is the responsibility of the whole community.”

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