You may recently seen the tragic story of a young boy aged 4 from Coventry called ‘Daniel Pelka’ in the press.
This four year old child was starved and mistreated in full view of his primary school teachers and teaching assistants, who observed his desperate attempts to forage for food, his severe weight-loss and the numerous bruises on his body, before he was killed by his mother and step-father.
Daniel was let down by all of the relevant agencies. Staff at his school did little to help him and social services say they were"deceived by a devious mother" - the evidence was there for anyone who cared to look, in the shape of this starving and beaten child.
Daniel Pelka's ordeal is all too reminiscent of the circumstances surrounding Baby Peter, in which many people in responsible positions - in this case teachers, teaching assistants, an education officer, social workers and police as well as other adults who came into regular contact with Daniel - could have intervened and prevented the tragedy, but failed to take the necessary action to save his life.
Wouldn't it help if we had a law like France where it is a crime to stand by and not take sufficient action to help someone who is clearly in distress?
Along with many others, it is incomprehensible that Daniel's teachers and teaching assistants did not do more to help him. The MP for Coventry North West, Geoffrey Robinson, has publicly expressed his anger at Daniel’s school and at social services, calling for the resignation of key individuals. “Bureaucracy triumphed over common sense, care, and compassion”, Geoffrey Robinson told Sky News “people seeing a kid beaten, starved to death in our own country...you cnn’t just say there is nothing we can do about it."
Paula Barrow is seeking a change in the law with regard to 'duty of care' as demonstrated - or not demonstrated - by the adults surrounding Daniel Pelka through the months leading up to his death. One way in which we can better protect children is to make those around them legally responsible – if an individual is able to help, then the law should require them to do so, as it does in other countries.
A full investigation into how our education and social services systems failed Daniel is now underway; its findings will be considered by David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Chris Grayling (amongst others). Now is the time to petition to change the law so that adults in the UK have a legal obligation as well as a moral responsibility to look out for, protect and safeguard the well-being of children in their care or sphere, so that we are able to better protect vulnerable children in the future.
As Nick Clegg said "Clearly people must have seen something was wrong with this boy, I think his death should be on all of our consciences."
Therefore please support this campaign and go to the attached link and sign this petition in memory of Daniel Pelka. It costs you absolutely nothing to do this just one minute of your time which Daniel’s parents did not give him during his short and traumatized life.
Please let something good come out of the pain and suffering this poor 4 year old had to endure at the hands of his mother and stepfather.
Link is www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/
Or you can contact @paulabarrow on Twitter.