Skip to main content

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

The sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions media pack

This investigation assessed the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation while in custodial institutions.

Children are particularly vulnerable when placed in a closed institution where access to the outside world is necessarily restricted and those in authority are distrusted by the children themselves. These children are among the most vulnerable in society, the majority having had unhappy and disrupted childhoods. Many have become involved in regular offending, some of it of a violent or sexual nature. However, 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 from sexual abuse.

This investigation focused on recent and current issues relating to the sexual abuse of children in custody. Specifically, the Inquiry considered the nature and extent of, and institutional responses to, recent sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions, and the adequacy of current institutional and systemic protections of children in those institutions from sexual abuse. For the purposes of this investigation, ‘recent’ was considered to mean sexual abuse which allegedly occurred on or after 1 January 2009.

Investigation report

Public hearings

Back to top