Lessons to learn from residential home abuse report

17.09.2022 - 18:00
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 Mynd: RÚV
The Minister of Social Affairs and Labour says it is beyond question that systemic psychological and physical abuse was inflicted on teenagers resident at the Laugaland residential centre in Eyjafjörður, North Iceland. Rules and procedures have changed since that time and such stories must never be allowed to repeat themselves, he says.

Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson says he is convinced of the crimes committed against the girls whose stories are covered in a report into the Laugaland centre and that the report must be used as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Around 65 girls and several boys were resident at Varpholt and Laugaland between 1997 and 2007. Stories of abuse have come out recently.

“When I see the conclusions of the report, I see that the system was broken, for sure. We see, among other things, that there is confirmed systemic psychological abuse that was applied. It is also confirmed that girls were subject to physical abuse there,” Guðmundur says.

He says the report will be scrutinised further, with an eye to what improvements might be made to the operation of all sorts of residential homes.

“But I would nevertheless point out that a lot has changed in the regulations since that time. Among others, we have better distinguished between the operating and the monitoring agencies. It was all under the same agency before,” the minister says.

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