Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Public Petitions Committee 1

The Scottish Human Rights Commission called on Scottish government ministers to provide "renewed impetus for securing remedies and justice for survivors of historic abuse."

Duncan Wilson from the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) was giving evidence to the Public Petitions Committee as it considered a petition calling for a forum and compensation scheme to be established for all victims of institutional child abuse on 29 November 2011.

The petition was submitted by abuse victims Chris Daly and Helen Holland and is called "Time for all to be heard" .

Mr Wilson opened his remarks by saying:"Today after more than a decade of campaigning, this parliament can witness once more the dignity and determination of survivors of historic child abuse."

The SHRC spokesperson said as a nation "we had taken steps" in addressing the issue but "more remains to be done."

"The Scottish Human Rights Commission encourages everyone involved, particularly Scottish government ministers, to commit to provide renewed impetus for securing remedies and justice for survivors of historic abuse."

Mr Wilson said "urgency" was required, before "more survivors die without seeing justice".

The Scottish Human Rights Framework outlines a comprehensive approach to ensuring effective access to justice, remedies and reparation for childhood abuse.

Amongst its recommendations are :

• ensuring full and effective participation of survivors and others whose rights are affected in all decisions on next steps;

• ensure accountability for human rights violations including thorough investigations capable of determining not only what happened but why and how it can be avoided in the future, as well as prosecutions where appropriate;

• identify and addresses barriers faced by survivors in effectively accessing justice;

• develop as effective as possible a reparations package which includes opportunities for restitution, adequate compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition;

• considers the development of legislation to facilitate apologies by institutions.

Mr Wilson said the recommendations should be looked at together with those from the pilot forum Time to be Heard .

In February 2011 Tom Shaw, the chair of the pilot forum, published his report on the findings, which included the recommendation for the establishment of a national confidential forum (NCF).

In the second part of the committee MSPs continued to examine the issue by questioning Public Health Minister Michael Matheson and Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham, which can be viewed below:

Public Petitions Committee 2

Public Petitions Committee membership


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