From The Guardian newspaper today in UK not sure how any change will affect JWs
Teachers and doctors will face criminal sanctions if they fail to report concerns that children are being abused, under controversial proposals to be discussed in a government consultation.
The clamour for changes to the UK’s child protection law has been growing since the Jimmy Savile scandal, which exposed how the DJ abused hundreds of young victims at institutions across the country. It emerged that, despite the fact that many people had concerns about Savile’s behaviour, very few raised them with the authorities.
In response, the government will shortly announce a 12-week consultation on the mandatory reporting of abuse – in what is being described by supporters as the biggest and most important debate around child protection measures for decades.
The consultation is the result of lobbying from Mandate Now, the largest coalition of survivor charities in the UK, which has been pushing for a law requiring staff who work in regulated activities to report concerns about the welfare of children and vulnerable adults to their local authority.
The coalition’s founder, Tom Perry, who was the first complainant in the Caldicott School child abuse scandal, said that mandatory reporting of suspected or known child abuse was a “vital component” of a functioning child protection system and has the potential to positively impact the lives of millions.
Perry explained that currently there is no obligation on anyone working in a regulated activity to report the fact that they had witnessed abuse. This is in stark contrast to many countries, where this is obligatory. Mandate Now claims that more than four-fifths of five developed nations have some form of mandatory reporting. However, the government has been dithering over when to introduce the consultation because of concerns about feasibility.