The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s publicly-funded Youth Service has appointed 22 Vale Youth Service ‘Rights Ambassadors to “deliver Children’s Rights Workshops” to pupils in local primary schools including Sully Primary and Victoria Primary.
The “rights”, about which the ‘ambassadors’ (aged between 11 and 18) are informing school pupils, are derived from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) – a convention which has no basis in UK law .
One on the contentious provisions in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a ban on the chastisement of children (i.e. slapping) – a provision which the UK Government has refused to accept.
However the Welsh Labour Government’s First Minister Carwyn Jones has now said that he will introduce a new law in the National Assembly which – in effect – will prohibit parents from slapping their children. Jones told the Assembly on May 18th 2016 that ” we will take forward, on a cross-party basis, legislation that will remove the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’.”.
As no such law will be introduced in England, English parents will have to be wary of Welsh law when visiting Wales with their offspring . Meanwhile in the rest of Europe smacking is generally held to be illegal and the EU upholds the UNCRC as a basis for all EU law affecting children .
Several children’s rights groups – most of which are activist “charities” – are demanding that the UK Government enact the provisions of the UNCRC into domestic law – but the UK Government has held-out against doing so.
The Family Education Trust says “if the defence of reasonable chastisement were to be removed, parental smacking would provide sufficient justification for social service intervention; there would be no prior need to assess whether the child was suffering ‘significant harm’. The Trust also claims some bodies are adopting “radical interpretations of the UNCRC in its pursuit of an agenda”.
The Vale Council’s Rights Ambassadors project funded by the Vale of Glamorgan’s Children and Young People’s Partnership. It has recruited 22 young volunteers to complete an accredited “Agored Cymru ” (Open Wales) unit on the UNCRC.
Meanwhile “qualified project workers from the youth service” have helped young people develop a series of “workshops” for children, young people and adults across the Vale which will “raise awareness of children’s rights”.