Parents ‘should be prosecuted for not loving or ignoring their children’

A proposed change to the child neglect laws would make “emotional abuse” of a child a crime for the first time, alongside physical or sexual harm.
Mark Williams, the Liberal Democrat MP, is leading the calls for Britain’s “Dickensian” child neglect laws to be updated, ending an anomaly which means that it is crime to inflict psychological abuse on adults but not children.
Although social workers, who operate under a different legal framework, can already step in to begin care proceedings if a child is being emotionally mistreated, the police cannot.
This is because in criminal law only physical deprivation, such as denying children food or clothes, counts as neglect.
Mr William is bringing forward a bill in the Commons, with the backing of the charity Action for Children, to amend the Children and Young Persons Act to bring the two definitions into line.

Written by John Bingham. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Child protection and proportion

It is not uncommon for dreadful crimes to prompt public demands for some sort of dramatic response from the authorities. Usually, nothing comes of them. But the murder of Sarah Payne by a convicted sex offender in 2000 is different. Eight years after that appalling crime, the demands from Sarah’s mother that the Government take action appear to have borne fruit. The Home Office begins a trial scheme today in which parents in parts of Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Cleveland and Warwickshire will be able to ask police if anyone with access to their child is a convicted paedophile.
So is this a British version of America’s “Megan’s Law”, named after the victim of a similar child murder in the United States? In fact, it is a very different animal. The US law allows states to publish the names, addresses and pictures of convicted local paedophiles. This information can even be found online, accessible to anyone with internet access. Access to such information in Britain under this trial scheme will be far more limited. Details will only be given out to parents and guardians, who will have to prove their identity. And any parent maliciously sharing the information given to them could face prosecution.

Written by The Independent. To read the full article, click here.