Ban on corporal punishment ‘will criminalise parents’
July 17, 2017 2 comments
A proposed ban on corporal punishment in Wales would criminalise “ordinary parents” campaigners claim.
The Welsh government is currently reviewing plans to eliminate the “reasonable chastisement” defence for parents. At the moment, adults are allowed to physically discipline their children if their action can be seen as reasonable. If this defence is taken away, parents will not be legally allowed to hit their children under any circumstances.
This proposal has been met with fierce opposition from a campaign group called Be Reasonable Wales. They have started a petition against this potential change in the law. One member of the organisation, a mother of one, claimed the measure would mean that ordinary parents would be seen as “no better than violent thugs and child abusers” in the eyes of the law. Politicians are “trying to make out that a gentle smack on the back of the legs from a loving mum is the same as beating up your kids” she insisted.
However some groups have come out in support of the idea. Andy James is chairman of the Children are Unbeatable organisation. Speaking to the BBC, he accused Be Reasonable Wales of “scaremongering”, adding that “no-one has a right to hit another person, or to punish and control them”.
A spokeswoman for the Welsh government claimed they had a “firm commitment to seek cross-party support” for any changes to the law and would “consult fully on proposals, over the next 12 months, to ensure views are received from a wide range of people”.
Late last year, lawmakers in France outlawed smacking children, making it the 52nd country in the world to do so. The first was Sweden, where the practice was banned back in 1979.
Photo of the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff by Anna-Maria Oléhn via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.
July 17, 2017
Categories: Family Law