Institutional and clerical abuse in Northern Ireland

For decades, many hundreds of children and young people suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse in children's homes and other institutions to which their care had been entrusted.

We are campaigning for inquiries into allegations of clerical child abuse and abuse suffered by residents of 'Magdalene Laundries' in Northern Ireland.

We campaigned successfully alongside victims for the Northern Ireland Executive to set up an inquiry into institutional child abuse. The inquiry, now up and running with Justice Anthony Hart in the chair, is an important step towards delivering justice for victims and survivors.

But not all victims of abuse are covered by the inquiry. Clerical child abuse, outside the setting of a residential institution, will not be covered by the inquiry. Nor will abuse suffered by former residents of Magdalene Laundry-type institutions, if they were aged 18 or over.

So, now we are supporting calls by victims of clerical child abuse and former residents of Magdalene Laundry-type institutions for the Northern Ireland authorities to ensure that independent and thorough investigations are carried out into their allegations of abuse, and the response of State, Church or other agencies to the abuse.

Campaign news

Briefings

  • Read our briefings on the case for investigations into clerical child abuse. Download the briefing (PDF)
  • Read our briefing on the abuse suffered by former residents of Magdalene Laundry-type institutions. Download the briefing (PDF)
  • You can also read our original briefing on institutional child abuse that called for the inquiry to be established. Download the briefing (PDF)

Inquiry submissions

  • Read our submission to the Committee of the First and deputy First Minister, which is currently scrutinising the Bill. Download the submission (PDF)
  • Read our full submission to the Interdepartmental Taskforce on Historical Institutional Abuse established by the Northern Ireland Executive. Download the submission (PDF)

Time for justice conference

In October 2010, we held a conference in Belfast which brought together victims and survivors, campaigners, commissioners and counsellors from the inquiry and redress processes in the Republic of Ireland and Scotland to share their experiences so that lessons may be learned in Northern Ireland. Download the conference report below.

Downloads
Briefing on clerical and child abuse - May 2013
Briefing on clerical and child abuse - May 2013
Briefing on Magdalene Laundry-type institutions
Briefing on Magdalene Laundry-type institutions
Submission on Historical Institutional Abuse Bill - July 2012
Submission on Historical Institutional Abuse Bill - July 2012
Submission to Historical Abuse Taskforce of Northern Ireland - May 2011
Submission to Historical Abuse Taskforce of Northern Ireland - May 2011
Institutional Child Abuse Briefing
Institutional Child Abuse Briefing
Time for Justice Conference report - October 2010
Time for Justice Conference report - October 2010