Wales politics

Wales smacking ban: Opinion split, consultation suggests

Smacking child Image copyright Getty Images

Opinion on proposals for a smacking ban in Wales is divided, a consultation has suggested.

A total of 50.3% of the 1,738 people and organisations that responded to the Welsh Government exercise thought the plan would help protect children's rights.

But a marginally smaller group - 48.1% - did not.

The Welsh Government is planning to change the law - removing a defence in the law on assault - in the next year.

Campaigners argue that the law would criminalise ordinary parents, something ministers deny.

According to a published summary of responses to the consultation, supporters said the new law would ensure children's rights are safeguarded and that children are provided with the same legal protection as adults.

Some argued that the plans will remove confusion or lack of clarity around what constitutes physical punishment.

But opponents said the proposal would have an adverse effect on children by undermining their rights to learn boundaries and discipline.

Of the respondents, 1.5% said they did not know whether the measure would help protect children's rights.

Children's minister Huw Irranca-Davies said: "The consultation we launched earlier this year was intended to help inform our legislative proposals, ensuring we develop the very best legislation to help us achieve our aim."

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