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| 1 minute read

Failure to report sexual abuse to be made Illegal?

Last year, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), made a number of recommendations to the Government, urging institutions to take better action to protect children against sexual abuse. You can read more about this in our previous blog here.

A key recommendation made by IICSA, was for the Government to implement statutory requirement of mandatory reporting – i.e. that any person working in a regulated activity or position of trust in relation to children and all police officers should be required to report an allegation of abuse to the relevant authority. IICSA recommended that failure to report should lead to criminal sanctions such as fines or imprisonment.

In the coming days, the Government is expected to set out details of its plans to better protect children, including whether or not the failure to report suspected child sexual abuse will become unlawful. At this stage, it is unclear whether or not the scope of such a reporting duty would encompass just those carrying out regulated activities or all safeguarding professionals.

Whilst typically focus has been on those that work with children and adults at risk, all organisations must ensure they understand and comply with their safeguarding responsibilities. For example, we have been advising a number of grant-giving charities on their obligations.

As the Government starts to implement the recommendations from IICSA, organisations will need to stay up to date with any action taken by the government and ensure compliance with any new regulatory requirements.

Leaders should ensure that their safeguarding policies and procedures are up to date and regularly reviewed and that staff are properly trained to identify and deal with any concerns. Fostering an open and honest culture is paramount in ensuring that people are supported to voice concerns and that appropriate action is taken to address them when they arise.

If your organisation needs advice on their safeguarding duties, please contact Molly Quinney or a member of the regulatory team.

Keep an eye on our blogs for further updates.


regulation, regulatory, child protection, health and social care, education, charities, housing, local government