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Charity calls for law change on neglect

The charity, Action for Children, has recently published a report claiming that the current law on child neglect is failing to protect children and must be updated as a matter of urgency.


According to the charity, there were 774 people in England and Wales convicted of cruelty to or neglect of children in 2001. By 2010 this figure had risen to 2,172.

Action for Children has found that parents find the current law confusing and are left unsure of their exact responsibilities with regards to their children.

The charity is therefore calling on the Government to commit to a review of the law on neglect during this Parliament. As part of the review, the charity would like to see:


  • A new law that includes a definition of neglect which fully reflects the reality of neglect and the harm it causes a child.
  • A law that gives clarity and guidance to parents and the general public.
  • Appropriate sentencing guidance to allow for interventions such as rehabilitation and parenting support, while retaining the ability to send people to prison for the most malicious, intentional neglect.



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