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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Final report

I.6: A single redress scheme for England and Wales

78. A redress scheme is a non-adversarial process by which financial redress (and potentially other forms of redress) may be provided to applicants. Unlike litigation settlement schemes, which may be used to compensate groups of claimants who have initiated civil claims against defendants (such as the scheme used to settle the civil claims brought by the victims of Jimmy Savile), redress schemes sit outside of the civil justice system.

79. There are two principal types of redress scheme:

  • Private schemes: these are developed and funded on a one-off basis by non-government institutions as a means for providing redress to a specific category of victims. Recent examples of this are the ‘Manchester City FC Survivors’ Scheme’ and a scheme under development by the Church of England.[1]
  • State-sponsored or funded schemes: these provide financial redress and (in some cases) other forms of redress to victims who have experienced child sexual abuse (and other forms of abuse) in State institutions. Such schemes have been set up in a number of other jurisdictions, including Ireland, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Australia and Scotland. Generally, these are established nationally and known as national redress schemes, although State-funded schemes can be more limited – for example, the Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme. Another example of a State-funded scheme is the scheme for surviving former child migrants established by the government, following the Inquiry’s recommendation.[2] This opened to applicants in March 2019. Within a few months, 1,452 payments had been made or were pending.[3]

80. Many victims and survivors from whom the Inquiry heard were dissatisfied with the processes of civil litigation and criminal compensation. A significant number of respondents to a Victims and Survivors Forum online questionnaire stated that they had had negative experiences of seeking redress, with many having done this through those processes.[4] In addition, the majority of respondents to an Inquiry questionnaire were in favour of there being a redress scheme, with a number having made civil claims and applications to the CICA.[5] Although based on a small sample, the response was consistent with other evidence the Inquiry heard. One claimant solicitor stated:

Every single client that I have worked for over the years has complained about how they were treated through the civil justice system or the Criminal Injuries Compensation System. No-one has come out of the experience feeling that they have been treated well through the civil justice system. It’s been an uphill struggle all the way through for every single one of them. So a positive alternative to civil justice I think would be welcomed by all claimants, in my opinion.[6]

81. One single redress scheme has a number of benefits over existing systems of civil justice and criminal compensation in England and Wales, which often do not provide the accountability and reparation sought by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. The existing systems can be difficult to access and some of the rules may deter or prevent victims and survivors from pursuing their claims. Where claims are brought, the process – particularly in the civil justice system – can be protracted and re-traumatising. One solicitor who represents claimants in civil claims stated of redress schemes:

they have been a better experience. Victims have emerged from the process less bruised, wholer. Their trust in society restored – not totally restored, but you’ve got to start somewhere.[7]

82. Such a redress scheme can also provide a mechanism for recognition and reparation to victims and survivors who are unable or unwilling to seek compensation through other routes, or who are unable to benefit from the changes recommended to existing systems.

83. In order to acknowledge the State’s responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse and the consequent harm experienced over many decades, the Inquiry recommends that a national redress scheme be established in England and Wales. This is also consistent with the approach in the neighbouring jurisdictions of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Recommendation 19: Redress scheme

The Inquiry recommends that the UK government establishes a single redress scheme in England and Wales, taking into account devolved responsibilities.

The detailed rules of, and funding for, this redress scheme should reflect the following core elements.


  • Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation that occurred in England and in Wales should be eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must have experienced child sexual abuse and exploitation where there is a clear connection to State or non-State institutions in England and Wales.
  • The scheme should be open to any victim of child sexual abuse that took place prior to its establishment.
  • The scheme should deduct any previous award from any payment under the scheme (or in the case of payments made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, it may order that they be repaid).
  • Applicants who have previously brought civil claims which have been rejected by the court should be excluded from applying to the scheme, save where their cases have been rejected due to limitation.

Redress provided

  • The scheme should provide payments to eligible applicants through a two-tier system, based on a fixed flat-rate recognition payment, with the option to apply for a second-tier payment.


  • The application process must be accessible and straightforward, and be sensitive to the needs and vulnerabilities of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. The process should provide for streamlined checks and verification of applications, but not be adversarial.
  • There should be special provisions to accelerate awards for older or terminally ill applicants.


  • The scheme should run for five years.


  • The scheme should be funded by central and local government, in accordance with devolved funding principles, with voluntary contributions sought from non-State institutions.


84. The current systems of financial redress should continue to exist alongside this scheme. It will provide much-needed public acknowledgement and practical reparation to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

85. The scheme should be established and funded by the State in recognition that the responsibility for all aspects of children’s welfare and well-being is a duty of the State as a whole. Individual institutions where child sexual abuse has occurred should also contribute towards the reparation provided by the scheme, in acknowledgement of their shared responsibility.

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