Skip to main content

IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.

Areas of work

The Inquiry examined how and why organisations failed to protect children from child sexual abuse and recommended changes that will better protect children in future.

The Inquiry was made up of three main areas of work:

Information, findings and evidence will helped to inform the Chair and Panel's overall conclusions and recommendations which were set out in their final report.

Public hearings

The Inquiry launched 15 investigations into a broad range of institutions. Through 325 days of public and preliminary hearings, these investigations enabled it to build a better understanding of how institutions have failed to protect children from sexual abuse and make recommendations to help better protect children in the future.

To help ensure the Inquiry was able to thoroughly examine the extent of child sexual abuse across its broad remit, case studies were selected from a range of institutions that illustrated a pattern of institutional failings. 

Investigations also provided a voice to those failed by institutions, hearing evidence from victims and survivors, as well as external agencies, public authorities and representatives of the institutions under investigation. It heard from 725 witnesses in total.

Whilst the Inquiry does not have the power to convict abusers of criminal offences or to award compensation to victims and survivors, it has used its fact-finding powers to make findings against named individuals or institutions where the evidence justifies it. 

They Inquiry's programme of public hearings is now complete. Investigation reports are published at the conclusion of each case study, and the information gathered informed the Chair and Panel’s recommendations in the Inquiry’s Final Report.

Research and analysis

The Inquiry's research and analysis team worked alongside the Truth Project and across all the Inquiry’s 15 investigations, supporting the Inquiry to ask the right questions of the institutions it is investigating.

The research and analysis programme helped to bring together what is already known about child sexual abuse in one place, and aimed to fill gaps in existing knowledge.

The Inquiry's dedicated research function also generated new insight into child sexual abuse, having undertaken primary research into a number of different areas. These include analysing the experiences shared through the Inquiry’s Truth Project, helping to build a clearer understanding of the extent of child sexual sexual abuse and institutional failures which enabled it to occur. 

The research also helped to inform the recommendations made in the Inquiry’s Final Report

The Truth Project

The Truth Project provided victims and survivors of child sexual abuse with a safe and supportive opportunity to share their experiences with the Inquiry and put forward suggestions for change. 6,000 have shared their account in person over the telephone, via video call or in writing. 

All accounts shared made an important contribution to the work of the Inquiry and helped to inform the Chair and Panel’s recommendations in the Inquiry’s Final Report, and were also used in a separate research report containing experiences of abuse in institutional contexts.

Back to top