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April 2018
7 List of recommendations

This section sets out the recommendations included in this report. For more information on the rationale supporting these recommendations, see the relevant sections of the report.

Child migration programmes (Chapter 4, section 4.1)

These recommendations were made in March 2018 in the investigation report.[1]

Apologies to former child migrants

  1. The Chair and Panel have recommended that institutions involved in the child migration programmes who have not apologised for their role should give such apologies as soon as possible. Apologies should not only be made through public statements but specifically to those child migrants for whose migration they were responsible.

Establishing a financial redress scheme for former child migrants

  1. The Chair and Panel have recommended that the UK Government establishes a financial redress scheme for surviving former child migrants, providing for an equal award to every applicant. This is on the basis that they were all were exposed to the risk of sexual abuse.

Given the age of the surviving former child migrants, the UK Government was urged to establish the financial redress scheme without delay and expects that payments should start being made within 12 months (of the original report being published), and that no regard is given to any other payments of compensation that have been made in particular cases.

Better management of records that include information about former child migrants

  1. The Chair and Panel have recommended that all institutions which sent children abroad as part of the child migration programmes should ensure that they have robust systems in place for retaining and preserving any remaining records that may contain information about individual child migrants, and should provide easy access to them.

The criminal justice system (Chapter 5, section 5.2.3)

Ensuring that agencies are compliant with the Victims’ Code

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Attorney General commission a joint inspection of compliance with the Victims’ Code in relation to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

    The Victims’ Commissioner should be consulted on the inspection approach to ensure that it is fully informed by the experiences of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

Revising the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme to remove barriers faced by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Ministry of Justice revises Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) rules, so that awards are not automatically rejected in circumstances where an applicant’s criminal convictions are likely to be linked to their child sexual abuse. Each case should be considered on its merits.

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that CICA ensures that claims relating to child sexual abuse are only considered by caseworkers who have specific and detailed training in the nature and impact of child sexual abuse.

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Ministry of Justice revises CICA rules so that all applicants who previously applied for compensation in relation to child sexual abuse ‒ but were refused solely due to the ‘same-roof’ rule ‒ should be entitled to reapply for compensation and have their claim approved by CICA.

The civil justice system (Chapter 5, section 5.3)

Consider the feasibility of a register of public liability insurers to help claimants locate the information they need in order to bring a claim relating to child sexual abuse

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Association of British Insurers (ABI) considers whether a register of public liability insurers could be introduced to assist claimants in child sexual abuse cases in locating the insurers relevant to their claim, and how it would operate.

    The Chair and Panel recommend that the ABI sets out its consideration of the issue and the conclusions it has reached in a written update within 12 months of the publication of this report.

Ensuring that victims and survivors can provide the best evidence in civil court cases

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Ministry of Justice provides in primary legislation that victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in civil court cases, where they are claiming compensation in relation to the abuse they suffered, are afforded the same protections as vulnerable witnesses in criminal court cases.

    The Chair and Panel understand that cost is already a barrier to victims and survivors considering a civil claim. In considering how to fund the implementation of this recommendation, the Ministry of Justice must ensure that this barrier is not further increased.

    The Chair and Panel recommend that the Civil Procedure Rule Committee amends the Civil Procedure Rules to ensure that judges presiding over cases relating to child sexual abuse consider the use of protections for vulnerable witnesses.

The health sector (Chapter 5, section 5.4.2)

Developing a national policy on the training and use of chaperones

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Department of Health and Social Care develops a national policy for the training and use of chaperones in the treatment of children in healthcare services.

    The Chair and Panel recommend that the Care Quality Commission considers compliance with national chaperone policies (once implemented) in its assessments of services.

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Welsh Government develops a national policy for the training and use of chaperones in the treatment of children in healthcare services.

    The Chair and Panel recommend that Healthcare Inspectorate Wales considers compliance with national chaperone policies (once implemented) in its assessments of services.

Professional and political (Chapter 6, section 6.2)

Ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (also known as the ‘Lanzarote Convention’)

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the UK Government ratifies the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (the ‘Lanzarote Convention’) without further delay. They also recommend that ratification is followed, again without further delay, by action to implement the Lanzarote Convention.

    The Chair and Panel recommend that the Home Office, as the lead UK Government department, publishes the timetable for ratifying the Lanzarote Convention and taking any additional steps required to make the UK fully compliant by June 2018.

Culture change within the police service

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that any police officer (or staff equivalent) who wants to progress to the Chief Officer cadre must first be required to:

  • have operational policing experience in preventing and responding to child sexual abuse, and

  • achieve accreditation in the role of the police service in preventing and responding to child sexual abuse.

The Home Office should amend entry requirements using its powers under the Police Regulations 2003 to achieve this.

The Chair and Panel recommend that the College of Policing develops the training content and accreditation arrangements.

Structural (Chapter 6, section 6.3)

Ensuring that care staff working in children’s homes are professionally registered

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Department for Education introduces arrangements for the registration of staff working in care roles in children’s homes.

    Registration should be with an independent body charged with setting and maintaining standards of training, conduct and continuing professional development, and with the power to enforce these through fitness to practise procedures.

    The Chair and Panel recognise that registration may require a period of phasing in, and therefore recommend that priority be given to professional registration of children’s home managers.

Ensuring that professionals who pose a risk or harm to children are barred from working with children across all sectors

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Home Office ensures that the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 is amended so that, where a fitness to practise hearing has been conducted by the keeper of a relevant register and has resulted in removal of a practitioner from that register for reasons relating to harm or risk of harm to children:

  • the keeper of the register has a duty to refer that information to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), and

  • the DBS, on receiving the referral, has a duty to automatically bar the practitioner from working with children, allowing them the opportunity to make representations to the DBS if they consider the bar to be disproportionate or unfair.

Ensuring that complaints about the way the police have handled child sexual abuse cases are considered regardless of when the abuse took place

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the National Police Chiefs’ Council ensures that complaints relating to child sexual abuse are no longer ‘disapplied’ by police forces on the grounds that the incident involved took place more than 12 months before the complaint was submitted.

Financial (Chapter 6, section 6.4)

Establishing the current level of support available for victims and survivors and public expenditure on these services

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Education, the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office work together to establish current levels of public expenditure, and the effectiveness of that expenditure on services for child victims and adult survivors of child sexual abuse in England.

  1. The Chair and Panel recommend that the Welsh Government and the relevant UK government departments work together to establish current levels of public expenditure, and the effectiveness of that expenditure on services for child victims and adult survivors of child sexual abuse in Wales.

References

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