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Abuse survivors slam 'derisory' compensation recommendations

Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International. Picture by Pacemaker
Paul Ainsworth

COMPENSATION plans for victims of institutional child sex abuse have been called "derisory" by survivors, who say the amount offered in each case should be higher.

The government will today publish draft legislation for a compensation scheme, almost two years after the publication of the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI).

Compensation recommended by inquiry head Sir Anthony Hart will still be a matter for primary legislation, which can only be passed by Westminster in the absence of an executive at Stormont.

However, a recommended compensation payment of £7,500 has been criticised, with calls for a "fair deal" to be offered to survivors that would see compensation amounts reflect the length of time victims spent in the homes run by churches, charities, and state institutions where abuse take place.

Jon McCourt, chairperson of the Survivors North West group said: "Abuse survivors have already told government that the flat £7,500 common experience payment is, frankly, derisory.

"Victims think that payments should start at £10,000 and be graduated according to the number of years spent in a residential institution."

Fellow survivor and chairperson of victims' group Rosetta Trust, Gerry McCann, said: "Almost two years ago, victims and survivors told government that Sir Anthony Hart's recommendations fell short of what is required for a just compensation scheme.

"It is very disappointing that the Executive Office has now simply cut and pasted those proposals into draft legislation."

Patrick Corrigan, NI director of Amnesty International, said: "Victims...are being asked to accept a redress scheme that simply does not meet the standards of natural justice. They have a right to better and we are determined that they will get justice."

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