Daniel Pelka: Calls For Child Protection Law

Daniel Pelka: Calls For Child Protection Law

Almost 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for new legislation to help protect children from abuse in the wake of Daniel Pelka's murder.

The petition has been launched by Manchester mother-of-two Paula Barrow in an attempt to highlight the need for mandatory reporting of child abuse.

Ms Barrow says the lack of a legal requirement for people working with children in the UK to report suspected abuse represents a "critical hole" in current legislation.

Her petition calls on Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and Education Secretary Michael Gove to consider the need for legislative change.

Four-year-old Daniel was beaten, starved and poisoned by his mother and her partner, who hid the abuse by claiming he had an eating disorder.

Medical experts said Daniel's emaciation was "unprecedented" in Britain and likened him to a concentration camp victim.

He weighed around 10kg when he died.

Magdelena Luczak and her partner, Mariusz Krezolek, were jailed last month for a minimum of 30 years.

A serious case review is currently investigating how education authorities and social services failed to detect the abuse Daniel suffered.

The review's findings will be considered by Prime Minister David Cameron, Mr Clegg, Mr Grayling and Mr Gove.

Introducing her petition on the website change.org , Ms Barrow said it is "incomprehensible" that authorities did not do more to help Daniel.

"We need to ensure that adults in regulated activities come to the aid of vulnerable children, in this case to the aid of a child who could be seen to be literally struggling to survive," Ms Barrow said.

"If those around Daniel had been legally obliged to report his abuse, then perhaps the system would not have let him down him as it so tragically did.

"One way in which we can help better protect children is to make those around them legally responsible.

"Legislation is needed which requires staff working in regulated activities - schools and early years etc - to report concerns."

Mandatory reporting is already in place in countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland and the United States.