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Child Protection Ministerial Statement, 11/11/14 [S]

Ministerial Statement in the Scottish Parliament on 11 November 2014 from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell, on child protection.

He said:

"There is no doubt that every member in the Parliament is absolutely committed to ensuring the wellbeing and happiness of every child in Scotland. That is not so much a policy objective as a moral imperative that unites the vast majority of humankind.

That moral imperative includes the demand on us to do everything that we can, in whatever position we find ourselves, to protect those who are at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure that the individuals who are responsible for such appalling actions face the full rigour of the law. There can therefore be no question but that this Government, like its predecessor, is completely and fully committed to doing everything that it can to ensure that all parts of Scottish life, and in particular all parts of the public sector in Scotland, are working together in an agile and responsive way to protect every child and young person from abuse, whatever form it takes.

Two weeks ago, I delivered the Scottish Government’s response to the action plan developed by the Scottish Human Rights Commission’s interaction process. On that afternoon, I met survivors of child abuse—sexual, physical and emotional—to listen to their demands of Government and society. I was very affected by their stories, their courage, their commitment and sometimes by their anger, but most of all I was affected by one who said to me that what he wanted more than anything else was to go from being “a survivor” to being able to “live and thrive”. That is what he and many others really want and that is what we have to help make happen, person by person, issue by issue, place by place. We will do so only if we approach the topic with a ruthless determination to see the truth told and the record written in order that there can be full accountability, surrounded by the best support and a holistic approach to healing.

I can say that the Scottish Government has accepted the main recommendations of the unique interaction process. I pay strong tribute to Alan Miller and his colleagues in the Scottish Human Rights Commission and to the work of the centre for excellence for looked-after children in Scotland, as well as to the agencies and the survivors who have taken part in a difficult and unique process that has resulted in a clear way forward."

For full details see the Scottish Parliament Official Report 11 November 2014 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Official Report 11 November 2014