Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Releases Final Report
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (‘the Commission’) released itsafter a five-year long inquiry. The Commission produced numerous reports, including the final report, through reference to personal accounts, public hearings, and research and policy work.
The Commission was established in 2013 in order to investigate how organisations have managed and responded to child abuse within institutions. The Commission released an Interim Report in July 2014, which has been covered by TimeBase in an earlier article. Following the interim report, the Commission released a 'Working with Children Checks Report' in August 2015 and a 'Redress and Civil Litigation Report' in September 2015, of which an overview has been previously provided by TimeBase. Finally, the Commission released a Criminal Justice Report in August 2017, which TimeBase has previously reported on.
Recommendations in Final Report
Some of the key recommendations in the final Report are as follows:
- The conducting and publication of a nationally representative prevalence study on child maltreatment in institutional and non-institutional contexts;
- The establishment of a mechanism to oversee the implementation of a national strategy to prevent child sexual abuse;
- The incorporation of prevention and awareness education through school, pre-school, community instruction, social marketing campaigns and other appropriate methods;
- The establishment of a National Office for Child Safety;
- Implementing stricter mandatory reporting provisions for persons in religious ministry in order to require them to report knowledge or suspicions formed on the basis of information disclosed within religious confession.
The report had further specific recommendations for state and territory governments to implement. Some of these key recommendations are as follows:
- Requiring institutions which provide child related services to comply with Child Safe Standards as set out in the Report;
- The establishment of an independent oversight body responsible for monitoring and enforcing the Child Safe Standards;
- The designation of child safety officer positions within local governments with support from the national, state and territory levels.
The Australian Government has introduced a Commonwealth Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child abuse, following the publication of the report 'Redress and Civil Litigation.' The scheme is comprised of a package of two Bills, the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017 (Cth) and the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2017 (Cth). For further information on the redress scheme, read TimeBase’s earlier article.
Responses to Report
In a, the Australian Government stated:
In an online statement,:
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of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
[Media release] Office of the Prime Minister of Australia, '.'
Riley Stuart, ',' 17 December 2017 (ABC Online).