Jehovah’s Witnesses Reject Australia’s Redress Scheme

On June 28, 2020, Australia’s ABC NEWS reported that Jehovah’s Witnesses and five other institutions were specifically and publicly named by the Australian Federal Government for failing to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse. Identified organizations had until June 30, 2020, to join the “redress scheme.” They had been warned that the government would identify them and also remove the benefits of their “charitable status.”

By political reporter Georgia Hitch
 
  • Organizations had until last night to join the program
  • The Government says those which did not sign up will no longer receive Commonwealth funding
  • 380 non-government institutions have signed up or intend to sign up to the scheme

ABC NEWS in Australia presented a complete report on the status of the “Redress Scheme” in a June 1, 2020 article.  The following are quotes from that article that should enlighten our readers about this most serious event and its current status.

Six institutions, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been publicly named by the Federal Government for failing to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

But within hours of the Government following through with its threat to name recalcitrant organizations, the Australian Air League changed course and announced it would join the scheme.

Organizations had until last night to join the program, with the Commonwealth promising to not only reveal those refusing to take part, but also cut them off from future federal funding and consider ways to cut their charitable status. The Government previously flagged that it was prepared to take a “big stick” approach to institutions that did not sign up, including by revoking their charity status.

Six institutions, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been publicly named by the Federal Government for failing to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

The five other institutions named this morning are Australian Air League, Boys’ Brigade NSW, Fairbridge Restored Limited, Lakes Entrance Pony Club, and Kenja Communications. According to the Federal Government, 55 applications from victims of child sexual abuse could not be processed as a result of the six groups failing to sign up.

ON ABC’s AM program, Social Services Minister Anne Ruston was scathing as she urged those organizations to reconsider the consequences they faced for not joining.

“Think about the reputational damage [caused] by you saying, as an organization, that despite having a history of working with children, despite having applications against your organization for child sexual abuse, you still refuse to accept your moral obligation and responsibility to come forward and allow these people the small thing of a bit of redress and a small amount of money to acknowledge that they actually have had wrongs committed against them,” she told the ABC’s AM program.

The above article was then followed by this announcement on July 1, 2020:

Organizations refusing to sign redress scheme ‘named and shamed’

By Sabra Lane on AM

 

The Federal Government’s followed through on its promise to “name and shame” organizations refusing to sign up to its Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sex abuse by midnight last night.

In early hours, it published six names including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Kenja Communications, and the Australian Air League.

The Government says they’re now ineligible for Commonwealth grants and it’s investigating options to revoke tax concessions.

 


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