Scotland is first UK country to ban smacking

Quakers in Britain welcome the ban on parents smacking their children which has become law in Scotland. This is the first nation in the UK to outlaw physical punishment of under-16s. Quakers value all moves to decrease violence in society.

young boy alone on staircase
Children should live without fear of assault. (Image by Pexels from Pixabay)

"This is a positive step for Scotland and for families across Scotland," said Elizabeth Allen for Quakers in Scotland. “We now all share a collective responsibility to support parents and carers to parent positively as we seek to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up."


All humans deserve to be free from violence.

- Mairi Campbell-Jack for Quakers in Scotland


When the Children (Equal Protection from Assault Bill) (Scotland) was passing through the Scottish Parliament, Quakers in Scotland and The Church of Scotland spoke in favour of the Bill. Some church voices were strongly opposed.

In front of the Equality and the Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament, Mairi Campbell-Jack, (then) Parliamentary Engagement Officer for Quakers in Scotland, said “Rather than looking at parents' rights and children's rights as being separate, it might be better to include them all in the one group—that of human rights. All humans deserve to be free from violence."

This ban is an example of Transformative Justice, say Quakers, which, by undoing social injustice and building community infrastructure, has the capacity to change the lives of individuals, society and state.

In January, Wales was the second part of the UK to pass a law banning people from smacking their children. It will begin in 2022.