In early February 2018 the Setting the Record Straight Initiative developed a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee reviewing the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017.
In our submission we highlighted that:
- The scheme design needs to be informed by the records experiences of past redress schemes and ensure that increased demands for access to records are adequately resourced.
- Survivors to not be put at a systemic disadvantage with regards to the the quality of coverage and responsiveness of institutional recordkeeping and archiving systems.
- The design of the Scheme must ensure the fullest access to records be given to survivors in light of the recordkeeping principles outlined in the Royal Commissions Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s final report.
- The design of the Redress Scheme’s recordkeeping and archiving systems need to acknowledge the co‐creation rights in its records.
- There is therefore a need to develop a Recordkeeping Rights charter through consultation and co‐design with survivor advocacy organisations as part of the establishment of the Redress Scheme.
- We join with many others in reiterating the need for redress for members of the Stolen Generations, Former Child Migrants, Forgotten Australians and Care Leaver communities who have experienced any type of abuse and neglect while in institutional or other forms of out of home ‘care’ as children.
On that last point, Professor Kathleen Daly’s article in The Conversation provides a succinct summary of the distinctions between abuse in care and non care settings and the potential for systemic bias that the Redress Scheme will need to address.