Equal Protection Bill backed by Scottish Parliament Equalities and Human Rights Committee

Date: 17th May 2019


A majority of MSPs on the Scottish Parliament Equalities and Human Rights Committee have backed the proposal to reform the law to end physical punishment. The Committee released their Stage 1 Report after hearing overwhelming evidence from police, health professionals, social workers and teachers that physical punishment of children doesn’t work and can do harm.

The Committee report made it clear that families 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. 

Committee convener Ruth Maguire MSP, said: “Removing a legal defence that justifies a parent hitting their child is a watershed moment in Scots law and in changing Scotland’s culture.

“It’s over three decades since all physical punishment was ended in classrooms, and it’s now time to end it at home as well. This law will ensure our children are legally protected from assault in the same way as adults. This bill has a very clear message about what is acceptable to parents, public services, and children."

Read the report here