Australia child abuse inquiry: Final recommendations released

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Australia child abuse inquiry: Final recommendations released

A five-year inquiry into child sexual abuse in Australia has released its final report, making more than 400 recommendations.

The royal commission uncovered harrowing evidence of sexual abuse within institutions, including churches, schools and sports clubs.

Since 2013, it has referred more than 2,500 allegations to authorities.

The final report, released on Friday, added 189 recommendations to 220 that had already been made public.

"Tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused in many Australian institutions. We will never know the true number," the report's summary said.

"It is not a case of a few 'rotten apples'. Society's major institutions have seriously failed."

The recommendations include:

  • A nationally implemented strategy to prevent child sex abuse
  • A system of preventative training for children in schools and early childhood centres
  • A national office for child safety, overseen by a government minister
  • Making it mandatory for more occupations, such as religious ministers, early childhood workers and registered psychologists, to report abuse.

The royal commission, Australia's highest form of public inquiry, had been contacted by more than 15,000 people, including relatives and friends of abuse victims.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the commission had exposed "a national tragedy".

"It is an outstanding exercise in love, and I thank the commissioners and those who have the courage to tell their stories – thank you very much," he said on Friday.

The proposals will now be considered by legislators.

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