Survivors want action on redress holdouts | The Star | #childabuse | #children | #kids

The federal government must follow through with its threat to impose financial sanctions on the institutions that refuse to join the national child abuse redress scheme, an advocate and Labor say.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will stop further public funding for those organisations that fail to sign up by the June 30 deadline and has warned their charitable status and tax concessions are also at risk.

The non-participating institutions will be named and shamed on Wednesday, when Social Services Minister Anne Ruston will also announce what action the federal government will take against them.

Child sexual abuse survivors want the “redress laggers” to lose their charity tax status, says the Care Leavers Australasia Network, which advocates for people who grew up in orphanages and children’s homes.

“People want sanctions,” CLAN executive officer Leonie Sheedy told AAP.

“People are elderly and people are dying. They deserve justice before they die.”

Federal Labor said the government had been threatening to publicly name the institutions for some time now.

“Yet the government has failed to take action on this, while survivors continue to miss out,” Linda Burney, Mark Dreyfus and Andrew Leigh said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

“Labor has consistently called for these institutions to be publicly named and future federal funding agreements for institutions be made contingent on signing up to the scheme.

“The government should also sanction organisations that do not sign up, including reviewing their charitable status and funding.”

The Victorian government has also threatened to cut off state funding for organisations that don’t join the scheme.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses has refused to sign up, saying it does not have the institutional settings of other faith-based institutions that the redress scheme is designed to cover.

Major institutions like the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting churches, Salvation Army and Scouts Australia are participants.

All Catholic religious institutes named in child abuse royal commission data have joined or committed to join, peak body Catholic Religious Australia said.

The largest religious institutes are all declared participants and numerous others not named in the royal commission have also joined or committed to doing so, CRA said.

“Catholic religious institutes believe in the NRS; we want the NRS to work effectively, we want it to be successful for survivors,” CRA president Br Peter Carroll said.

The national redress scheme website has Swimming Australia and Tennis NSW listed among institutions named in the royal commission that have not signed up, but both have committed to join.

Religious, community, charity, education and sporting organisations have had two years to join the scheme.

Australian Associated Press


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