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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child Migration Programmes Investigation Report

Conclusions

74. From the evidence before the Inquiry, sending institutions based in England and Wales should have conformed to the following practices:

a. Taking steps to ensure that the care provided for migrated children was comparable to that proposed in the Curtis Report;

b. Careful selection of children on the basis that migration would be beneficial for the child;

c. Obtaining of consent from a parent or guardian before the child was migrated;

d. Ensuring regular inspections of receiving institutions by HMG/sending institutions;

e. Ensuring regular reports on individual children addressing their welfare since migration;

f. Ensuring careful recruitment of an appropriate Principal or Head of the institutions;

g. Ensuring the following:

  • Recruitment of quality staff who were vetted and had some element of training or qualification in the care of children, as well as the provision of adequate terms to attract such staff;
  • Proper staff selection;
  • Caring for children in small homely settings if they were not going to be boarded out (fostering);
  • Carrying out checks in circumstances where children were to be placed with private families, either on a long-term basis or on weekend or holiday placements; and

h. Investigating any reported incident of sexual misconduct with children. This might have included the passing of information to the local child welfare professionals or police, the conduct of or participation in an investigation and ultimately the dismissal of the alleged perpetrator or other sanction as appropriate.

These practices would have gone some way to protecting child migrants from a range of risks, including of sexual abuse.

75. The Inquiry heard a certain amount of evidence about selection processes, including about consent to migrate. We accept that there is not necessarily a causal link between these issues and sexual abuse. A child selected for migration in accordance with any process, with the appropriate consent having been given, could still have been sexually abused. Nevertheless, the manner in which institutions operated their selection processes reflects their institutional culture. As we explain further below, many institutions did not operate robust selection and consent processes. Many failed to appreciate the risks to children and take action to minimise those risks. Some were wilfully blind to those risks.

76. Effective post-migration monitoring was an established operational necessity. This monitoring practice involved regular reports on both the receiving institutions and individual children, addressing their welfare since migration. Without adequate monitoring, the institutions in England and Wales could not be satisfied that the children were being properly cared for. Most of the institutions we have examined failed to carry out effective post-migration monitoring.

These children remained British, and yet many of the sending institutions neglected to monitor them once they left British soil, despite the clear indications that they should do so.

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