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Australia sexual abuse: PM accepts landmark inquiry proposals

  • 13 June 2018

A message from a survivor reads: "Please be kind to children. Don't tell lies. Always tell the truth if the children are hurt like me."Image copyright ROYAL COMMISSION INTO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
Image caption Messages from survivors were published by the inquiry last year

The Australian government has accepted nearly all of the recommendations from a landmark inquiry into child sexual abuse.

The five-year inquiry found tens of thousands of children had suffered abuse in Australian institutions.

PM Malcolm Turnbull said that his government would act on 104 of 122 official recommendations. The remaining 18 had not been ruled out, he added.

He said he would deliver a national apology on 22 October.

“The survivors have told their stories and we must honour them,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“Ensure that out of their suffering, out of that abuse, comes lasting reform so what they suffered – the wrongs that were inflicted on them – can never happen again.”

The royal commission inquiry, which concluded in December, heard more than 8,000 testimonies about abuse in churches, schools and sports clubs.

Its final report made more than 400 recommendations across government and other institutional sectors, including calling on the Catholic Church to change its rules on celibacy and confession.

Of the 122 proposals directed at the federal government, Mr Turnbull said 18 needed further discussion – including with state governments – before being accepted.

A key recommendation to establish a National Office for Child Safety was among the proposals that were adopted.

Compensation process

A national redress scheme, the subject of more than 80 recommendations, will begin on 1 July.

It has the support of all states and territory governments, as well as numerous organisations.

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Media captionAbuse survivor Andrew Collins recounts his story

Mr Turnbull said more than 90% of survivors would be eligible to claim payments of up to A$ 150,000 (£85,000; $ 110,000) each.

The Catholic Church, which drew the highest number of abuse complaints, has said it will join the scheme. It has ruled out making changes to confession.

BBC News – Asia

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