Scouts Australia today asked forgiveness of the victims of acts of pedophilia committed by members of this organization, in compliance with the recommendations of the commission that investigated the sexual abuse of minors in that country.
"We apologize without reservation to those who suffered abuse during the time they did escort, we fail them and apologize for the pain this has caused," said Australian Chief Scout Commissioner Phil Harrison, in a message posted on his website.
(Victims) "They have not had a positive experience and they have suffered and that is why we apologize and do what we can to help," added Harrison, who insisted that Scouts Australia "honor" their responsibility to people who were sexually abused when they were under his care.
Scouts Australia indicated that it has signed the National Compensation Plan for these victims, which came into force in July of this year.
The lawyers of the affected ones rejected the excuses, that qualified as "hollow" and denounced that this international organization that operates in Australia mistreats to those that look for compensations.
"The apologies are nice and today's Scouts Australia have no doubt that they are well-intentioned, but apologies are meaningless if they are not accompanied by actions," said one of the lawyers, Danielle De Paoli.
"The experience of many of our clients in these matters with Scouts NSW (State of New South Wales) has caused them again an important trauma, among others, by what they do and their (legal) aggressive and obstructionist approach", added the lawyer.
The "Scouts", present in Australia for 110 years and who have worked with more than two million children, were part of the so-called Case Study 48, which also included the Aboriginal Children's Service in the Hunter region, in NSW.
The apologies of the Australian Scouts arrive a few weeks before the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, apologizes on behalf of the country to the victims of pedophilia, which is scheduled for next October 22 before the Parliament of Canberra.
Last December, the Commission that investigated pedophilia in Australia presented its final report with more than 400 recommendations regarding what it described as a national "tragedy".
One of them is the compensation plan, which provides a maximum of A $ 150,000 ($ 106,178 or € 92,200) in compensation to each victim for sexual abuse suffered as a minor in the country's institutions.
The Commission, created in 2012 during the government of Labor Julia Gillard, interviewed more than 8,000 victims of abuse committed in more than 4,000 centers of public and religious institutions since the 1920s.
More than half of the victims said they were between 10 and 14 years old when they were attacked for the first time and suffered abuse for an average of 2.2 years, while 36 percent were victims of several pedophiles.