On 15 December 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) delivered its final report. It has 17 volumes and makes 409 recommendations. The recommendations are based on improving laws, policies and practices to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse in institutions. The final report made 189 new recommendations. It also included recommendations from three other reports that were tabled in Parliament:
- the Working with Children Checks Report (tabled 17 August 2015)
- the Criminal Justice Report (tabled 14 August 2017)
- the Redress and Civil Litigation Report (tabled 14 September 2015).
Since 2015, the Australian government has been working on its response to recommendations.
The final report includes 84 recommendations that deal with redress. To respond to these recommendations, the Australian government has created the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse (the National Redress Scheme).
The National Redress Scheme is a way of acknowledging and recognising the harm that occurred and providing help to those victims and survivors. That help can be a redress payment, access to counselling and psychological services, and a direct personal response if wanted.
This Annual Progress Report (Annual Report) outlines the Australian government’s progress with:
- the 84 recommendations focussed on redress
- the now more than 122 other recommendations that require some involvement by the Australian government.
The Australian Government has not rejected any of the Royal Commission’s recommendations. Since we published our response to the final report on 13 June 2018, we have been looking closely at the recommendations that were listed as ‘for further consideration’ or ‘noted’. We are doing this work in consultation with states and territories. Work has progressed on these and further details on a number of these recommendations can be found throughout the report. For example, information about the recently announced national centre for the prevention of child sexual abuse can be found under Theme 2 of this report.
This first report shows the progress that the Australian government has made so far. Of course, this is just the beginning. Ongoing action is needed and this report highlights some of the projects that will continue in 2019 and beyond.