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This research concerns historical institutional child abuse (HICA). Historical child abuse scandals have rocked State and Church institutions globally and often resulted in state-initiated public inquiries investigating allegations of harm and wrongdoing leading to redress. But little is known about survivor experiences, their views on inquiries and to what extent justice needs have been met. This research addresses that gap in knowledge. Prof Lundy undertook an in-depth study of Northern Ireland’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI) which commenced its public hearing in January 2014. The underpinning research stretches back to a clearly identifiable trajectory of collaborative ‘bottom-up’ participatory action research (PAR). Historically, victims/survivors of child abuse have been disempowered, marginalised, and silenced. The research and PAR approach ‘gave voice’ and empowered survivors to achieve significantly improved redress outcomes; and their experiences and assessment of the HIA Inquiry provide lessons for other societies seeking to address the legacies of harm.

  • Research Context 

    Lundy’s in-depth study of Northern Ireland’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI) directly led to changes to redress legislation. The study informed Northern Ireland (NI) parties occasioning cross-party agreement on “significant” compensation improvements benefitting 5,000+ UK/IRE survivors and former child migrants (FCM) transported to Australia The study led to the co-creation of lobbying tools that empowered survivors; gave voice and informed campaigns, generating public awareness, and stimulated policy change. The public consultation on redress was informed, as were an oversight and policy-making bodies: House of Commons, NI Affairs Committee, Lambeth Council, Committee for the Executive Office, and Head of NI Civil Service. Internationally, the research informed the United Nations; New Zealand Commission Forum and NZ Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care; and FCM in Australia.

  • Sources To Corroborate 
    • Informed Political Parties and Policy-makers leading directly to significant amendments to redress legislation - evidenced in two letters signed by all five NI political parties to Head of NI Civil Service and the then NI Secretary of State giving cross-party consent to ‘significant changes’ to redress legislation; and reflected in the Queen’s Speech, plus, letter from Head NI Civil Service to survivor groups (see also Executive Office documents below).
    • Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Act 2019. The Act and the following document show the subsequent changes made to redress legislation. The amendments map directly onto the changes itemised in the cross-party agreement letter. Historical Institutional Abuse Presented to Parliament pursuant section 3(14) of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019. This document describes findings of the public consultation on redress which informed the Head of the NI Civil Service subsequent Position Paper to NI Political Parties – this is stated in page 5 (para 1-3). Lundy’s research directly informed survivor submissions to the public consultation.
    • Oversight and policy-making bodies were informed. This source contains Executive Office documents (direct link to Lundy’s research and engagement with policymakers): Historical Debate in House of Commons; Prof Lundy was called to give expert witness oral evidence to Westminster Northern Ireland Affairs Committee; Prof Lundy was called twice to give oral evidence to The Committee on the Executive See evidence, Hansard Sept 2016 and Jan 2017.
    • The Special Rapporteur for Children, United Nations. 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, Side Event –‘Tackling illegal adoptions & addressing rights of victims’.
    • Head of Risk and Insurance, Lambeth Council, London/UK, Testimonial.
    • Commissioner, New Zealand Royal Commission of Inquiry, Testimonial & Forum Report.
    • Head of Nations and Regions / NI Programme Director Amnesty International, Testimonial.
    • Director, Tuart Place, Former Child Migrant (FCM) Advocacy Group, Australia, Testimonial.
    • Chairperson, Rosetta Trust, Survivor Advocacy Group, NI, Testimonial.
    • Media coverage: * Irish News May 2016, ‘Victims of historical abuse seek redress for ordeal at Stormont’. * RT Question March 2016, ‘Child Abuse survivors demand redress from N. Ireland Executive’. * Derry Now November 2019, ‘Historical Abuse redress legislation passed at Westminster’