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  1. ITV Report

Australia PM delivers emotional apology to child sex abuse victims

Australia's prime minister has delivered a formal apology to the country's victims of child sex abuse.

Scott Morrison gave an emotional speech in Parliament before survivors, saying that Australia had been "blind to injustice".

Abuse vicitms who were gathered in Parliament's Great Hall cried, yelled and applauded as the prime minister delivered his apology.

It follows the conclusion of a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the nation's highest level of inquiry.

"Today as a nation we confront our failure to listen, to believe, and to provide justice," Morrison said.

He added: "We say sorry."

Vatican Cardinal George Pell is accused of historical sex abuse. Credit: AP

The four-year inquest that delivered its final report in December revealed shocking evidence from more than 17,000 survivors and heard allegations against government, church and private institutions, as well as prominent individuals.

It also heard evidence from leaders such as Vatican Cardinal George Pell, who is charged with committing historical sex abuses himself and was accused of failing to protect children.

Morrison said: "Why weren't the children of our nation loved, nurtured and protected? Why was their trust betrayed?

"Why did those who know cover it up? Why were the cries of children and parents ignored? Why was our system of justice blind to injustice? Why has it taken so long to act? Why were other things more important than this, the care of innocent children? Why didn't we believe?"

Morrison said nothing could be done to right the wrongs inflicted on children.

"Even after a comprehensive royal commission, which finally enabled the voices to be heard and the silence to be broken, we will all continue to struggle," he said.

The Australian government has already accepted 104 of the commission's 122 recommendations, including a redress payments program, with the other 18 recommendations still under examination