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Limits of State Responsibility

Redress to Victims of Historical Child Abuse in Out-of-home Care


Since the 1990s, historical abuse of children in out-of-home care has received political attention in many western countries. Alongside inquiries, several states have implemented official apologies and financial compensation in an attempt to offer redress to the victims. This project deals with processes of exclusion and inclusion of groups entitled to financial redress implemented by governments to victims of historical child abuse in out-of-home care. However, the design of these redress processes depends on present assumptions about the welfare state’s historical responsibility for the past. The project has three aims:


1) to trace how inclusion and exclusion have been constructed, discussed and redefined in the politics of the Swedish redress process – from the establishment of a government inquiry in 2006 to the official apology in 2011 – and subsequently the passing of the Financial Redress Act in 2012.

2)  to analyze how the political ambitions set out in the Swedish redress process operate in legal practice within the decision-making of the Redress Board.

3) to contextualize the Swedish redress process in an international comparative perspective. In what way does the Swedish redress process have unique features that set it apart from other countries? Which abusive actions, which time periods, and which victims are addressed in redress processes abroad?


The project is interdisciplinary and comparative in character. It is unique in that it compares and explores processes of redress to groups who have been avoided by previous scholarly attention. The project illustrates how the perceptions of vulnerable citizens are constructed in the intersection of redress politics and the legal implementation of said politics. Ultimately this project will contribute to a better understanding of financial compensation as a means of redress.


VÄL is our first choice of evaluation committee, and OMS our second choice.


VÄL is our first choice of evaluation committee, and OMS our second choice.


Project duration: 2014-2017

Funder: Forte

Contact person:
Johanna Sköld
+46 13 28 29 10


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Last updated: Wed Jan 14 12:51:45 CET 2015