Ban on smacking set to be introduced


The move has been welcomed by NSPCC Scotland 

20th October 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

News that a ban on smacking will be brought into law has been welcomed by a children’s charity.

Scottish Government ministers confirmed this week that they will back a bill put forward by Green MSP John Finnie to remove the defence of justifiable assault from Scots law.

The move will mean that parents will be banned by law from smacking their children.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Mr Finnie's proposals are not a Scottish Government Bill, however we will ensure the proposals become law.

"We believe physical punishment can have negative effects on children which can last long after the physical pain has died away.

"We support positive parenting through, for example, funding for family support services."

The news has been welcomed by NSPCC Scotland. A spokesman for the charity said: "John Finnie's bill on equal protection from assault, and the Scottish Government's indication it will support it, is a welcome step on the road towards fairness and equality for children.

"The NSPCC has long campaigned for children to have the same protection against assault as adults and we strongly believe a change in the law would be a common-sense move."

Bruce Adamson, Scotland's children and young people's commissioner, said: "In Scotland in 2017, our law allows a parent or carer to assault a child for the purpose of physical punishment, which is untenable in international human rights law.

"This goes against the basic values that we hold in Scotland in terms of human dignity and respect for children.

"Across the political spectrum, there is recognition that this is not only an obligation in human rights law and the right thing to do, but it is something we should have done many years ago."