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Committee to look at protecting children from smacking

The National Assembly has voted to set up a new committee to look at the issues involved in a ban on smacking children in Wales.

Currently, battery or assault of any person is illegal, but under section 58 of the Children Act 2004, there is a defence of “reasonable punishment” in relation to children.

Removing this defence would afford children equal protection under the law to adults, and help to promote more positive forms of parenting.

The issue of taking action against smacking children has been debated in the Senedd on several occasions, and there were moves by Plaid Cymru Assembly Members to include a ban in the Gender Based Violence Bill which is currently being examined by the Assembly.

However, AMs voted 32-21 yesterday (25 November) to establish the new committee to debate the issue further. The committee will examine and report back on issues surrounding such a ban – which would amount to the repeal of the “reasonable punishment” defence.

The full debate can be viewed on the National Assembly record of proceedings.