Smacking children demeans and devalues them, the Archbishop of Wales will say at a vigil service tomorrow (Tuesday Nov 20) dedicated to ending legalised violence against children.
Dr Barry Morgan will say children deserve as much respect and care as adults and physical punishment of them should be ruled out.
The Archbishop will be speaking at a vigil service at a church in Cardiff to mark Universal Children’s Day, a world day of prayer and action for children.
During the service, which is also supported by the charity, Children in Wales and Children Are Unbeatable! Cymru, Dr Morgan will wash children’s feet and church leaders will light candles in prayer as an act of remembrance for children who have suffered violence. Messages of support will also be read out from Assembly Members and from Peter Newell, coordinator of the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.
The Archbishop will say, “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. None of us would ever dream of smacking an adult, why should we think smacking a child is any more acceptable. They too are made in God’s image, valued as the individuals they are. That does not mean that anything goes as far as bringing up children is concerned – but it does rule out physical punishment.”
The Vigil takes place at Eglwys Dewi Sant, St Andrew’s Crescent, Cardiff, tomorrow at 6.30pm. It will be led by the vicar, the Revd Dyfrig Lloyd and is supported by the charity Children in Wales.
A joint statement from Welsh Christian leaders supporting the removal of the “reasonable punishment” defence follows.
For more information, please contact:
Archbishop's Media Officer / Swyddog y Cyfryngau i'r Archesgob
Tel: 02920 348208; mobile: 07 91 91 587 94
39 Cathedral Rd, Cardiff / 39 Heol y Gadeirlan, Caerdydd