Tour to create awareness of physical punishment law change

August 13, 2021

March 21st 2022 is a historic moment for children’s rights in Wales. From this day on, all types of physical punishment will be illegal due to new Welsh Government legislation.

The Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020 will remove a legal defence by outlawing the physical punishment of children when it comes into force in Wales.

As part of the nationwide public awareness campaign, an 'Ending Physical Punishment' display van will visit key tourism destinations across our area.

Visiting over 40 locations over the school summer holidays, the van is designed to raise awareness for local residents as well as visitors to Wales of the forthcoming change in the law.

The van will be at the following locations in North Wales in the next few weeks:

Friday 20 August: Rhyl, Prestatyn, Talacre beach
Saturday 21 August: Conwy, Welsh Mountain Zoo, Llandudno Pier, Llandudno Junction
Sunday 22 August: Zipworld, Adventure Parc Snowdonia, Porthmadog

The van's tour of North Wales’ holiday hotspots is the first phase of outdoor advertising in advance of the nationwide campaign launch which takes place in September with the roll out of radio and television advertising.

Julie Morgan, MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services, said, “Wales will soon join over 60 nations across the world who have outlawed the use of physical punishment towards children.

“The nationwide awareness campaign in support of this important legislation will tour key summer tourism destinations across north Wales, along with other advertising that people may see when they are out and about. We want to help ensure anybody who lives in, or visits North Wales, is made aware of the law before it comes into force on 21 March 2022.

“The passing of the legislation ensures Wales meets its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child by prohibiting the physical punishment of children in Wales.

“Children in Wales will now have the same legal protection from common assault as an adult for the first time. 

Sally Holland, The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, added, “This is landmark legislation for children’s rights in Wales. I wholeheartedly support the introduction of this legislation as there is no room for physical punishment in Wales or the long-term trauma caused to children as a result of it.

“I’m pleased to see Welsh Government investing in raising awareness of this new law and promoting positive parenting techniques, to ensure people living in and visiting Wales know that physical punishment simply does not work as a means of disciplining children.”

Jenny Williams, Chair of the North Wales Safeguarding Board, said, "This may be a difficult subject for many to broach, but having the van visit North Wales is a great way to get people, whether living here or just visiting, to start thinking about the issue of physical punishment of children, and to seek out support, if they need it, before the law change.

“Parenting is not easy, but there are effective means of disciplining children out there which do not need to involve the use of physical punishment.

“We want to work alongside Welsh Government and local safeguarding partners in each region in Wales to ensure all parents and carers are made aware of the law before it comes into force next year.”

More information on the legislation can be found here.