Sexual abuse inquiry calls for expertise centre and day of remembrance

The parliamentary committee of inquiry into child abuse and sexual violence has presented its recommendations and calls for the creation of a new expertise centre, better compensation for victims and a day of remembrance for all victims.

The Chamber set up a parliamentary inquiry into child abuse and sexual violence, inside and outside the church, after the VRT documentary series Godvergeten (Godforsaken) exposed sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Flanders over many years. The committee presented its final report on Thursday.

The report contains 137 recommendations to step up the fight against child abuse and sexual violence. “These recommendations provide a roadmap for concrete actions to be taken to ensure the well-being and safety of children,” committee chair Sophie De Wit told public broadcaster VRT. “Children and victims in the past, present and future. The victims have waited long enough.”

One of the key recommendations is the foundation of the Expertise Centre for Sexual Violence, an independent body that will carry out research and formulate policy recommendations. The centre should be led by a commissioner for sexually transgressive behaviour and sexual violence against minors and vulnerable persons who would act as a central point of contact for policymakers.

The committee also calls for better access to psychological traums care, better legal support and a new compensation system for victims. It proposes to make 18 November ​ a day of remembrance for all victims of sexual violence. The Church should “recognise its responsibility”, “act proactively by tracking down perpetrators themselves” and “give the police and judicial authorities better access to relevant files”. ​

Apart from the committee in the Chamber, a special commission on sexual abuse was set up in the Flemish parliament. That commission will present its own 100 recommendations on Friday.


Chair of the parliamentary commission of inquiry into child abuse and sexual violence Sophie De Wit © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

Related news

Website preview
Former bishop Roger Vangheluwe dismissed from clergy by Pope Francis
Pope Francis has granted a request to dismiss the former bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, from the clerical state, the Apostolic Nunciature...
Website preview
Brothers of Charity apologise for sexual abuse in Belgium
The NGO Organisation Brothers of Charity has apologised for any sexual abuse in the past in response to a documentary series highlighting church...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels