OFMDFM Announce Abuse Consultation

AN Interdepartmental Taskforce on Historical Institutional Abuse has announced the opening of consultation with victims and survivors Over the next number of weeks, the recently established Interdepartmental Taskforce will be engaging directly with survivors of historical institutional abuse. In line with its terms of reference, the Taskforce is seeking to hear survivors’ views on how an inquiry should be taken forward.

Speaking after the first meeting in Armagh today, the First Minister Peter Robinson emphasised, “In December we announced the establishment of an Interdepartmental Taskforce to bring back to the Executive recommendations on the nature of an inquiry into historical institutional abuse. At that time we emphasised how important it is that we get this process right and that we take into account the views of survivors themselves. “Survivors have recounted to us their experiences and it is only right that they play a role in shaping how we respond to the issues that continue to impact so heavily on their lives.” Commenting on the events, the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said, “The Executive wants to see an approach that best meets the needs of survivors here. In achieving this, not only do we have to learn from the experiences of other jurisdictions but we must also listen to the views of survivors and ensure their voices are heard throughout the process. “These events are an important part of this process and I would encourage survivors to come along, meet with the Taskforce and contribute to shaping an inquiry that can help bring a degree of closure to the legacy of hurt and suffering that so many people continue to endure.” The next meetings are scheduled for Thursday 10th March in Belfast and on Tuesday 22nd March in Derry/Londonderry. Both consultation events commence at 2 p.m. The closing date for written submissions on the nature of an inquiry into historical institutional abuse is Monday 23rd May 2011.

The Interdepartmental Taskforce on Historical Institutional Abuse was established following an Executive announcement on 16th December 2010.