Institutions can now be stripped of their charity status and lose tax concessions for failing to join the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.
The government has previously threatened the move and new standards for the charities commission means it can now occur.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission governance standard requires registered charities to take reasonable steps to join the redress scheme if an application has been made, or likely to be made, against them.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the government was taking action to get institutions to join the scheme so survivors can access redress.
"The Morrison government has been absolutely clear that we expect institutions named by a survivor in an application to join the national redress scheme," she said.
Jehovah's Witnesses, Kenja Communications and Fairbridge Restored Limited are in the government's sights.
"While these three institutions refuse to participate, applications from survivors of institutional child sexual abuse naming these institutions are unable to be processed," Senator Ruston said.
"These institutions will be ineligible to apply for any future Commonwealth grant funding and, if they are a charity, they will be at risk of losing their charitable status."
The multibillion-dollar scheme was designed to deliver redress to the tens of thousands of people sexually abused as children in Australian institutions.
It provides access to counselling, a redress payment and a direct personal response such as an apology from an institution, if the survivor wants it.
But they can't be given redress unless the institution they were abused by has joined the scheme.
The government is expected to be handed an independent review of the scheme soon, and is planning for new applications which name institutions that are not yet on the scheme's radar.
Such institutions have six months to join the scheme after being named in a survivor's application.
Australian Associated Press