Our call-out against crimes of child abuse in institutions and spaces under the protection of the State of Chile and the Catholic Church was taken to the III World Forum of Human Rights in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the form of a poster. You can find the text below plus a link to download and circulate.
En castellano este texto está disponible aquí.
THE STATE OF CHILE MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE SYSTEMATIZED VIOLATION OF RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IN STATE CARE
A report from the Investigations Police of Chile submitted to prosecutor´s office in 2018 confirmed "actions damaging the rights of children in a permanent and systematized manner" in 100% of residential care homes managed by the State (National Service for Minors, SENAME, recently renamed Mejor Niñez) and 80% of residential care homes managed by privates. It was verified that sexual abuse crimes were committed in 50% of residential care homes nationwide.
CONFIRMED BY THREE INQUIRIES FROM THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES OF CHILE:
Situations of abuse and sexual exploitation against children in state care being "age-long and repeated within the system".
54000 children in State care gone missing from the registers.
The death of 1313 children in state care, between 2005 and 2016. 200.000 displaced children in state care.
50% of imprisoned adults in Chile have been at some other time in SENAME during their childhood.
"Age-long and repeated within the system" sexual exploitation against children in state care, helped by the "lack of inter-institutional responses" to the work of commercial child sexual exploitation networks, including detected cases. It was confirmed that no residential home counts on the technical orientation, staff, specialized programs or team work required to address the problem.
THE STATE OF CHILE IS AN ACCOMPLICE
OF EDUCATIONAL, RECREATIVE AND/OR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS NOT GUARANTEEING SAFETY TO CHILDREN IN THEIR CARE. There is no public organization controlling the exploitation permits given to churches and other private institutions destined to educate and guard children, which enables abuse to become a profit tool.
The Catholic Church manages directly at least 20% of residential homes housing children in care and another 20% through registered names and organization of its own.
OF THE SCALES OF PRIVILEGE among victims and survivors of abuse in institutions, forcing equals under the law to put their natural rights through hierarchies established by class, origin, race, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
OF THE IMPUNITY of authorities and institutions covering for their criminals and helping them enter the social fabric and the judicial processes and investigations abandoned by the state.
COMMISSION OF TRUTH, JUSTICE AND REPARATION, SOLE, INDEPENDENT AND URGENT*, GIVEN THE INDIFFERENCE OF THE THREE POWERS OF THE STATE OF CHILE
Because child abuse in one sole crime, we demand one justice and those in power not to choose when, where how or to whom it should be imparted.
Because the are no safe spaces for victims or survivors created by the state where they can be heard and their complaints answered with the due judicial process and access to reparation mechanisms.
Because the involvement, cover-up or direct participation in crimes of child abuse of economical, religious, political, social and institutional power structures distorts the diverse accounts of investigated facts, restricting the possibility to clarify said facts, causes and consequences.
Because survivors of child abuse in institutions represent a problem of public health to be addressed only by reparation mechanisms framed within the right to a worhty life and resulting from equal access to the due judicial process.
BREAKING THE SILENCE CULTURE PROTECTS THE VULNERABLE SEGMENTS OF SOCIETY FROM THE VIOLENCE EXERTED BY ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL POWER SPHERES.
PREVENTION POLICIES, INFORMATION AND GUARANTEEING THE RIGHT TO MEMORY AND NON-REPETITION ARE DEFENSE WEAPONS AGAINST INEQUALITY AND ABUSE.
*Recommnedation from the UN Child Rights Committee to the State of Chile (june 2022):
"TO SET UP AN INDEPENDENT, IMPARTIAL AND ADEQUATELY FUNDED COMMISSION OF TRUTH IN ORDER TO EXAMINE ALL CASES OF CHILD ABUSE IN INSTITUTIONS, EVEN WITHIN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND RESIDENTIAL HOMES".