The government has set out plans to assess whether parents love their children enough.
Parents who are seen to be depriving their kids of the required amount of love, will have their children taken away.
Changes to the child neglect laws will make “emotional cruelty” a crime for the first time, alongside physical or sexual abuse.
Under a new “Cinderella Law,” denying children love and affection will now be considered a crime similar to physical and sexual abuse.
However, the laws over what constitutes ‘emotional cruelty’ are vague and far-reaching.
Under plans set out by order of the state, ‘emotional cruelty’ could consist of not showing them enough affection, and being seen to ignore a child.
The changes in the law will enable police and social workers to build up a case against parents before any allegations of physical abuse or neglect is proven.
Previously, social workers had to prove a case of ‘emotional neglect’ before pursuing a case against parents.
These laws are expected to be announced as part of the Queen’s Speech in June.
Speaking about the law, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “The government believes protecting children from harm is fundamental and that child cruelty is an abhorrent crime which should be punished.”
“Every child should be able to grow up in a safe environment – we are considering ways the law can support this.”
Parents who do not love a child to the degree mandated by a new standard established by the British state, could be sent to prison for up to ten years, according to the reports.
This new law is part of a series of proposals designed to intervene in family life, this year. In January, Ofsted chief, Sir Michael Wilshaw proposed that the government should employ “an army of good citizens” to knock on their neighbours doors and make sure their kids are going to school on time.
Under the proposals, people will be paid to knock on their neighbours door in the morning, wake them up and “supervise” families to ensure that the children are fed appropriately and escorted to school.
Mr Wilshaw also suggested that teachers and social workers have a responsibility to tell some people they are “bad parents”.
In a report published by the Telegraph, he said: “As a headteacher I used to tell parents that they were behaving badly and that they were bad parents.
“It didn’t often go down extremely well but nevertheless that was my responsibility and it is the responsibility of social workers.”
He added: “How do you financially incentivise those people to get up in the morning, knock on the neighbour’s door and say ‘your children are not up yet, they have not had their breakfast yet, why aren’t you taking them to school’?”
Mr Wilshaw instead that “tough messages” should be sent to “problem families” which should be followed up by threats of action if they do not do as they are told.
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