Wales makes it illegal to smack children

In Wales, all forms of physical punishment against children have been outlawed. However, it is common for people to smack at each other, strike at each other, slap at each other, and shake their hands. Furthermore, rough and tumble play is also a part of the rules.

The Rights of Children

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Wales, Scotland, and England have different laws.

The physical punishment of minors will be prohibited in Wales as of March 21, 2022. This applies to any situation in which children are subjected to physical discipline. The government of Wales has followed the example of Scotland by banning slapping, which will come into effect in November 2020. In Wales, children are now afforded the same level of protection against violence as adults enjoy.

Despite this, England has yet to follow suit regarding punishing children. Moreover, it still adheres to the common law concept of reasonable chastisement, whereby a parent or someone acting in the capacity of a parent may apply justifiable physical punishment to children in a reasonable way. That raises the issue of what constitutes reasonableness.

A court case in 2001 looked at this problem and ruled that the threshold for what is reasonable has changed over the past few years. What is presently considered fair physical punishment of a child has shrunk significantly in recent years, even though there are no hard and fast rules. Instead, everyone should consider the case from their perspective. The punishment of a child, if it reaches a certain level of severity, will be regarded as a violation of that child’s human rights.

Differentiation of the law

As far as I am aware, this is the first time Welsh criminal law has deviated significantly from English criminal law. Therefore, even though they may be habitually living in England or elsewhere, any parent found to be physically abusing their child within the borders of Wales may face criminal prosecution.

People who observe someone physically disciplining a child in Wales should report it to the police or the local services department. The Crown Prosecution Service in Wales will bring charges if any of the following apply:

Pursuing prosecution is in the public interest because there is sufficient evidence to substantiate the accusation. The best interests of the child will also be taken into consideration.