Whereas children’s rights have gained official recognition ever since 1990 when the United Nations hosted the World Summit on Children where 71 countries adopted goals to improve children’s lives by 2000;
Whereas the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been ratified by 187 nations, making it the most widely accepted human rights treaty ever;
Whereas the idea behind the Convention was to turn children, seen as powerless property of their parents, into people with their own rights – civil, economic, cultural, social and political, with countries agreeing that children face unique circumstances and need special protection;
Whereas much progress has been achieved since 1990 in diverse areas such as school enrollment, immunisation, poverty, hunger and child labour (and the UNICEF itself now enters its 51st year), there still exists one form of enduring and pervasive child abuse that has gone on for centuries but has been ignored and deliberately neglected: child abuse perpetrated in the name of religion;
The IHEU resolves that countries that are tackling issues of child-protection must seriously examine the issue of all abuse of children including in particular in the name of religion and God. World bodies like the UN cannot remain silent on such issues in the name of religious correctness and must take a principle and unambiguous stand against such abuse.
IHEU Board Resolution, London, 20 June 1997
'Religious abuse of children', Humanists International, Board of Directors, London, United Kingdom, 1997