RCPsych Wales responds to the introduction of the 'Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill'

25 March 2019

The Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales welcomes the introduction of the 'Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill' to the National Assembly.

Reforming legislation into the physical punishment of children means:

  • Children in Wales will have the same legal protection as adults as it will be an offence to physically punish them.
  • Accordance with Article 19 (Protection from all forms of violence) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Wales will join more than 50 other countries worldwide whereby legislation in this area has been successfully implemented.

Dr Amani Hassan (Chair, RCPsych Wales Child & Adolescent Faculty) commented:

“There are currently over 100 psychiatrists and trainees working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) across Wales. All too often we work with children who are subjected to some form of physical punishment or abuse and who are using our services as a result. Our General Adult psychiatrists also treat many patients who suffer from mental disorders that have been brought on by traumatic childhood experiences and research has shown that being exposed to adverse experiences in childhood can have a profoundly negative effect on an individual’s physical and mental development. We have always been encouraged that in the past the Welsh Government has promised to fight for a ban on physical punishment, and it’s extremely reassuring to see they are delivering on their promise. Physical punishment of children and young people is not acceptable, and it’s great to see Wales leading the way in delivering this message”.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales welcomes the introduction of this Bill and we very much hope that legislation is carried.

ENDS

 

For any further information, please contact Ollie John.