By CAP Liberté de Conscience April 2024

In a recent parliamentary question, Senator Laurence Muller-Bronn of the Bas-Rhin region has expressed deep concerns over the troubling situation surrounding the Independent Commission on Incest and Violence against Children (Ciivise) in France. This comes on the heels of a recent UN expert declaration urging France to protect children from incest and all forms of sexual abuse.

The Ciivise, established in 2020, has been at the forefront of addressing the critical issue of incest and child abuse in the country. After three years of groundbreaking work, during which the commission collected over 30,000 testimonies, it published its recommendations in November 2023. However, the senator notes that the future of the Ciivise has since been repeatedly called into question.

The dismissal of a judge, despite calls from child protection professionals and associations for his retention, has led to the resignation of 11 out of the 20 members of the Ciivise, including a psychiatrist whose expertise had significantly advanced the understanding of victims. The senator points out that a renowned actress’ testimony before the Senate served to highlight the incomprehension surrounding this dismissal and the subsequent government decisions, which have disregarded the extensive work accomplished by the commission.

Furthermore, since the resignation of the new presidency on February 5, 2024, the commission’s activities have once again been suspended. Senator Muller-Bronn emphasizes that in this field, any lost time directly translates into a loss of opportunities for the 160,000 children who are victims of sexual violence each year in France.

This development comes on the heels of a recent UN expert declaration, which urged the French government to take immediate action to protect children from incest and all forms of sexual abuse. The experts expressed grave concern over the lack of a comprehensive national strategy to address this issue and called for the establishment of a dedicated, independent mechanism to investigate and address cases of child sexual abuse.

Consequently, the senator has asked the government to provide a timeline for ensuring the continuity of the Ciivise and to outline how it intends to pursue the implementation of the commission’s work. The senator’s concerns underscore the critical importance of maintaining the momentum and the invaluable contributions of the Ciivise in protecting the most vulnerable members of French society.

As the government navigates this delicate situation, it must prioritize the well-being and safety of child victims and ensure that the Ciivise can continue its vital work without interruption. The senator’s call for action, coupled with the UN expert declaration, reflects the urgent need to address this pressing issue and to provide the necessary support and resources to the commission and the victims it serves.

Source link