Victims of Clergy Abuse Appeal to the United Nations for Help
- 03 Oct 2023 1:50 pm CET
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Victims of clerical abuse are calling on the United Nations to force the Vatican to comply with international obligations. On Tuesday, the UN's World Organization denounced possible "crimes against humanity" and "genocide" in Geneva. Recently, over 1000 cases of abuse have also been reported in Switzerland. The founder of the organization "End Clergy Abuse" (ECA), Adalberto Mendez, stated before the media that the abuses are a huge human rights problem worldwide. Leaders of the ECA and victims met on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to discuss the possibility of holding the Vatican accountable for its international obligations. The meeting was the first of its kind, and aimed to explore ways to hold the Vatican accountable for any violations of international law. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has requested the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to conduct an international analysis of the legal status of the Holy See. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is also requested to address certain cases. Mendez stated that “genocide and crimes against humanity are not exclusively committed in times of war.” The ECA leaders were accompanied in Geneva by several survivors of abuse from multiple countries. On Monday, ECA unveiled a proposal in Rome for a "zero-tolerance" law to be implemented by the Vatican. According to the organization, priests responsible for abuse should be stripped of all church offices, and those covering up abuse should also be removed from their positions. The European Child Abuse (ECA) organization was recently informed by one of its Swiss members of a recent report from the University of Zurich, which identified over 1000 victims of abuse in Switzerland. The ECA noted that the number is likely much higher: “The case in Switzerland shows the magnitude of the problem,” said Mendez.