43rdsession of the Human Rights Council
Item 3: ID with the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children and sexual exploitation
Monday 2ndMarch 2020
Thank you, Mr President,
The OMCT and Xumek thank the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children and Sexual Exploitation for the presentation of her report today and for her statement of last 19 October calling the Holy See to “step up measures to end child abuse within the Church…”
As stated by the OMCT and CRIN during the Holy See’s review by the Committee Against Torture in 2014, many cases of sexual abuse of children by clerics that have been reported fulfil the substantive criteria that have long been established for rape to amount to torture.
We are concerned that despite recommendations from the UN CAT and CRC, the Holy See has done little to change its practices regarding sexual abuse of children, including the lack of reparations for victims; the cover-up of abuses; the transfer of accused priests to other parishes; and the lack of disclosure of information on the complaints and investigations for sexual abuse of children.
For example, in the case of the sexual abuse by priests of deaf children at the Provolo Institute in Argentina, and despite the condemnation of two priests by the national courts, the Holy See has not provided information on potential investigations of the abuses, nor provided any redress to victims.
We recommend the Special Rapporteur to urge the Holy See to:
- Disclose all information held by the Holy See on cases of sexual abuse of children to the public in order to ensure transparency of the cases, following the recent lift of secrecy on cases of sexual abuse by the Church;
- Report all abusive clerics to civil law enforcement bodies so that they are held fully accountable for sexual abuse committed by them;
- Ensure the compensation and reparation for victims in compliance with article 14 CAT.
- Ensure that Holy See’s states officials and agents accused of sexual abuse against children are never transferred to other parishes or countries.