THE Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, has called for all
smacking of children to be banned. Speaking at a vigil in Cardiff
on Tuesday to mark Universal Children's Day, he said that the
defence of "reasonable punishment", which parents can use to
justify physical punishment, should be removed.
Dr Morgan said: "Jesus believed that children were not just an
asset for the future, or a commitment to be undertaken for the sake
of society. They were of infinite value as children. They deserved
as much respect and care as any other human being.
"The Good Childhood report, produced by the Children's Society
in 2009, said that when children were asked what makes for a good
life, what they wanted more than anything else was love. And if all
of that is true, how can we ever think that smacking or using
physical force on children can ever be right?"
During the vigil, Dr Morgan washed children's feet, and leaders
from various Churches lit candles in prayer as an act of
remembrance for children who have suffered violence. Messages of
support were also read out from members of the Welsh Assembly.
The Assembly has approved a motion to withdraw the defence of
"legal chastisement" that is currently available to parents.
Britain is one of only four countries in the EU not to have
introduced a ban on physical punishment. It is allowed under a
defence of mild chastisement.