Everyone has the right to live and be treated with dignity. Sexual, physical, emotional abuse and neglect are a breach of these rights and anyone who has suffered such abuse has the right to access justice, remedies and reparation.
In 2010 the Scottish Government contracted the Scottish Human Rights Commission to independently develop a Framework for Justice and Remedies for Historic Abuse of Children In Care. Following its publication Scottish Ministers agreed to engage in a process of interaction to develop an Action Plan to implement the recommendations of the framework.
The resulting Action Plan on Justice for Victims of Historic Abuse of Children in Care identified a number of recommendations for the Scottish Government and others to take forward. These recommendations centred around key themes:
A formal process of monitoring and reviewing progress against the full range of recommendations will be through the implementation of Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP). A range of mechanisms have been put in place to make the delivery of SNAP accountable and transparent. This includes a number of Action Groups.
The Justice and Safety Acton Group will be the group that will monitor progress toward the implementation of the InterAction plan for Historic Abuse in Care. An internal Scottish Government policy group will coordinate activity and ensure that progress is being achieved across all recommendation in the plan, reporting regularly to SNAP.
- Acknowledgment & Apology Key actions will be considering the merits of an Apology Law in Scotland, considering how the National Confidential Forum will contribute to establishing a national record and being guided by Survivors to consider an appropriate form of commemoration.
- Reparation The Scottish Government has made a commitment to establish a dedicated In Care Survivor Support Fund Service. £13.5m has be allocated over five years (2015-20) to enable Survivors to access services across a wide range of health and wellbeing domains which will enable them to lead full, healthy and independent lives.
- Inquiry In December 2015 the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning made an announcement to the Scottish Parliament of the Scottish Government’s intention to hold a national public inquiry into historical abuse of children in care. Under the chairmanship of Susan O’Brien QC the inquiry will aim to begin its work in October 2015.
- Access to Justice Following consultation with Survivors and others the Scottish Government launched a consultation in June 2015 to establish how it will remove TimeBar for civil litigation in cases involving childhood abuse