Child Maltreatment Bill (HC Bill 23)




Make provision about the physical and emotional welfare of children; and for
connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Child maltreatment

(1) Section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

(1) If a person who has attained the age of 16 years with responsibility for
5a child intentionally or recklessly subjects that child or allows that child
to be subjected to maltreatment, whether by act or omission, such that
the child suffers, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, that person shall
be guilty of an offence, and shall be liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or alternatively, or in
10addition thereto, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding
ten years;

(b) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £3,500 or
alternatively, or in addition thereto, to imprisonment for any
term not exceeding six months.

(3) 15For subsection (2) substitute—

(2) For the purposes of this section—

  • “harm” means the impairment of—


    physical or mental health, or


    physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural

  • “recklessly” shall mean that a person with responsibility for a
    child foresaw a risk that an act or omission regarding that child
    would be likely to result in significant harm, but nonetheless
    unreasonably took that risk;

  • 25“maltreatment” includes—

    Child Maltreatment BillPage 2


    neglect (including abandonment),


    physical abuse,


    sexual abuse,


    exploitation, and


    5emotional abuse.

(4) After subsection (3) insert—

(3A) Where the question of whether harm suffered by a child is significant
turns on the child’s health or development, that child’s health or
development shall be compared with that which could reasonably be
10expected of a similar child.

2 Short title, commencement and extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the Child Maltreatment Act 2013.

(2) This Act extends to England and Wales only.

(3) This Act comes into force two months after Royal Assent.