Scotland has become the first part of the UK to ban the smacking of children after new legislation came into effect yesterday.
Changes to the law giving children the same protection from assault as adults were passed by the Scottish Parliament last year.
Scotland becomes the 58th country to outlaw corporal punishment and the first part of the UK to do so, with Wales expected to follow suit.
Green MSP John Finnie, who introduced the changes, said he hoped the smacking ban would help demonstrate to children that violence in any form was not acceptable.
He said: “As I have progressed my campaign over the last four years, it has been noticeable just how many people believed that striking a child was already outlawed.
“I am pleased that this will now be the case.”
Children’s Minister Maree Todd said: “I’m very pleased that Scotland has become the first part of the UK to legislate to ensure that children, without exception, have the same protection from assault as adults.”
But campaign group Be Reasonable Scotland, which opposed the move, warned that “even the mildest physical discipline will be treated as abuse” and could lead to parents being prosecuted.
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