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Inquiry clarifies its position on core participants and provides an update on the 13 confirmed investigations

15 February 2018

A core participant is an individual or an institution that played, or may have played, a direct or significant role in an investigation.  

It is not necessary to be a core participant in order to provide evidence to the Inquiry.

Someone may be given core participant status because they have campaigned on related issues in a particular investigation.  They may also be granted core participant status because they are closely linked to that investigation.  Being granted core participant status does not mean that they will be called as a witness to give oral evidence in that investigation, and it also does not mean that the Inquiry will necessarily make findings on any allegations they make.  

In granting an individual or institution core participant status, the Chair of the Inquiry is simply recognising that a particular individual or institution has a significant interest in the matters to be investigated. We do not recognise the phrases "special witness status" or "special victim status". The only status recognised in the Inquiry rules is that of core participant.

Summary of the Inquiry’s investigations

Protection of Children Outside the UK

(including the Child Migration Programme case study)

This investigation will look at institutions based in England and Wales which recruit people to work abroad, including the Armed Forces, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Council and private companies and charitable organisations.

  • The Child Migration Programme case study report will be published in early 2018.

  • Preliminary hearings for other aspects of this investigation will be scheduled in the coming months ahead of public hearings on 11 February 2019.

Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale

Inquiry into allegations of the sexual abuse and exploitation of children residing at or attending Cambridge House Boys’ Hostel, Knowl View School, and other institutions where their placement was arranged or provided by Rochdale Borough Council.

Former Liberal Party MP, Cyril Smith, was named as one of the alleged abusers.

  • This investigation is now closed.

  • A report into this investigation will be published in the Spring of 2018.

  • All the evidence and transcripts from the public hearings can be found on our website

Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks

The systematic grooming and sexual abuse of children by groups of offenders in cities and towns of England and Wales is widespread. Building upon the body of work on child sexual exploitation following specific instances in places such as Devon and Cornwall, Oxford, Rochdale, Rotherham and Telford, this investigation will assess the extent to which a wide range of relevant authorities have learned lessons, implemented recommendations, and put in place effective strategies to prevent child sexual exploitation in future

  • The Inquiry is not yet accepting applications for core participant (CP) status in this investigation.

  • A news announcement will be made on our website and via our Twitter account

Accountability and Reparations

An inquiry into the extent to which existing support services and available legal processes effectively deliver reparations to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

This investigation is supported by Rapid Evidence Assessments and Inquiry Seminars by our Research and Analysis department.

  • Preliminary hearings will be held in the coming months, ahead of three weeks of public hearings, commencing on 26 November 2018.

Children in Custodial Institutions

An inquiry into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation while in custodial institutions.

Children in detention are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, but very little is known about their experiences or the extent to which institutions in England and Wales have discharged their duty of care to protect them.

  • The first preliminary hearing took place on 1 February 2018, further preliminary hearings will be announced ahead of two weeks of public hearings which will commence on 9 July 2018.

  • Key issues for this investigation include: prevalence and culture issues, response issues, safeguarding systems and recommendations.

The Internet

An inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and exploitation facilitated by the internet.

  • A week of public hearings in relation to the response of law enforcement agencies to child sexual abuse facilitated by the internet took place from 22 January 2018.  

  • There will be further invitations for core participant applications arising from other aspects of the investigation.

Investigation into the institutional responses to allegations of Child Sexual Abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC

Among the institutions that may be considered in the course of this investigation are the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, Leicestershire County Council, the Labour Party, Parliament, government departments and the security and intelligence services. The investigation will consider whether any attempts were made to exert improper influence in order to hinder or prevent an institution from effectively investigating or otherwise responding to the allegations

  • Preliminary hearings in this investigation were held in March and July 2016.  

  • A notice of Determination in this investigation was published in October 2017.

  • Further preliminary hearings in this investigation will be held in due course.

Children in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils

Children living in care in residential homes and foster families are amongst the most vulnerable children in society. Allegations of widespread sexual abuse and exploitation of children who were in the care of Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Council require detailed public scrutiny.

  • A second preliminary hearing in relation to this investigation took place on Wednesday 31 January 2018; further preliminary hearings may be held later this year.

  • Public hearings are starting on 1 October 2018.

  • There are 90 core participants including 83  individuals who allege that they were sexually abused whilst in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils.

Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church

An inquiry into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse within the Anglican Church.

  • A preliminary hearing was held on 30 January 2018.

  • The first public hearing in relation to the Chichester Diocese case study will start on 5 March 2018 and run for three weeks.

  • Further public hearings relating to Peter Ball will be heard starting on 23 July 2018 and into the wider Anglican Church in 2019.

Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools

In recent years the number of school staff convicted of child sexual abuse has surged and the Inquiry has received many accounts of sexual abuse that occurred in schools. Children in residential schools are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse as a result of their isolation from their families and carers and the involvement of staff in their intimate personal care.

  • This investigation is not yet accepting applications for core participant status but the Inquiry has obtained a significant amount of material from institutions and individuals, as well as from residential schools. Details of how to apply for core participant status will be set out here in due course and further details about the investigation will be set out in the Inquiry’s Interim Report.

Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Linked to Westminster

This investigation will consider evidence relating to allegations of child sexual abuse committed by persons of public prominence associated with Westminster and how these came to light; the findings of relevant investigations; whether there is evidence of conspiracy, cover-up, interference or tolerance in relation to child sexual abuse committed by persons of public prominence associated with Westminster; whether governmental, political and law enforcement institutions were aware of and took appropriate  steps; and whether there are adequate safeguarding and child protection policies in place within political parties, government departments and agencies.  

  • A preliminary hearing was held on 31 January 2018.

  • Further preliminary hearings will take place ahead of three weeks of public hearings on 4 March 2019.

  • Counsel to the Inquiry submitted that the scope of this investigation should include the following areas:

  1. Interference;

  2. Improper influence on prosecutors;

  3. Inappropriate reactions from party leaders to warnings;

  4. What did various Whips Offices do;

  5. How did the ‘honours system’ secretariat react to allegations;

  6. What was the Paedophile Information Exchange and did it have influence in Westminster.

  • Submissions from core participants on scope are due mid-March.

Children in the Care of Lambeth Council

An inquiry into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children in the care of Lambeth Council from sexual abuse and exploitation.

  • Preliminary hearings were held in this investigation in March and July 2016.  

  • The Lambeth investigation is huge and complex, involving a large number of potential witnesses and institutions.

  • There were numerous investigations, reviews and inquiries conducted by Lambeth Council to consider as part of this Investigation.

  • The volume of material to be analysed before we reach a public hearing is therefore enormous.  We will provide an update in the Inquiry’s Interim Report.  

Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church

The sexual abuse of children within the Roman Catholic Church has been a matter of national and international concern for many years. The Archbishop of Westminster’s calls for this Inquiry to be established reflected that concern.

  • Public hearings which focused on the English Benedictine Order case study were held in Nov/Dec 2018.

  • Further preliminary hearings will take place ahead of public hearings relating to the Archdiocese of Birmingham case study, which will take place from 12-16 November 2018.

  • Preliminary hearings will take place ahead of one week of public hearings relating to the Ealing Abbey case study which will commence on 4 February 2019.

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