Scotland

Ministers urged to compensate care abuse victims

A child on a swing Image copyright Getty Images

Survivors of abuse in care should receive financial compensation, an expert group has recommended.

It is one of 14 proposals from the Scottish government commissioned panel, which has consulted abuse victims.

The review group also called for an early payment scheme for elderly victims.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the "serious piece of work" would be considered.

The Scottish government promised in 2016 to consult on financial redress for victims of abuse while in care.

The SHRC (Scottish Human Rights Commission) InterAction Action Plan Review Group has been examining the issue and has now reported back.

The review group, which includes representation from survivors, survivor group organisations, the Scottish government and others, said the state had a duty to ensure effective remedies for violations of human rights, including abuse in care.

The report's main recommendation was for a financial compensation scheme to be provided - something that was backed by almost all the survivors the authors consulted.

'Hurt and damage'

It called for legislation by the end of this parliamentary session in 2021.

However, it recommended there should be an early payment scheme in place to benefit older survivors of abuse in residential care settings.

Mr Swinney said: "We will now give the recommendations early, detailed and sensitive consideration, and report back to parliament in due course.

"We recognise the hurt and damage caused to those who were abused in childhood by the very institutions who should have cared for them, and will continue to work closely with survivors and their representatives."

Alan Draper, parliamentary officer for In Care Survivors Scotland (Incas) welcomed the report's recommendations, but added the proposed timescale of introducing legislation by 2021 was worrying.

He said: "This is something we have been pressing for since 2004, so while the recommendations are pleasing, there's still a concern that it might still be some time off.

"But it's good that an early payment scheme is being considered for elderly and ill survivors.

"I would urge the government to bring that in within six months as a gesture of good faith."

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