On Friday 11 January 2013, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, appointed a six-member Royal Commission to investigate Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Royal Commission will inquire into how institutions with a responsibility for children have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse. It will investigate where systems have failed to protect children, and make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions.
The Commissioners can look at any private, public or non-government organisation that is, or was in the past, involved with children, including government agencies, schools, sporting clubs, orphanages, foster care, and religious organisations.
The Commissioners have been appointed for three years and will begin their inquiry as soon as possible. The Commission will prepare an interim report by no later than 30 June 2014. In the interim report, the Commissioners will also identify when their final report will be completed. The final reporting date has been set initially at the end of 2015, but this will be subject to advice from Commissioners in their interim report.
The Royal Commission is releasing Issues Papers on a range of topics that are relevant to its work. Where appropriate, the Australian Human Rights Commission makes submissions to the Issues Papers. To date, the following submissions have been made:
- Issues Paper 1 The Working with Children Check
- Issues Paper 2 Towards Healing
- Issues Paper 3 Child Safe Institutions
- Issues Paper 4 Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children in Out-of-Home Care
The Royal Commission website is at http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/