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MSPs insist on child abuse debate

MSPs have defied ministers by deciding to hold a debate on child abuse allegations in Scotland's residential homes dating back to the 1940s.

Only a month ago, Education Minister Peter Peacock ruled out a public inquiry and refused to make an apology to the victims on behalf of the state.   More than 1,000 people have so far come forward to say they suffered physical or mental abuse in Scotland's homes.   MSPs have insisted that a full debate is held in the Scottish Parliament.

The issue is the subject of petition number 535 submitted to the Scottish Parliament in August 2002 by one of the alleged victims, Christopher Daly.   It calls for a full public inquiry and an apology from state and church, as has happened in Ireland.   Mr Peacock appeared before the Public Petitions Committee in September, after ruling out an inquiry in June.

He told the committee that various reforms had been implemented to protect children in care homes and he promised to release information held by the Scottish Executive on residential schools.   He also said that the Scottish Law Commission had been asked to review the time-bar limiting personal injury claims and he promised to talk with victims' groups.

The full parliamentary debate is to be held on Wednesday, 1 December.

Source: BBC News - Scotland


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