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.
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