Comment on Scottish Parliament Stage One report of Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Bill

Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive, Children 1st, said: “MSPs on Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee heard overwhelming evidence from police, health professionals, social workers and teachers that physical punishment of children doesn’t work and can do harm.

“Future generations will laud those Committee members who have listened to the resounding message that Scotland will no longer tolerate physical punishment. It is regrettable that in the face of such strong evidence, two members of the Committee did not feel able to support the Bill.

“The Committee report has made it clear that the public can be reassured by the evidence from countries that have recently changed similar laws that this does not lead to a significant rise in prosecutions. In Ireland there has only been one prosecution since the law was reformed in 2015 and the impact of legal reform has been overwhelmingly positive for parents and children alike.”