[Italy] UN panel probes Italy’s role in Church’s child abuse scandals

31 Jan 2019

Since this issue first got wide public attention in 2001, Italian Church has been unable to provide full transparency in relation to the sexual abuse of children within the Church. In 2014, Committee on the Rights of the Child has been investigating this, and published a devastating report accusing Vatican of putting the protection of offending priests over the protection of child victims, as well as for fostering ‘code of silence’ in relation to this issue.

The issue of sexual abuse of children has now been picked up by the United Nations Committee for the protection of minors that questioned Italian government about the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The hearing was held on 22-23rd January where Spanish Professor Jorge Cardona, a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child emphasized the lack of information regarding sexual abuse of children by Church, as well as the information Committee gathered which indicates high number of such abuses that is still taking place. Among the points raised, it was mentioned that offending priests often do not get an appropriate sentence, if any at all. In addition, the Committee raised the issue of the public network which was created in 2002 to assist victims of sexual abuse, asking the government about the steps taken to make sure the network can effectively operate throughout the Italy. The report from the hearings will be issued in early February.

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