Thirtyone:eight has been announced as a core participant for the new investigation by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) into child protection in religious organisations and settings.
The announcement was made at a preliminary hearing on Tuesday 23rd July 2019. Core participant status can be given to an individual, organisation or institution that has a specific interest in the work of the Inquiry.
A core participant is given access to all relevant documentation and can help guide the inquiry through consultation, legal submission and by suggesting questions for the Inquiry counsel or panel.
The new investigation, announced in May, will review the current child protection policies and procedures in religious institutions that have a significant presence in England and Wales.
This will include non-conformist Christian denominations, Jehovah’s Witnesses and those within the Islamic, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist faiths. This comes as the Inquiry finishes its public hearings into the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
Thirtyone:eight will be represented throughout the investigation by Justin Humphreys, CEO. Mr Humphreys said: “We feel immensely privileged to have been given this opportunity to work alongside the Inquiry in this way. There are few organisations that have worked so closely with faith-based organisations for as long as we have to support best practice in safeguarding.
“This has helped us to gain unrivalled knowledge, understanding and expertise that is now clearly important to the Inquiry as they explore the extent to which children have been and are protected in this wider range of organisations and settings. Today’s decision is recognition of this and we accept the responsibility this carries with humility and a desire to see further strengthening of safeguarding across the faith sector.”
Although a wide range of organisations can expect to receive requests for information and witness statements from the Inquiry in the coming weeks and months, the public hearings for this investigation will not take place until March 2020.
In the months before and throughout the hearings in March, Thirtyone:eight will continue to provide updates on the work of the Inquiry relating to this investigation.