Green MSP John Finnie launches consultation on bill to ban smacking

Written by Jenni Davidson on 12 May 2017 in News

The UK is one of only four countries in the EU that allows physical punishment of children

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John Finnie - Image credit: Scottish Parliament

Green MSP John Finnie has launched a consultation on a proposed member's bill to ban smacking in Scotland.

The UK is one of only four countries in the EU that allows physical punishment of children.

The consultation will run until 4 August, giving the public the opportunity to have their say on the issue.


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The proposed bill has the support of a number of children’s charities and other organisations including the Church of Scotland, the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, NSPCC, Children 1st, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner and Barnardo’s.

Finnie said: “Scotland cannot be thought of as the best place in the world for children to grow up while our law gives children less protection from assault than anybody else in society.

“There is clear evidence that the use of physical punishment is detrimental to children’s long term health and wellbeing.

“Parents know how important it is to build strong, healthy relationships with their children.

“We can see from both international evidence and what families here tell us that physical punishment can prevent this; it makes a child’s behaviour worse and can lead to increased conflict between children and parents.

“Giving children full protection against assault will send a clear message to all of us about how we treat each other and underpins Scotland’s efforts to reduce violence across the whole of society.”

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