One calls it a loving smack- to others, it is violence, and that’s where the problem is. A proposed ban on the physical punishment of children has then been put out to consultation. Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee has launched a call for views on the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill.
The move comes after a call from school psychologists in England to ban smacking as it because it harms children’s mental health.
Parents and guardians would not be able to punish their children physically, as the proposed change in Scotland would remove the defence of “reasonable chastisement” from Scots law.
Amongst the opponents of smacking children are: the First Minister Nicolas Sturgeon, the Scottish Police Federation, Barnardo’s Scotland, the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland and the NSPCC.
However, a ban will “criminalise parents,” said the campaign group Be Reasonable Scotland, supported by the Christian Institute and the Family Education Trust.
The committee’s convener, Ruth Maguire, said: “As the proposed law starts making its way through the Parliamentary process, we are keen to hear from people in Scotland who have a view on this subject.”
More than 140 countries around the world continue to respect parents’ freedom, and responsibility, to discipline their children appropriately.
Scotland is set to become the first country in the UK to ban parents from smacking their children under new laws unveiled today; the Welsh government is also moving toward an outright ban on smacking.