End sexual violence in religious institutions

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Child sexual abuse in religious institutions across the world is rife, and more and more reports frequently emerge about this human rights violation. Lack of accountability, entrenched power structures and arcane institutions allow it to continue.

CRIN believes transparency, access to justice for children and protection from violence are crucial to securing children’s status as individuals with rights. So we are campaigning to end sexual violence against children in religious institutions by pushing for reforms that will open these institutions to scrutiny, prevent cover-ups and allow victims to access justice.  

Child sexual abuse and the Holy See

We launched this campaign with a report that maps the global scale of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

The first strand of the campaign looks at the Catholic Church because the UN pressed the Holy See for detailed information on sexual abuse against children by Catholic clergy around the world, cover-ups within the Church and the denial of justice and compensation for victims. This happened during the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's periodic review of the Holy See during the Committee's 65th session in Geneva in January 2014. CRIN reported live from the session using #HolySeeConfess on twitter, and you can read our notes of the dicussions.

On 5 May 2014 the UN Committee Against Torture reviewed the Holy See for its compliance with the Convention Against Torture. After meeting with NGOs the Committee raised the rape and other forms of sexual violence against children in the Catholic Church as violations of the Convention Against Torture by the Holy See. Further information on this review. Read a story from the New York Times reporting on the "sharp questioning" the Holy See faced during the review. 

Content in this section of our website only focuses on the Catholic Church at the moment. But we are aware that other religious institutions are also implicated in historic and current sexual violence against children. We aim to expand our research and find additional partners to pursue a broader campaign against this rights abuse in other religious institutions.

We monitor all the latest news and developments on sexual abuse in religious institutions. To receive updates, subscribe to our weekly English CRINmail and the monthly Children in Court CRINmail.