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Welsh Smacking Ban Bill

Welsh Smacking Ban Bill

Legislation to ban smacking in Wales, formerly known as the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill has successfully passed its first stage through the Welsh Assembly with 36 votes and 15 votes against.During the debate Deputy Health Minister Julie Morgan stated “I can never accept that it is ever acceptable for a big person to hit a little person…I think this is a landmark bit of  legislation and I will be very proud if this Welsh parliament passes it.”She raised the importance of “supporting parents to adopt positive parenting styles” and that the Bill was fundamentally about “protecting children’s rights” as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child “recognises that any physical punishment of children is incompatible with their human rights.” However, the Bill also drew criticism from Assembly Members such as Janet Finch-Saunders (Con, Aberconwy)who argued that the Bill would “unreasonably criminalise good parents” and would result in the government intervening “inappropriately and excessively in family life.” 

The Assembly Members who voted against the Bill are listed below: 

  • Andrew RT Davies AM
  • Caroline Jones AM
  • Mohammad Asghar (Oscar)      AM
  • Mandy Jones AM
  • Mark Isherwood AM
  • Janet Finch-Saunders AM
  • Paul Davies AM
  • Russell George AM
  • Michelle Brown AM
  • Gareth Bennett AM
  • Darren Millar AM
  • Nick Ramsay AM
  • Mark Reckless AM
  • Neil McEvoy      AM                
  • David J Rowlands AM 

The transcript of the debate can be found in full, here