Scotland has become the first country in the United Kingdom to impose a ban on smacking children. The new legislation that came into force said that children under 16 now have the same protection from assault as adults.
Earlier parents and caregivers were allowed to use physical force to discipline their children as long as it was considered “reasonable chastisement”. But the new law means that the defence of “justifiable assault” can no longer be used. “As I have progressed my campaign over the last four years, it has been noticeable just how many people believed that striking a child was already outlawed,” Scottish Green Member of Scottish Parliament said. “I am pleased that this will now be the case.”
“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,” said a statement. “This outdated defence has no place in a modern Scotland. It can never be reasonable to strike a child.” The bill to ban smacking was first introduced to the Scottish Parliament by Finnie last year. He was able to win the support of his own party, the Scottish National Party, Labour and Lib Dems as well as several children’s charities.
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