UK's first ban on smacking comes into force in Scotland

UK's first ban on smacking comes into force in Scotland

Scotland is the first part of the UK to prohibit the entry into force of children after new laws come into force.

Legislative changes that offer children the same protection from abuse as adults were passed by the Scottish Parliament last year and will come into force on Saturday.

Scotland is the 58th country to prohibit corporal punishment after defending a legitimate attack was removed from Scottish law.

It is the first part of the UK to do this. Wales is expected to follow suit with the introduction of a ban by 2022.

Scottish Green MSP John Finnie, who introduced the changes, hoped the smacking ban would help show children that violence is not acceptable.

He said, “As I’ve been running my campaign for the past four years, it has been noticed how many people believed that beating a child was already prohibited.

“I am pleased that this will now be the case.”

Scottish Minister for Children, Maree Todd, said: “I am delighted that Scotland became the first part of the UK to legislate to ensure that children, without exception, have the same level of protection from abuse as adults.

“This outdated defense has no place in modern Scotland. It can never be sensible to hit a child. “

Joanna Barrett, NSPCC Scotland Policy and Public Relations officer, said: “This new law finally gives children in Scotland their rightful protection from assault and the same safeguards as adults.

“With this common sense, we will work with more than 50 other countries around the world to take action to protect the most vulnerable members of society.

“This law clearly states that corporal punishment should no longer be a part of childhood in Scotland and it is an important step in making it a country where children’s rights are genuinely recognized, respected and fulfilled.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said he was “pleased” with the change in the law.

He said: “The abolition of this Victorian-sounding legal defense is long overdue.

“It is supported by innumerable studies and experts from the child commissioner to police officers, social workers, nurses, and child and parent aid organizations.

“It sends a clear message about what kind of country we want to be. After years of defying the United Nations, the Scottish government must stop ignoring other international human rights minimums, such as setting the age of criminal responsibility at 14 years. “

Anti-legislation campaign group Be Reasonable Scotland warned that “even the mildest physical discipline will be treated as abuse” and could lead to parents being prosecuted.

A spokesman for the group said: “In the years to come, loving parents who have not had previous contact with the authorities and pose no risk to their children will be exposed to stressful interventions that will be blacklisted in police databases and even given criminal records.

“The majority of Scots see this as an injustice rather than a positive change.”



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