Charities call to criminalise smacking in Scotland

Parents in Scotland should be prosecuted for smacking their children, a coalition of children’s charities has said.

Smacking is currently legal in Scotland, but the use of implements, shaking or blows to the head are outlawed.

The Children are Unbeatable alliance want ministers to include a ban on smacking in new legislation for young people.


But 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.”

A previous attempt to ban smacking in 2002 was dropped after the plans were deemed unworkable.

The Scottish Government is currently holding a consultation on proposals for the Children and Young Peoples Bill.


A government spokesman said: “We have no plans to change the law on smacking.

“It is already illegal to punish children by shaking or hitting them with an implement and there are no proposals in the consultation to change this.”

Alison Todd, of Children are Unbeatable, 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.”


In October the Welsh Government said that smacking would not be banned in Wales during the lifetime of the current Welsh Assembly which ends in 2016.

Assembly Members voted by 24 to 15 in favour of a non-binding motion calling for a ban, and 13 AMs abstained.

But the Minister for Children in Wales, Gwenda Thomas, said legislation should not be undertaken lightly.