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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child Migration Programmes Investigation Report

The location and nature of the sexual abuse described by the witnesses

13. Several of the Part 1 witnesses recounted that they had been abused prior to being migrated, while still in institutions in England.[1] Two told us that they believed they may have been sent to Australia because they had reported their sexual abuse in this country.[2]

14. CM-A5 described being sexually abused while at sea on the journey to Australia.[3]

15. Most of the Part 1 witnesses described sexual abuse at the institutions to which they were sent in Australia, Canada and Southern Rhodesia.

16. The witnesses gave accounts of having suffered a range of different types of sexual abuse. Witnesses gave accounts of being inappropriately touched and made to touch the alleged perpetrator, as well as of being raped. Several spoke of being abused repeatedly by one or more people. Some witnesses referred to abuse being perpetrated by male staff members. Others also referred to abuse by female members of staff – specifically by nuns or cottage mothers. Some talked about abuse at the hands of other children, teachers or visitors to the institutions, or during holiday placements or work placements once they had left the institutions. Often the abuse continued for many years. CM-A4 described being taken out of his dormitory at night by Christian Brothers,[4] and we heard similar accounts from others. CM-A13 gave evidence that witnessing sexual assaults against others could “feel as bad as being the victim”.[5]



  1. See, for example O’Donoghue 3 March 2017 93-96; 107; and CM-A5 3 March 2017 29-34.
  2. CM-A6 1 March 2017 67 and CM-A20 2 March 2017 50-1.
  3. CM-A5 3 March 2017 13-16; CMT000440_002.
  4. CM-A4 1 March 2017 9-10.
  5. CM-A13 7 March 2017 53-54.
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