Amnesty International Names Vatican for Failing to Protect Children

by John McKiggan

Today Amnesty International published it’s annual report Amnesty International Report 2011: The State of the World’s Human Rights, which examines human rights offences in various countries throughout the world.

The report concludes:

“…the Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children”.

The report slams the Vatican for failing to comply with international treaties protecting the rights of children.


The report points out that the Pope has publicly condemned child abuse:

“…the pope acknowledged the abuses during visits to countries where they had been reported . . . and expressed regret…

“He affirmed that ‘just penalties’ should be imposed to exclude perpetrators from access to young people and stressed that to prevent abuses, education and selection of candidates for priesthood should be improved.”

But No Action

Despite the Pope’s public statements, Amnesty points to a lack of action by the catholic church and the Vatican in taking decisive action to deal with the crisis of priest sexual abuse.

It found there was:

“…increasing evidence of widespread child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy over the past decades, and the enduring failure of the Catholic Church to address these crimes properly, continued to emerge in various countries…

…including not removing alleged perpetrators from their posts pending proper investigations, not co-operating with judicial authorities to bring them to justice and not ensuring proper reparation to victims”.


The Vatican has been named by an internationally known human rights watchdog.

But will it finally be shamed into taking action?

What do you think?

One Response to “Amnesty International Names Vatican for Failing to Protect Children”

December 31, 1969 at 6:00 pm, Dana said:

I think the only thing that will motivate the institutional Catholic Church to respond justly, appropriately, to sexual abuse perpetrated by its clergy and/or employees will be litigation which hits the institution in the pocket book. The accretion of centuries of dysfunction around sexuality, power and abuse is too pervasive to allow for the kind of shame which motivates mature, functional responses. Sue the Church and individuals for putative damages, and self interest will evoke responses which function to halt abuse. The institution, collectively and individually, is far too dysfunctional to be capable of authentic shame.

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