Updated: 12/12/2013 09:47 | By Agence France-Presse

Australian PM admits smacking his kids

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted Thursday he smacked his children when they were young and warned against bans that could take political correctness "to extremes".


Australian PM admits smacking his kids

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, shown on November 17, 2013, has admitted he smacked his children when they were young and warned against bans that could take political correctness "to extremes"

Abbott was commenting after the issue was raised in the first report submitted to parliament by the newly established National Children's Commissioner.

It highlights the United Nations' concern "that corporal punishment in the home and in some schools and alternative care settings remains lawful in Australia".

The UN Committee of the Rights of the Child document recommends "that corporal punishment be explicitly prohibited", but Abbott said "a gentle smack" was fine.

"We often see political correctness taken to extremes and maybe this is another example," the conservative leader, who has three grown-up daughters, told Channel Seven television.

"I was probably one of those guilty parents who did occasionally chastise the children, a very gentle smack I've got to say.

"I think that we've got to treat our kids well, but I don't think we ought to say there's no place ever for smacks. 

"All parents know that occasionally the best thing we can give is a smack, but it should never be something that hurts them."

Corporal punishment of children is banned in more than 30 countries around the world, including Germany, New Zealand and Spain.

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