Welsh govt's child smacking ban 'an injustice', activist insists

21 March 2022, 17:02

Criminalising smacking children is 'an injustice', activist claims

By Seán Hickey

The Welsh government's move to criminalise parents who hit their children is 'an injustice', this Christian activist tells LBC.

The Senedd voted on Monday to make it a criminal offence to smack or physically punish a child. Andrew Castle reflected on the news with Simon Calvert, Deputy Director for Public Affairs at The Christian Institute and spokesperson for the Be Reasonable campaign, who advocated agains the Welsh government's decision.

Read more: Welsh Assembly passes child smacking ban in historic vote

Following the vote, any type of corporal punishment is now illegal as part of the Children (Abolition Of Defence Of Reasonable Punishment - Wales) Act of 2020.

"You're criminalising parents for doing something that doesn't need to be criminalised, and that's an injustice" Mr Calvert declared.

He elaborated on the view, explaining that "this isn't about protecting children from abuse, that's already illegal". The activist explained that the measure abolishes the "reasonable chastisement defence" which gave parents grounds to punish their children physically, within reason.

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"You can smack or not smack your children but should you make it a criminal offence?"

"Will you be prosecuted for a tap?" Andrew wondered, to which Mr Calvert declared "you could be" under new rules.

"Even the Welsh governments own polling says only 38% of people supported their legislation" he pointed out, stating that the government "can't get popular support" for the move

"You're going to involve the criminal justice system and social services in families where there's absolutely nothing wrong!"