Justice and Safety
Financial redress for survivors of abuse in care
Over a period of decades, children in the care of the state in Scotland were subject to appalling abuse and mistreatment.
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is looking at the nature and extent of that abuse and the failures which allowed it to happen. In due course, it will publish a report and recommendations.
But we must act now.
Yesterday I offered an unreserved and heartfelt apology to everyone who suffered abuse in care in Scotland.
I accept the view that recognising these wrongs and providing justice to survivors – as far as we can – means the state should offer monetary payment.
So we will introduce legislation to do so before the end of this Parliamentary term. We will treat survivors with sensitivity and respect, and work with them to design a redress scheme that is fair to all.
For the many survivors of abuse who are elderly or ill, we don’t have the luxury of time. So we will also provide advance payments, as soon as possible, to those who may not live long enough to apply to a statutory scheme.
Scotland now joins a small but growing number of countries who acknowledge the failures of the past and accept the need to act.
This is a victory for many survivors who have fought with inspiring courage and determination for justice.
We cannot ever truly make up for their suffering and I know apologies and money will never be enough. This is the right thing to do.