fesip: D-Day for child sexual abuse?
“At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young or too old to play a part in a nation-wide, perchance a world-wide vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth“King George VI, speaking during a radio address on D-Day June 6, 1944.
An opinion piece on an example how our societies around the world fail to deal with child sexual abuse, over and over again, simply for the lack of political and judiciary accountability.
October 19th 2023, D-Day for child sexual abuse in Belgium?
The 6th session of the 55th legislature adopted the legal framework for a Parliamentary Investigation Commission on Child Sexual Abuse. We shall have the report no later then March 31st 2024.
Its (translated) title is: Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry charged with investigating the handling of sexual abuse, in the Church and beyond, including judicial treatment, and its impact today on victims and society.
The mandate is far reaching. It shall not only investigate what went wrong, or review what recommendations from the previous commissions have not been acted upon. It shall also investigate the problems, current situation and improvements needed regarding the:
- undue transnational influence in silencing cases
- responsibilities and corruption of all actors of the judiciary (police, judges, prosecutors)
- recognition of victims, and improvements thereto needed
third time's the charm
It is a sad for a society to need a 3rd Parliamentary Investigation Commission. We fail to learn from history. Recalling an earlier fesip:
What experience and history teach is this – that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
We've had the 1997 Parliamentary Investigation Committee Dutroux. It concluded among others the complete failure of law, police and judiciary, which were reformed. The federal prosecutor refused to resign, and was later in 2002 rewarded by becoming the president of the Court of Cassation.
A round of applause, for in 2010-2011 we've needed the Special Parliamentary Commission on child sexual abuse in the church. Again the law, police and judiciary were culprits, among of course the church and the political class. Political sensitivities ensured it could only be a Special and not a full Investigation Commission.
The keeping up appearances meant the complete cock-up went on for well over another decade before today. While we now have the lucky third time, quarter of a century after the first commission, if we are honest we already know the real results of this new investigation commission should be: Defaulting law, police, judiciary, social systems, … An pitiful account of further criminally defaulting of the state.
As per my American General Dwight D. Eisenhower's Order of the Day in 1944, I say to my Belgian parliamentarians:
“Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.” … “I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory! Good luck!”
special commission of the Flemish parliament
In Flanders we are not amused by this cyclical return of history showing its inappropriate Federal tackling.
While it has less regional powers compared to the federal state, the Flemish parliament saw specific areas of its regional competence, and felt the need for a special commission nonetheless. Compelled to get it voted before the federal parliament, the Flemish parliament voted on 17 October 2023 the legal framework for a special commission, titled (translation):
Special commission on the evaluation of the response to sexual abuse in the Church and in other authority relationships in general and the role of institutions and services in the fields of youth, welfare and education in particular.
While it is politically incorrect to say the Flemish parliament wants to poke its finger into the potential Federal less supported interest, in Flanders we are sick the Federal level failed so badly it needs a third commission.
the political class does not care about child sexual abuse
I've talked at nauseam on the blog about how the political class in Switzerland, all the way to the top, could not care less about child sexual abuse.
In Belgium …
Look at the body language of the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister during the plea of parliamentarian Valerie Van Peel, herself victim of child sexual abuse. They just could not care less.
Watch from 46 seconds into the plea, later followed by the minister bullshitting his way out, and pushing the responsibility away from the justice system. And then from 6:10 the minister being rebuffed by Valerie with the statistics of 0,5% of perpetrators only being prosecuted, and 80% of child sexual abuse happening in the family sphere.
You do not need to understand Flemish, the body language alone says all there is to say.
Federal Minister of Justice resigned
A further exemplary account of how our societies dysfunction in light of child sexual abuse.
The Federal Minister of Justice resigned on Friday October 20th 2023. Sadly, not for the question of his prosecutors deliberate not acting in the face of child sexual abuse. He resigned because one of his prosecutors left an extradition request from Tunisia in the drawer, leading to the allegedly to be extradited individual conducting a shooting, which was qualified as terrorist.
Do you see our societies dysfunctioning priorities?
A magistrate left an extradition request waiting, a shooting with 2 dead gets qualified as terrorist: The Minister of Justice resigns promptly saying it is his duty to do so.
Hundreds of thousands of cases of child sexual abuse being never investigated by his prosecutors, victims damaged for life, suicides and sometimes even killed. No problem, no need to resign.
Who are we fooling?
how many victims, more?
I'll keep being a thorn in the side, poking to dig deeper while the by their constituency taught reaction is for politicians to flee the heinousness of child sexual abuse in vicarious shame.
Paraphrasing Barbara Kingslover, it metaphorically captures the situation:
“There’s a graveyard in northern France where all the dead boys from the D-Day are buried. The white crosses reach from one horizon to the other. I remember looking it over and thinking it was a forest of graves. But the rows were like this, dizzying and diagonal, perfectly straight, so after all it wasn’t a forest but an orchard of graves. Nothing to do with nature, unless you count human nature.”
Later today I'm sending the commissions my introduction testimony, drawing attention to some key points. They can no longer say they did not know there are 500 hours recordings, documents, contracts, money trails attesting to authorities and judiciary active involvement in international child trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, corruption and child sexual abuse. With Swiss authorities conducting, transnationally enslaving, the Belgian (and other European) authorities.
Both commissions are subject to limitations, which are not defined clearly. Notably of budget. Over the coming weeks I'll submit questions to the parliaments as to the extent of these limitations.
I find there should be no limits. Do the job properly, for once, so we do not need another commission in X years time to draw the same conclusions over and over again.
The bottom line should be:
- Everyone has the OBLIGATION to denounce ANY SUSPICION and can never be held to account for defamation or calumny for fulfilling this duty.
- Any account has to be investigated to the fullest with and by experienced professionals IMMEDIATELY.
- The actors of the judiciary should be held PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE in the event child sexual abuse procedures default.
the real question
The real question is, are we capable now, to finally take child sexual abuse seriously, or are we scheduling the next commission in a decade, or two? Will those officials who hold the slightest responsibility in any child sexual abuse case be publicly held accountable, as they should? And as per United Nations rule of International law, ensure there is Remediation for and Guarantee of Non Recurrence of the most heinous crime that child sexual abuse is? In Belgium, and in states who have used and bullied or abused Belgium, such as Switzerland?
I think every country should have a permanent parliamentary commission on child sexual abuse, with an annual report on the situation in their nation. It should be open to receiving accounts and testimonies of the public, which the parliaments should have the full power to investigate, in the name of truth, in the name of the greatest interest of nation's future wellbeing.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. This blog gets the proverbial pants on!
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