Jehovah's Witnesses join redress scheme

·1-min read

The Jehovah's Witnesses has joined Australia's national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors under threat of financial penalties.

It is one of 34 institutions signing up following rules brought in by the federal government to withhold funding from and strip the charity status of groups refusing to join.

The Jehovah's Witnesses was initially named and shamed for holding out.

It flagged its intention to join the scheme in March and has now formally done so.

The other institutions include Tennis Australia, St John Ambulance Australia Queensland, Ipswich Girl's Grammar School, Youth Off the Streets and Scripture Union Tasmania.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston says this means a total of 37 redress applications can be processed.

"It is clear that the powerful financial, reputational and legislative levers the commonwealth has used have been successful at ensuring institutions understand and recognise their moral obligation to survivors," she said.

"We are also working hard to make sure that every institution with a history of working with young people joins the scheme no matter when a survivor comes forward to access redress."

To date, commonwealth, state and territory governments alongside 526 non-government institutions are in the scheme.

As of last Friday, 11,835 applications had been received and 6208 payments made totalling more than $529.3 million.

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