Child advocates have called for a ban on smacking to help address the domestic violence epidemic gripping the country.
The ACT Human Rights Commission has called for clear legislation to prohibit the use of violence against children including within the family.
Former ACT children's commissioner Alasdair Roy said he had been calling on the government to ban smacking for eight years.
"Children are the only group of people you can legally hit," he said.
For at least six years the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has called for Australia to "explicitly prohibit" smacking children in the home.
Internationally, 53 countries have banned smacking and the use of violence towards children, including New Zealand in 2007, with many more working towards that goal.
The ACT government agreed with the sentiment but said changes to legislation were not being considered.
"We understand that parenting can be tough at times," a spokesman for the ACT government said.
"But using physical punishment is not an appropriate response."
The spokesman said there were a range of programs in place to support parents and carers to "guide their children's behaviour in a positive way that does not involve physical punishment".
ACT commissioner for children and young people Jodie Griffiths-Cook said it was an area that needed specific reform.
In a submission to the Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety Inquiry into Domestic and Family Violence in late 2017, the ACT Human Rights Commission said it was an area of domestic and family violence that had not been adequately addressed.
"[It] falls within the scope of the common law defence of 'parental chastisement'," the submission read.
"This defence against the crime of assault limits the legal protection available to children against physical violence which is inflicted for disciplinary reasons within the family."
"While a degree of minor physical violence against children is still considered acceptable by many parents in Australia, there is growing and consistent evidence that corporal punishment, including 'smacking' is ineffective as a disciplinary measure, and is associated with a range of adverse outcomes for children.
"Children who are smacked are also at higher risk of more extreme physical abuse within the family."
"It is possible to introduce such legislative changes while allowing discretion not to prosecute parents for minor offences, so that the primary focus of reform is to achieve social change through leadership and education," the ACT Human Rights Commission's submission read.
Former ACT children's commissioner Alasdair Roy said the result of a ban wouldn't be parents being locked up, it would be to change the conversation around what is unacceptable behaviour towards children behind closed doors.
"Most people misunderstand what banning smacking of kids is all about. I think most people think they're going to get arrested if they hit their kid in Woolworths. Of course I'm fully aware there are worse things you can do to a kid than smack them occasionally, but to me it's not the point."
Mr Roy said the law that allows parents to smack their children was incongruous with the ACT domestic violence strategy, which says every child has the right to be safe in their own home.
"There is a huge difference between domestic violence and smacking, I'm in no way comparing them. But ultimately it is a physical act and I don't think that hitting the kid sends the right message to a child in terms of the use of violence in the community."
National children's commissioner Megan Mitchell is calling for the conversation around smacking children to change, to "get to a point where smacking is not in the parenting tool box".
"This requires a national conversation about corporal punishment and a key aspect of that conversation must involve raising awareness of alternative forms of discipline," Ms Mitchell said.
She said it had been about six years since the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended all corporal punishment be banned in Australia. This year, Australia will report back to the UN on the extent to which the country is or isn't meeting its international obligations to children.
Ms Mitchell is taking submissions on a range of issues including smacking.
A spokesman for the Attorney-General's department said it was not a matter for the federal government.
"The Australian government is not considering legislative measures around this issue as issues of offences and defences in this area are a matter for states and territories," the spokesman said.