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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Children Outside the United Kingdom Phase 2 Investigation Report

Part E: Further work in this investigation

1. Since the conclusion of the Inquiry’s hearings on this second phase, we have considered whether there should be a further phase in the Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom investigation. Its purpose would be to consider whether organisations based in England and Wales (for example, the armed forces, government departments, public authorities, private or charitable institutions) have taken:

  • sufficient care to ensure that their employees do not pose a risk to children living abroad and
  • appropriate steps in response to allegations that their employees were involved in the sexual abuse of children abroad.[1]

2. In this second phase, the Inquiry considered evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development, the British Council, Ministry of Defence Schools, the Council of British International Schools and others on the wider ‘sufficiency of care’ issue.[2] As a result, we now have a fuller picture of the ways in which the risk posed by employees travelling abroad can be addressed. These measures go beyond the civil orders and disclosure and barring regimes, which are only two ways in which the risk posed by employees travelling abroad can be addressed.

3. In terms of how organisations respond to allegations of abuse, we heard evidence about how the British Council has responded to allegations that those who worked for them were involved in the sexual abuse of children abroad.[3] We have had the benefit of reading the Charity Commission’s June 2019 report into Oxfam.[4] We also heard about the two-year project conducted by the International Task Force on Child Protection, which resulted in a detailed international protocol for schools giving guidance on how to respond to allegations of abuse by educators and other adults.[5]

4. In light of this wider evidence, a further phase of the Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom investigation focussed on either of these broad issues is not necessary.

5. However, the Inquiry is carrying out some targeted investigative work involving the armed forces, which is intended to be incorporated into the Inquiry’s final report.

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