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Wales may become first UK nation to ban parents from smacking kids


London, March 27: Wales might become the first country in the UK to ban parents from smacking their children as ministers in Cardiff aim to remove the common law defence of 'reasonable punishment' that the guardians can use when accused of assault against a child.

Wales may become first UK nation to ban parents from smacking kids

Scotland is also looking to do the same with a new bill proposed by John Finnie, Green Minister of Scottish Parliament, reported Lad Bible. A voting is due to be held in the Scottish parliament next year on the issue.

In Wales, if the new bill published on Monday, March 25, is passed, it will not stop a parent from grabbing a child about to step out onto a busy road or brushing a child's hair against its will, but as the country's Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Julie Morgan has said, smacking which has been deemed appropriate in the past is 'no longer acceptable', the Lad Bible report added.

"We are sending a clear message that the physical punishment of children is not acceptable in Wales," Morgan was quoted as saying.

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"What may have been deemed as appropriate in the past is no longer acceptable. Our children must feel safe and be treated with dignity."

A number of children's organisations have backed the bill.

Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health was quoted as saying: "Research tells us that children who are physically punished are more likely to have poorer mental health and physical well-being and when they grow up, are more likely to engage in self-destructive or antisocial behaviour. Hurting a child isn't acceptable and it is a form of child abuse."

However, there are also campaigners who feel that such law will also criminalise doting parents.

If the proposal gets the nod, Wales will join 54 other countries that have already banned causing physical punishment to children. Sweden was the first to do so in 1979 and it has been followed subsequently by Greece, Latvia, Albania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, the Lad Bible report added.

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