Northern Territory Government - Initial Response to the Recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

The NT Government welcomes the initial response by governments to the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Child sexual abuse will not be tolerated - no matter how long ago it happened.

The Royal Commission commenced in 2013 and involved over 8000 personal stories and 57 formal public hearings over 400 days around Australia, during which it heard evidence about sexual abuse within institutions from 1200 witnesses.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse handed down its final report in December 2017.

What is the NT Government doing?

The Northern Territory Government supports priority national reform efforts in the development of national child safe principles and standards for all organisations who work with children; information and record keeping; and annual reporting on progress towards government’s implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

On 20 April 2018, the Northern Territory Government through the Minister responsible for Family Support, Child Protection, Out-of-Home Care and Youth Justice, announced the historic investment of $229.6 million over five years to improve outcomes for the Northern Territory’s children and families.

This record investment is the largest in child protection and youth justice in the history of the Northern Territory. It will fund the systemic and long-term changes that are needed to support children and families effectively, while protecting vulnerable children from harm.

The Northern Territory Government’s implementation plan: Safe, Thriving and Connected: Generational Change for Children and Families, will deliver a child protection and youth justice system that acts to support families early and holds young people accountable while providing the best support to make informed life choices.

The Starting Early for a Better Future – Early Childhood Development Plan for the Northern Territory 2018-2028 outlines the Northern Territory Government’s priorities to ensure children have the best start in life and the opportunity to be healthy and happy.

The Northern Territory looks forward to continuing to work with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions on national child protection reforms which put children at the centre.

In addition, the Northern Territory Government has made significant progress towards a number of earlier recommendations from the Royal Commission, relating to criminal justice reforms, civil litigation reforms, and national approaches to ensure robust Working with Children Checks are in place to protect children in all child-related organisations.

The Northern Territory Government has also made a commitment to join the ten year National Redress Scheme for victims of historical child sexual abuse in Northern Territory institutions, which is estimated to provide support to around 1,000 survivors in the Northern Territory. This Scheme will acknowledge the harm caused, and support people who have experienced child sexual abuse in an institution to positively move forward.

The Northern Territory Government will continue to prioritise the needs of children at the centre of our community through our whole of government children and families reform agenda.

Additional information

Read the Northern Territory Government's response to the recommendations (494.4 kb)

Read the Commonwealth Government's and other jurisdictions responses to the Royal Commission recommendations.

For information on the National Redress Scheme, visit the National Redress Scheme website.

Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sex offences