Archbishop of Wales says smacking children 'demeans them'

Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan
Image caption Dr Barry Morgan says children deserve the same respect as adults

The Archbishop of Wales will speak out against the smacking of children, saying it "demeans and devalues them".

Dr Barry Morgan will address a service to mark Universal Children's Day at Eglwys Dewi Sant in Cardiff later.

He will wash the feet of children during the service which is dedicated to ending what he denounces as "legalised violence".

Dr Morgan says children are of "infinite value" and deserve the same respect as any other human being.

During the service church leaders will light candles in remembrance of children who have suffered violence.

In his speech, 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."

The service will be supported by the charity Children in Wales and Children Are Unbeatable! Cymru and led by Rev Dyfrig Lloyd.

A joint statement from Welsh Christian leaders supporting the removal of the "reasonable punishment" defence will also be heard.