Today it has been announced that the Government is seeking to bring forward proposals in the Queen's Speech to amend the criminal law on child neglect to ensure it includes emotional and psychological neglect, following intense pressure from Mark Williams MP and Action for Children. This is the culmination of a long campaign, which has sought to see the law changed through amendments proposed in the House of Lords, and most recently through Mark Williams' Child Maltreatment Bill
Mark Williams commented:
'This is a major victory for all those involved in safeguarding children across the UK. We have seen a number of cases involving children who have been emotionally and psychologically abused by their parents, with the police and criminal justice system powerless to do anything due to our outdated Victorian-era criminal law.
'The reform will allow agencies to work together effectively to safeguard children, and means justice is finally available for the children who had parents who quite simply couldn't have cared less about them.
'Ever since I was first approached about this issue by Action for Children I have felt the case for reforming the law was unassailable and I'm delighted the Government is now taking our proposals forward. This is not the end of the fight to protect children, but it is one more essential piece in a puzzle to ensure all those involved in safeguarding children have every possible tool at their disposal.'