Action for Children: Cinderella Law and emotional abuse
31 March 2014 Last updated at 13:50 BST
Parents who deny their children affection could face prosecution under proposals for England and Wales being considered by the government.
Matthew Downie, from the charity Action for Children which is calling for the so-called Cinderella Law said existing laws on child neglect date back to 1933.
He said the campaign was about cruelty, and about those who intentionally abuse their children, and not prosecuting struggling parents.
He said: "The UK is one of the only countries in the western world that does not include all forms of child abuse in its child protection legislation."