Wednesday 4 April 2018 8.30 - 10.30R-1 - EDU01 : Exploring the Impact of Constitutional Context and Jurisdictional Difference on the Development of Mechanisms for Addressing Historical Child Abuse: the Challenge of doing Comparative Research
PFC/03/006A Sir Peter Froggatt Centre
State redress for abuse and neglect in children’s homes has been carried out in many western countries during the last decades (Daly 2014; Sköld & Swain 2015). The issue has been debated in all of the Scandinavian countries since the early 2000s, but the arenas and outcomes of these discussions ... (Show more)
State redress for abuse and neglect in children’s homes has been carried out in many western countries during the last decades (Daly 2014; Sköld & Swain 2015). The issue has been debated in all of the Scandinavian countries since the early 2000s, but the arenas and outcomes of these discussions have differed.
The use of expert knowledge in formulating social policy has a long tradition in the Nordic countries (Lundqvist & Petersen 2010). In Norway and Sweden, the new task of producing knowledge in order to motivate and prepare state redress was carried out through the well-established form of governmental commissions of inquiry. Unlike redress schemes that are the result of class action suits and similar settlements, reparations were given ex gratia, and should be seen as a result of political mobilization by care leaver groups. In Norway redress schemes were set up both at national and regional level (Simonsen & Pettersen 2015; Ericsson 2015), while a temporary law enabled Swedish care leavers to apply for a compensation of 250 000 SEK during 2013 and 2014 (Arvidsson 2016).
In Denmark, the claims for recognition of childhood experiences of abuse in were instead handled by directing special research funding to a social historical research project about institutional care (Vaczy Kragh, Grønbaek Jensen, Knage Rasmussen & Petersen 2015). Both before and after this project, proposals about an official apology and symbolic reparations have repeatedly been forwarded and turned down, in the parliament as well as in the court system. Hence, production of historical knowledge, and gathering of testimonies from care leavers, has taken place in all the three countries – but in different institutional forms and with different outcomes. The aim of this paper is to develop a framework for comparing the policy process in the three countries, with a special focus on the role of officially sanctioned production of historical knowledge. (Show less)
Katie Wright , Shurlee Swain & Johanna Sköld : Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiries – Challenges for Comparison and Classification
Inquiries into historical institutional child abuse have proliferated across Western countries, since the 1990s, at a rate exceeding that of the truth commissions to which they have often been compared (Hayner 2011). This rapid increase has seen the emergence of the study of such inquiries as a distinctive field within ... (Show more)
Inquiries into historical institutional child abuse have proliferated across Western countries, since the 1990s, at a rate exceeding that of the truth commissions to which they have often been compared (Hayner 2011). This rapid increase has seen the emergence of the study of such inquiries as a distinctive field within the broader study of historical justice mechanisms. However, despite this growing body of research, there exists no corpus of historical child abuse inquiries and only a limited delineation of the ways in which these types of inquiries should be classified. In a new digital research project, The Age of the Inquiry, we have begun the task of mapping the rise of inquiries into historical institutional child abuse – over time and across national contexts – to better understand the form and remit of different inquiries, and to illuminate global trends and national differences. But the task of accessing and compiling information on inquiries across jurisdictions, and the comparative work of classifying different types of inquiries, and considering commonalities and differences in their form, function, scope, remit, findings and outcomes, presents a major challenge. In this paper we aim to explore jurisdictional differences, and the variation in inquiry traditions that (to some extent) affect how inquiries are set up, work and influence policy and justice, and in the end also affect outcomes for survivors. We also consider the question of whether some inquiry traditions are more effective than others in their focus on the stories of survivors and their retrospective claims for justice. (Show less)