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Scotland Becomes The First Part Of The UK To Ban Smacking

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Scotland Becomes The First Part Of The UK To Ban Smacking

Scotland has become the first part of the UK to ban the punishment of smacking.

Under the new rules, children now have the same protection as adults for assaults after the change was made today (7 November).

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Smacking is still deemed a 'reasonable punishment' in other areas but that is expected to change in Wales by 2022.

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According to Sky News, what is deemed appropriate will depend on each case but smacking will not be used to justify wounding, actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm.

Scotland is the 58th country to introduce the law and it will come into force in 2022. Sweden was the first to bring the ban into place back when it outlawed corporal punishment in 1979.

NSPCC said that the move to ban smacking was 'common sense' with the charity's Joanna Barrett said: "This law sets out in clear terms that physical punishment should no longer be part of childhood in Scotland and it marks a momentous step in making it a country where children's rights are truly recognised, respected and fulfilled."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The new law was brought about by Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie, a former police officer, who won the support of the SNP, Labour and Lib Dems as well as his own party and many children's charities.

The people pushing the changes back included those who believed that existing laws already protected children from abuse at the hands of adults.

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"This outdated defence has no place in a modern Scotland.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."

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Scottish Green MSP John Finnie. Credit: PA
Scottish Green MSP John Finnie. Credit: PA

Some people not agreeing with the changes are Be Reasonable Scotland which is a group that opposed the legislation and warned that it could mean parents being prosecuted for 'even the mildest physical discipline'.

A spokesman said: "In the years ahead, loving parents who have had no contact with the authorities previously and who present no risk to their children will face stressful intervention, blacklisting on police databases and even criminal records for smacking.

"The majority of Scots see this as an injustice, not a positive change."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, UK, Scotland

Rebecca Shepherd
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