Inter-American Human Rights Commission to look into clerical sexual abuse


December 9, 2020

By Inés San Martín

For the first time in its history, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission promised to defend victims of clerical sexual abuse, with cases being reported in at least 19 countries in Latin America.

In a hearing held last Thursday on the issue, the commission’s vice president, Flavia Piovesan, told victims and survivors “you have our firm and absolute commitment to be a part of this cause.”

The Washington, D.C.-based commission is an autonomous part of the Organization of American States and is the main human rights body in the Americas. Thursday’s hearing was held via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commission said it was committed to using its power to demand information on cases that are not being resolved by member states.

Adalberto Méndez, the legal coordinator for Ending Clerical Abuse, presented a series of cases to the commission to illustrate the way individual governments have helped cover up the crimes, failed to protect victims or help them get justice.

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