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Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom

An inquiry into the extent to which institutions and organisations based in England and Wales have taken seriously their responsibilities to protect children outside the United Kingdom from sexual abuse.

1. The Inquiry will investigate the extent to which institutions and organisations based in England and Wales have taken seriously their responsibilities to protect children outside of the United Kingdom from sexual abuse. The investigation will incorporate case­specific investigations, a review of information available from published and unpublished reports and reviews, court cases, and investigations.

2. In investigating the extent to which institutions have taken seriously their duty to protect children abroad, the Inquiry will consider, in particular:

2.1. whether government departments, public authorities, private and/or charitable institutions based in England and Wales have taken sufficient care to protect those children they may have sent or placed abroad;

2.2. whether the armed forces, government departments, public authorities, private and/or charitable institutions based in England and Wales have taken sufficient care to ensure that their employees do not pose a risk to children living abroad and/or whether they have taken appropriate steps in response to allegations that their employees were involved in the sexual abuse of children abroad;

2.3. whether the responses of government departments based in England and Wales to reports of institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse in overseas territories and crown dependencies have been appropriate;

2.4. whether law enforcement agencies, the criminal justice system, and any other public authorities have been effective in preventing foreign travel by, or notifying foreign authorities of, individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children.

3. The inquiry will consider the appropriateness of the statutory and regulatory framework relevant to child sexual abuse abroad, including in relation to:

3.1. the operation of the statutory vetting and barring regime by organisations recruiting individuals to work abroad;

3.2. monitoring of child sexual abusers by the criminal justice and law enforcement agencies in England and Wales;

3.3. civil orders, including foreign travel orders and risk of serious harm orders provided by the Sexual Offences Act 2003; and sexual offences prevention orders provided by the Anti­Social Crime and Policing Act 2014.

4. In light of the investigations set out above, the Inquiry will publish a report setting out its findings, lessons learned, and recommendations to improve the protection of children outside of the United Kingdom for whom institutions in England and Wales may have some responsibilities.

Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom - Definition of Scope

 

Case Study into Child Sexual Abuse related to Child Migration Programmes

1. The overall investigation into the protection of children outside the United Kingdom will be conducted by means of a number of narrower case studies. The first of these will be a case study into institutional failings of organisations based in England and Wales relating to the sexual abuse of children involved in child migration programmes (“child migrants” or “former child migrants”). Child migrants were moved from care or from their families in England and Wales and placed in institutions or with families abroad by government departments, public authorities and private and/or charitable organisations in England and Wales.

2. The House of Commons Select Committee on Health has estimated that 150,000 British children were sent abroad pursuant to child migration programmes, mostly to Canada, Australia and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Some former child migrants have alleged that they were subjected to sexual abuse either prior to their migration, in homes and other institutions in England and Wales, and/or at the institutions to which they were sent. As well as taking account of individual allegations, this investigation will incorporate a review of information available from published and unpublished reports and reviews, court cases and previous relevant investigations.

3. The Inquiry will consider the following matters:

3.1. whether government departments, public authorities, private and/or charitable institutions based in England and Wales took sufficient care to protect children involved in child migration programmes;

3.2. the extent to which government departments, public authorities, private and/or charitable institutions based in England and Wales were aware or should have been aware of allegations or evidence of sexual abuse concerning children involved in child migration programmes, and whether appropriate steps were taken in response;

3.3. the adequacy of support and reparations offered to individuals who suffered sexual abuse relating to their inclusion in child migration programmes.

4. The Inquiry will publish a report setting out its findings, lessons learnt, and recommendations. 

Child Migration Programmes case study - Definition of Scope

Child Migration Programmes case study - Background Statement

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