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Formal meeting (oral evidence session): Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Education Committee
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Start times: 9.30am (private) 10.00am (public)


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The Education Committee will question senior figures who led the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse before it is due to disband. 

Encompassing 15 separate investigations which heard accounts from 7,300 victims, the Inquiry’s final report was published in October 2022 with findings about the extent to which state and non-state institutions failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse. 

Meeting details

At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Work Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (Non-inquiry session)
Chair at Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
Panel member at Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
Secretary at Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The report made a number of recommendations for reforms, such as: 

  • Improvements to the collection and publication of data regarding reports of child sexual abuse;
  • Legislative changes that would make it easier to protect children who are in the care of a local authority and believed to be at risk;
  • For new legislations, potentially via the Online Safety Bill, to require improved age restrictions controls on social media platforms;
  • To create two new Child Protection Authorities in England and in Wales, in order to address poor or inconsistent quality of child protection services in the two countries.

The cross-party Committee of MPs will question the witnesses on how receptive the Government has been to their recommendations, and will ask them to explain the reasoning behind them.

The witnesses will also be asked to explain details of some of their findings, such as the inadequacies of safeguarding in schools and children’s residential care homes.

Established in 2015, the Inquiry was tasked with considering the extent to which state and non-state institutions “failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation”, and to consider what action should be taken to identify and address other outstanding failings.

The Inquiry investigated institutions and areas including: the Roman Catholic Church; Anglican Church; allegations of child sexual abuse linked to Westminster; protection of children overseas; residential schools; child sexual exploitation by organised networks; the internet; and effective leadership of child protection.

It was also tasked with carrying out research and analysis into child sexual abuse and ensure recommendations are informed by the latest learning, and with giving victims and survivors the opportunity to share their experiences and put forward suggestions for change.

The inquiry is due to disband in the coming months. 

Please note that there are very distressing themes under discussion in today’s evidence session. If you have beens affected by what you heard, please consider contacting one of the following organisations:

Childline – A free, confidential service for children and young people under 19 for help "with any issue they're going through". 

NSPCC –The NSPCC helpline is staffed by trained professionals who can provide expert advice and support if you have concerns about a child.

Samaritans  Support and guidance for everyone.  Call: 116 123 - 24 hours a day, every day or Email jo@samaritans.org

Location

Room 15, Palace of Westminster

How to attend