Calls to make failure to report suspected or evidential child abuse a criminal offence

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There have been calls by survivor charities for more protection and support available for children suffering abuse. They say that failure by schools, care homes, hospitals and local authorities to report suspected or evidential child abuse should be a criminal offence.

The government will announce a 12 week consultation on the mandatory reporting of child abuse. Supporters of mandatory reporting are calling for stricter law enforcement in this area. Peter Wanless, head of the NSPCC has said: “Reporting child abuse is the first step to protecting children and helping them recover”.

Eight countries today adopt mandatory reporting of child abuse. Those countries who have signed up include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Sweden, the USA, and the Republic of Ireland. In the UK alone the number of children on the child protection register has increased from 50,552 in 2011 to 57,345 in 2015. With these figures on the rise in the UK we may soon see the UK becoming the 9th country to adopt mandatory reporting.

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