Inquiry in Germany

Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (in German) investigates abuse in institutions and in the family environment in Germany. Its aim is to uncover structures which made sexual abuse on children and adolescents possible in the past and which prevented inquiry. At the centre of its work are hearings with victims and survivors throughout Germany. The first confidential hearing took place in September 2016.

The Path to the Independent Inquiry

The German parliament welcomed the intention of the Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues to set up an Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse by passing a resolution on 02 July 2015 (in German). On 26 January 2016, the Commissioner appointed the seven members of the Commission.

The establishment of a commission had for years been a key demand of victims and survivors.

Specific proposals for this had already been discussed in 2013 at a public independent Inquiry hearing. A list of demands outlined key aspects of a Commission of Inquiry. At an expert discussion regarding the independent Inquiry on 26 January 2015, experts who had already gained practical experience into the Inquiry concerning cases of abuse, discussed the Independent Commissioner’s proposal for an Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse. On 30 January 2015, members of parliament at a first cross-party plenary debate (in German) recommended setting up an independent commission for systematic inquiry.

Inquiry Reports and Documentation Already Published

A list of literature containing Inquiry reports of various institutions and commissions published since 2010 provides an overview of the status of the Inquiry in Germany.

Current Inquiry Projects of Individual Organisations in Germany

An increasing number of organisations are engaging independent research institutes or commissions to inquire into their past. The current Inquiry projects are compiled in a list here (in German).

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