19 August 2020

Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill published

The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament (13 August) and published (14 August).

The Bill aims to provide tangible recognition of the harm caused to those who were abused as children in relevant residential care settings in Scotland before 1 December 2004 and, in some circumstances, where the survivor has died, their next of kin. Under the proposed new law, survivors of historical abuse in care can apply for a fixed rate redress payment of £10,000 or an individually assessed redress payment which will involve a more detailed examination of their experience. The individually assessed redress payment levels are set at £20,000, £40,000 or £80,000.

The redress scheme will also offer survivors access to some non-financial elements of redress such as acknowledgement, apology and therapeutic support.

The Bill also proposes to set up a new independent body, Redress Scotland, to assess applications for financial redress.

The Bill builds on previous work with survivors of historical child abuse in care and follows the pre-legislative consultation launched last year. The Bill will now be considered by the Parliament, a process which is expected to finish before the end of this Parliamentary term in March 2021. Work is underway to ensure that, if the Parliament agree the Bill can pass, the scheme will open for applications as soon as possible after that.

Until then, the Advance Payment Scheme will remain open for survivors who are terminally ill or age 68 and over.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Survivors of historical abuse in care have campaigned with dedication and perseverance for access to justice, improved accountability, and redress. They deserve to be listened to, heard and believed. This Bill is a tribute to their courage, determination and perseverance to ensure others never have to experience what they did.”

The Bill also allows for organisations involved with residential care of children in the past to pay financial contributions to the scheme.

Claire Burns, Director (Acting) of CELCIS, said: "Today's ministerial statement on the proposed legislation to put in place Scotland's redress scheme is another momentous day for the survivors of historical abuse. For many, many years now it has been survivors' campaigning that has enabled Scotland to get to this point. At CELCIS it has been a privilege to work alongside survivors and organisations across Scotland to understand and make progress in addressing the needs of those who were harmed. Redress doesn’t compensate for the harm done, but it can provide recognition."

Read the Financial Redress information note

Read the Scottish Government release

Read the Bill