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Christian charity backs calls to ban smacking

CEO Chris Muwanguzi said he backed a called from the United Nations to ban hitting children in all circumstances.

The UN Human Rights Committee has published a wide-ranging assessment of legal and cultural issues in the UK.

It raised concerns that corporal punishment is not fully outlawed.

"The State party should take practical steps, including through legislative measures where appropriate, to put an end to corporal punishment in all settings, including the home, throughout (the) United Kingdom," it said.

"It should encourage non-violent forms of discipline as alternatives to corporal punishment, and conduct public information campaigns to raise awareness about its harmful effects."

Currently parents are not explicitly banned from striking their children. The law allows for "reasonable chastisement" to control a child's behaviour, but parents can be prosecuted if their actions result in injuries such as bruises, cuts or scratches.

Mr Muwanguzi said: "Some children, yes there's an issue, parents struggle, but it's not necessarily important to go straight to smacking".

He said there were ten steps parents should go through before considering smacking.

"Time out is one of them, there's something called 1,2,3 magic, where you talk to you child about taking away something is good that they like.

"Some children are bored and they choose to get into aggressive behaviour and so are we letting them out often? Are we taking them to the park? Are we giving them other things to get involved in?"

A Government spokeswoman said: "Our policy on smacking is clear. We do not condone violence towards children.

"However, we do not wish to criminalise parents for issuing a mild smack."

Chris Muwanguzi speaking to Antony Bushfield on Premier's News Hour:

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