Wales prohibits physical punishment for minors

children deserve equal access to basic education

On Monday, Wales made it illegal to use corporal punishment on children, including smacking, punching, slapping, and shaking.  

Wales is an English-speaking nation in the United Kingdom; it is surrounded on the east by England, on the north and west by the Irish Sea, and the south by the Bristol Channel. In 2011, it had a population of 3,063,456 people. Cardiff is the capital and largest city of Wales.   

The Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020 established the smacking prohibition, which marked the end of the common law defence of reasonable punishment.  

It implies that children will be protected against attack in the same way as adults are and that the legislation will apply to everyone, including visitors to Wales, as is the case with all Welsh laws.   

If a parent or anybody else responsible for a child while the parents are away is proven to have physically punished a minor, they may now face criminal or civil prosecution.  

The Welsh Government has stated that the measure is about preserving children’s rights, despite claims from critics that it will criminalize parents.  

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child makes it plain that children have the right to be safeguarded from damage and injury, including physical punishment,” stated First Minister Mark Drakeford.  

“Welsh law currently recognizes that right. There will be no more grey zones. There will be no more defence of justifiable punishment. All of that is in the past.”   

Wales joins more than 60 nations worldwide in legislating against the physical punishment of children.  

See the twenty happiest countries in the world…

States That Prohibit All Forms of Corporal Punishment on Children

2021 – Republic of Korea, Colombia  

2020 – Japan, Seychelles, Guinea  

2019 – Georgia, South Africa, France, Republic of Kosovo  

2018 – Nepal  

2017 – Lithuania  

2016 – Mongolia, Montenegro, Paraguay, Slovenia  

2015 – Benin, Ireland, Peru  

2014 – Andorra, Estonia, Nicaragua, San Marino, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Malta  

2013 – Cabo Verde, Honduras, North Macedonia  

2011 – South Sudan  

2010 – Albania, Congo (Republic of), Kenya, Tunisia, Poland  

2008 – Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Republic of Moldova, Costa Rica  

2007 – Togo, Spain, Venezuela, Uruguay, Portugal, New Zealand, Netherlands  

2006 – Greece  

2005 – Hungary  

2004 – Romania, Ukraine  

2003 – Iceland  

2002 – Turkmenistan  

2000 – Germany, Israel, Bulgaria  

1999 – Croatia  

1998 – Latvia  

1997 – Denmark  

1994 – Cyprus  

1989 – Austria  

1987 – Norway  

1983 – Finland  

1979 – Sweden 


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