To consider the extent to which State and non-State institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation; to consider the extent to which those failings have since been addressed; to identify further action needed to address any failings identified; and to publish a report with recommendations.
In doing so to:
- consider all the information which is available from the various published and unpublished reviews, court cases, investigations etc. (hereinafter “the reports”) which have so far concluded;
- consider whether such institutions failed to identify such abuse and/or whether there was otherwise an inappropriate institutional response to allegations of child abuse and/or whether there were ineffective child protection procedures in place;
- advise on any further action needed to address any institutional gaps or failings within our current child protection systems on the basis of the findings and lessons learnt from these reports;
disclose, where appropriate and in line with security and data protection protocols, any documents which were considered as part of the inquiry; and
- publish a report with recommendations.
- State and non-State institutions. Such institutions will, for example, include:
- Government departments, Parliament and Ministers;
- Police, prosecuting authorities, schools including private and state-funded boarding and day schools, Local Authorities including care homes and children’s services, health services, prisons/secure estates;
- Churches and other religious denominations and organisations;
- Political Parties;
- The Armed Services.
- The Inquiry Panel will cover England and Wales. Should the Inquiry Panel identify any material relating to the devolved administrations, it will be passed to the relevant authorities;
- The Inquiry Panel will consider these matters from 1970 to the present. However, the Inquiry Panel may be presented with evidence that will lead it to conclude that this timeframe should be extended further;
- The Inquiry will not address allegations relating to events in the Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies. However, any such allegations received by the Panel will be referred to the relevant law enforcement bodies in those jurisdictions;
- For the purposes of this Inquiry “child” means anyone under the age of 18. However, the panel will consider abuse of individuals over the age of 18, if that abuse started when the individual was a minor.
- The Inquiry Panel will have full access to all the material it seeks, unless there is a statutory impediment to it doing so;
- Any allegation of child abuse received by the Inquiry Panel will be referred to the Police;
- All personal and sensitive information will be appropriately protected; and will be made available only to those who need to see it;
- It is not part of the Inquiry’s function to determine civil or criminal liability of named individuals or organisations. This should not, however, inhibit the Inquiry from reaching findings of fact relevant to its terms of reference.