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Child protection: Government promises new 'Cinderella' law

The Government has announced a new law to protect children from emotional abuse to help protect vulnerable children, which will form part of a Serious Crime Bill, reports the BBC.

The announcement formed part of last week's Queens' Speech at the State Opening of Parliament for the 2014/15 parliamentary session, the last session before the general election next May.

The Government has announced it will implement a new law dubbed the 'Cinderella law', designed to protect vulnerable children from serious emotional abuse.

Children's charities have been campaigning for a long time for the Government to tighten the law on emotional abuse, which at present often goes unpunished.

The Government is considering making it a criminal offence to emotionally abuse a child, which would mean that for the first time people who emotionally neglect children in their care could face a prison sentence.

Campaign groups admit that whilst social workers already often have a definition of emotional neglect that they use in their approach to families, because it is not written in law police struggle to gather evidence to build a case.

Sir Tony Hawkhead is the chief executive of Action for Children.

"Today marks a monumental and overdue step forward for children and our efforts to protect them from severe emotional abuse," he told the BBC.

"Children who are made to feel worthless, powerless and unloved by their families will now have the law on their side," he added.

The next step in the creation of the new law will be for charities to join with a cross-party parliamentary group to understand how best to implement the legal change.