Charities in bid to ban Scottish parents from smacking children
Group wants youngsters protected from assault
A CALL has been made for a ban on smacking children in Scotland.
The Children are Unbeatable coalition – a group of children’s charities – said it wanted to stop youngsters suffering violence.
The group said youngsters should have the same protection from assault as adults.
A ban on smacking was previously proposed by the Labour/Lib Dem government in 2002 – but the plans were dropped after they were deemed unworkable.
Now a consultation is being carried out by the Scottish Government on plans for the Children and Young People’s Bill.
A Government spokesman said: “We would encourage as many people and organisations as possible to take part and submit their views.
“It is already illegal to physically punish children by shaking them or hitting them with any implement.”
Currently, parents are allowed to use “reasonable chastisement”. However, they are banned from seriously assaulting youngsters.
People who work with children – such as foster carers and teachers – are not allowed to use physical punishment, including smacking.
Alison Todd, of Children are Unbeatable, said she was worried that not enough was being done to protect children.
She said: “This is not about political correctness. This is about children and young people suffering violence in our country and we need to do something that tightens it up so that it can’t happen.”
The Scottish Parent Teacher Council said: “It is not about whether or not you should be able to smack your child – this is about whether or not you should have a law against it.”
The Children and Young People’s Bill is set to go through parliament in the new year.