The Home Office appears to be acting on little it discusses with ‘survivor’ groups about core issues. MandateNow wholeheartedly supports an inquiry, but finds it increasingly difficult to support this one. We are keen to see it work. Important matters drawn to the attention of the Home Secretary have demonstrably not been addressed in the statement issued by the Panel. If the Home Office chooses to delegate these contentious issues to the new Chair, on an ‘arms length’ basis, then significant further damage could occur to the process. The Department seems keen to teflon itself from further criticism over its management of the inquiry by simply not managing it any further. Doing nothing and ‘ploughing on regardless’ could deliver significant disengagement within the very people who are meant to be at the centre of it. The views of survivors appear to have influenced nothing about the way the inquiry is conducted.
With very good reason survivors tend to be distrustful of authority. The Home Office approach is likely to prompt many to believe a cover-up is being fabricated. Disengagement can then so easily follow.
You can read the .pdf statement here and also below:
The experiences of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse will be placed at the heart of the Independent Panel Inquiry.
This commitment has been made by the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is determined to give a voice to the concerns and priorities of survivors during the course of its extensive work.
The Panel is considering the most effective methods of enabling victims, survivors and groups that represent them, to engage with the Inquiry.
Two listening events with victims, survivors and representative groups have been held in London to hear their views. A further two meetings are being held in Manchester and Bristol before Christmas with more planned for early next year.
The Panel is also considering how personal support can be offered to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse when they interact with the Inquiry.
The Panel has been getting on with its important work while the process of appointing a new Chair is underway.
The first three meetings have featured wide-ranging discussions about how the panel will proceed with its primary task of considering the extent to which State and non-State institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation since 1970.
Deciding the methodology to be adopted for the Inquiry – how the panel will carry out its work – and researching from diverse sources, including the inquiries and reviews that have taken place into child sexual abuse since 1970, are key activities for the panel and central to the way
The Panel wants to learn lessons from recent and current inquiries. Members have met with representatives from the Hillsborough inquiry and approaches have been made to other inquiries including the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It is agreed that as it carries out its work, the Inquiry will benefit from the contributions by expert advisers in different fields.
Today, the Panel members welcomed its first expert adviser Professor Alexis Jay, who was author of the recent Inquiry report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
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