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Sign our petition calling on the U.S. to drop its opposition to UN resolutions concerning…
December 17, 2014, Berlin – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights joined a criminal complaint…
December 9, 2014, New York – Based on early reports on the release of the…
Ongoing revelations of pervasive and serious sexual violence against children and vulnerable adults by priests and others associated with the Catholic Church in different parts of the world have demonstrated that the crisis is not one of isolated random sexual assaults by errant priests but is widespread and systemic. In the wake of scandals around the world, experts and investigators have identified policies and practices of the Vatican and high-level officials of the Catholic Church that have enabled the sexual violence. Some observers have estimated that the number of victims of sexual violence by priests and clergy occurring over the past three decades is in the hundreds of thousands, particularly as more survivors come forward and civil authorities begin investigations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
CCR represents the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in filings before the International Criminal Court and the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee Against Torture.
On April 11, 2014, CCR and SNAP submitted a shadow report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, and on April 18, 2014, submitted a supplemental report that focuses largely on Latin America. The Vatican appeared before the Committee Against Torture on May 5-6, 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Committee issued its Concluding Observations on May 23, 2014.
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
On February 28, 2013, SNAP and CCR submitted a report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, "Fighting for the Future: Adult Survivors Work to Protect Children and End the Culture of Clergy Sexual Abuse," ahead of the Holy See appearing before the Committee to address its compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
On September 13, 2011, a survivor-led support group for clergy sex abuse victims formally urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to investigate the Vatican for crimes against humanity. Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, together with their attorneys from the human rights organization the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), filed a lengthy and detailed complaint charging that Vatican officials tolerate and enable the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and other forms of sexual violence around the world. Together with the complaint, they submitted more than 22,000 pages of supporting materials consisting of reports, policy papers, and evidence of the crimes by Catholic clergy committed against children and vulnerable adults.
The complaint requests the investigation and prosecution of high-level Vatican officials alleging they are criminally responsible under the concept of superior responsibility as well as for their individual roles in aiding and abetting these crimes, as outlined by the Rome Statute of the ICC. Together with the complaint, more than 22,000 pages of supporting evidence consisting of testimonies, police reports, findings of commissions of inquiry and grand juries, and other evidence of the crimes were submitted.
On November 25, 2013 the Vatican submitted its response to the Committee's questions on its adherence to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
CCR filed a supplemental communication with the ICC prosecutor on April 11, 2012, along with several thousand more pages of documentation.
CCR filed a supplemental communication with the ICC prosecutor on April 11, 2012, along with several thousand more pages of documentation. In May 2013, the Prosecutor’s office indicated it would not be seeking authority to open an full investigation at this time, but indicated it would reconsider that decision upon new information or evidence and suggested pursuing remedies in other human rights monitoring bodies.
"A group representing victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests is asking the International Criminal Court to investigate Pope Benedict XVI and three senior cardinals for alleged crimes against humanity." read more
"Victims of sexual abuse by the clergy want the International Criminal Court to investigate Pope Benedict and three Vatican officials, accusing them of allowing the rape and abuse of children." read more
May 19, 2011, SNAP and CCR sent a preliminary communication to the ICC Prosecutor.
September 13, 2011, SNAP and CCR filed complaint with ICC Prosecutor.
April 11, 2012, SNAP and CCR filed a supplemental communication with ICC Prosecutor.
February 28, 2013, SNAP and CCR submitted "Fighting for the Future: Adult Survivors Work to Protect Children and End the Culture of Clergy Sexual Abuse," with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
July 1, 2013 The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child formally questioned the Vatican on its record with regard to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
November 25, 2013 Vatican submitted its responses to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
May 23, 2014 Committee Against Torture issued its report.