ESTD Conference Berne, Switzerland: November (8) 9 - 11, 2017



Thursday, November 9 2017, 20.15h - 21.10h


Prof. Alexis Jay, University of Strathclyde, UK, Chair of the "Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse": 

Rotherham and other child sexual exploitation scandals: lessons to learn for therapy, prevention and justice”

The Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal has been described as the "biggest child protection scandal in UK history". From the late 1980s until the 2010s, organised sexual abuse continued almost unchallenged by legal authorities in the northern English town of Rotherham. Over 1400 children were affected by the abuse. Alexis Jay conducted an independent inquiry and uncovered the full scope of the abuse and the failure of agencies to protect the affected children and youths.

The "Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)" in England and Wales war announced by the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, in July 20.14. It was establised to examine how the country's institutions handled their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse. Today it includes over ten separate investigations, for example on child sexual abuse in the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church, child exploitation by organised networks, and many more. It is the biggest investigation worldwide. Alexis Jay today is chair of the inquiry.

She will speak about lessons to learn from therapy, prevention and justice from these child exploitation scandals.

Alexis Jay, OBE, spent over 30 years in local government in deprived parts of Scotland, including as Director of Social Services and Housing.  In 2005, she was invited by the Scottish Government to set up the first independent inspection body for social services in Scotland, and in 2011 she became the Scottish Government’s first Chief Social Work Adviser.  She retired from that post in 2013.

She is Chair of the Life Changes Trust and also of the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland, based in Strathclyde University, where she is a Visiting Professor.

She is the author of the Independent Inquiry report into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham. On 11 August 2016, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced that Prof. Jay had been appointed to chair the "Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse", of which she had previously been a panel member.

Alexis was awarded an OBE by the Queen in the 2012 Birthday Honours List, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Strathclyde in 2015. 

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