The Guardian
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Australia faces $3.4b child abuse liability


AUSTRALIA may need to pay A$4.4 billion ($3.4 billion) as compensation to the victims of child abuse, officials say.

A consultation paper, released by Australia’s Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, estimated 65,000 people may be entitled to compensation.

The commission is investigating how schools, churches and government bodies responded to abuse claims and cases.

It has also called for a national system for checking the history of people who seek to work with children.

The commission was formed in April 2013, following pressure from lawmakers amid police claims that the Roman Catholic Church had concealed evidence of paedophile priests.

There were revelations that child abusers were being moved from place to place instead of having their crimes reported and investigated. There were also accusations that adults had failed to stop further acts of abuse.

On Friday, the commission’s chair, Justice Peter McClellan, called for responses to the consultation paper so that a final report could be published in the middle of this year.

“It is necessary for me to stress that the commissioners do not presently have firm views about any issue in the consultation paper,” said Mr McClellan.


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