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Government response to Final Report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

23 May 2023

The Government has now provided its formal response to the Final Report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). Amanda Munro and Mark Whittaker review the key responses and the need for further detail as to what the recommendations will look like in practice, to provide clarity for survivors, institutions and insurers. 

The response addresses all of IICSA's recommendations, with the Government emphasising its commitment to, and investment in, child protection and highlighting:

  • The Government's recent consultation on a proposed strategy for children's social care – Stable Homes, Built on Love – looking at large-scale reform to safeguarding, and seeking to address a number of the recommendations made by IICSA.
  • The creation of a Child Protection Ministerial Group drawing together ministers from various departments of the Cabinet to ensure child protection is at the forefront of policy, and addressing how it is committed to tackling online harms by the implementation of the Online Safety Bill.
  • How it will be looking at better compliance with the Victims' Code with this to feature in the Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorates' 2023-2025 inspection, and with improved focus on victims and survivors' treatment during the justice process by the introduction of the Victims and Prisoners Bill. The Government states that he bill will further assist with delivering some of its aims around a therapeutic process for victims and survivors, although its response as to reform for services will not focus solely on survivors of abuse but rather at improving access to mental health services generally.
  • Signposting of other services and support on offer where investment had been made specifically for victims and survivors of sexual abuse.

Significant in the response, were commitments from the Government to:

  • Implement a national redress scheme for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation in England and Wales. However, it acknowledged the complexities that come with the design and implementation of an appropriate compensation scheme and that engagement with various stakeholders would be required to ensure the viability of such a scheme.
  • Introduce mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse for those who work with children in England but with a 'call for evidence', the results of which will assist the Government so it can better understand how such a significant reform would impact all stakeholders and decide how best to implement this action.

The Government has yet to consult on changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme but is committed to considering a consultation paper.

A consultation paper will also be published in respect of the Limitation Act 1980 and the potential for reform, notably in relation to the discretion afforded to the civil courts under section 33 of the Act.

The Government voiced concern at some aspects of IICSA's proposals which it considered potentially unworkable in some respects, for example, the proposed changes to the Children Act 1989, and the use of safe pain-inducing techniques in restraining children in young offender institutions, both of which it felt could have the potential to cause harm if IICSA's recommendations were followed to the letter.


It is to be welcomed that the Government acknowledges and is taking forward the majority of IICSA's recommendations, which should come as no surprise.

Victims and survivors have been waiting for a long time to see the fruition of IICSA's important work and the Government's positive response to some of the key recommendations will be welcomed by many. However, there is still a need for further detail to provide clarity for survivors, institutions and insurers alike as what the recommendations will look like in practice.

The full response from the Government can be found here.

Should you require more information or any assistance with IICSA's proposals, please contact Mark Whittaker, Paul Donnelly, or Amanda Munro.  

The team has extensive experience dealing with recent and non-recent child sexual abuse and exploitation, group actions, compensation schemes, redress, and claims brought pursuant to the Human Rights Act 1998.

Further Reading