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Scotland’s smacking ban comes into force

Holyrood

Scotland’s smacking ban comes into force

A ban on smacking children in Scotland will officially come into force on Saturday.

The new legislation gives children the same legal protection from assault as adults as it removes the defence of “reasonable chastisement”.

The Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019 was first brought forward by John Finnie MSP and supported by ministers.

Children’s Minister Maree Todd said: “I’m very pleased that Scotland has become the first part of the UK to legislate to ensure that children, without exception, have the same protection from assault as adults.

“This outdated defence has no place in a modern Scotland. It can never be reasonable to strike a child.

“The removal of this defence reaffirms that we want this country to be the best place in the world for children to grow up so that they feel loved, safe, respected and can realise their full potential.

“We have worked in partnership with organisations including children’s charities, Social Work Scotland and Police Scotland on implementation of this Act.

“As part of this, we will continue to promote positive parenting and build on the support we already offer to children and families.”

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