Equally Protected

Stylised image of a shield with a saltire on it and beams of light radiating from each side.

All we want is to feel safe.


The UNCRC is clear that all children have the right to be protected from harm. Many other international laws are clear about this, too.

But for a long time, Scotland has been one of the few countries in Europe where parents can still punish their children by hitting them or using other physical punishment.

Ever since our office was established, we’ve worked to change this. For years we’ve campaigned to do so alongside children and young people, other human rights defenders and people from charities and other organisations who work for children.

So we were delighted to work with John Finnie MSP to bring a Bill before the Scottish Parliament that would change the law.

We set out the human rights arguments to the Parliament. The Commissioner highlighted ways in which Scotland’s law didn’t keep to the international standards it had signed up to.

The Bill was passed overwhelmingly by MSPs, and on November 7 2020 it becomes Scots law.

That means that from that day forward, children will be protected from physical punishment in Scotland.

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