Morgan: end smacking

by
23 November 2012

by a staff reporter

CHURCH IN WALES

Gentle treatment: the Archbishop of Wales washes the feet of nine-month-old Enya Evans, at a service to mark Universal Children's Day, in Cardiff on Tuesday

Gentle treatment: the Archbishop of Wales washes the feet of nine-month-old Enya Evans, at a service to mark Universal Children's Day, in Cardiff on...

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.

 

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