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Protecting children from assault is the right thing for everyone

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A proposed bill that would see children get the same rights and protection as adults has been welcomed by Renfrewshire Council’s Education Convener.

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Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of the Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, praised the proposed Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Private Members’ Bill as bringing legislation into accordance with United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of a Child.

Internationally studies have shown that physical punishment has the potential to damage children and carries a risk of escalating into physical abuse.

Instead, parents should be supported to manage their children’s behaviour in positive ways that ensure children are safeguarded in the home and in the community.

Councillor Paterson said: “Children should feel safe and respected in their family home and we know that physical punishment can damage their mental health and prevent them from forming healthy relationships with parents or family members. Ensuring children have the same rights of protection from assault as an adult is vital and I welcome the values behind this proposed bill.

“Parenting is a difficult job; however children don’t need to be disciplined through violence. Moving away from physical punishment to more positive and less damaging means of discipline and guidance is not only good for children, it is also better for parents and family units.

“This proposed bill firmly puts the role of protecting children from harm in everyone’s hands. Children who are physically punished can experience difficulty interacting with people later in life and in some cases, they may be physically abused. If this bill becomes law, we will have taken a significant step forward in ensuring children are safeguarded from harm.”

Anyone with concerns about a child at risk of abuse or neglect should contact the Council’s child protection team on 0300 300 1199.

For more information, visit www.no-worries.org.uk.