Recommendations made on financial redress for survivors of historic abuse

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has published its submission to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a financial redress scheme for survivors of historic child abuse.

Read the full submission.

The Commission broadly welcomes current proposals for the scheme. We also recommend that government adopts a much more explicit human rights based approach to the scheme’s purpose, principles and processes.

Some of the Commission’s specific recommendations include:

  • The scheme should recognise historic abuse as a human rights violation.
  • Eligibility criteria for the scheme should be developed in a way that ensures no discrimination against specific groups of people, such as people with learning disabilities.
  • Survivors should be supported to participate meaningfully in decision making and oversight of the scheme.
  • Financial redress is one part of a package of reparations and therefore survivors should continue to have the option to pursue a civil case, even if they successfully apply to the redress fund.
  • Organisations responsible for historic abuse should contribute to the redress fund; the human rights framework can help to assess where the balance lies between the right to peaceful enjoyment of property and survivors’ right to redress.

In its submission, the Commission also recognises the value of establishing an accessible public body to administer the fund and provide wider support to survivors, but has emphasised the need to ensure data protection concerns are properly addressed.

Read more about the Commission’s previous work on historic abuse.