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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Protecting Children

Monday, April 30, 2012

Meg Munn MP for Sheffield Heeley recently attended a campaign launch in London calling for a Public Inquiry into the abuse of children and vulnerable adults by Clergy in England and Wales. The meeting was attended by a number of journalists and campaigners who heard a panel of victims, lawyers and activists give their views on this highly sensitive subject.


Meg is Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Child Protection and speaking to the meeting she outlined the role of the All Party Group and explained how it sought to influence policy on child protection. Prior to becoming an MP Meg worked in children’s social work for many years, and consequently has much knowledge and experience in this area.


She emphasised to the meeting the importance of the campaign putting forward recent cases of abuse as there is a general belief that procedures for child protection are much better today. Before a public inquiry can be established there must be significant evidence of failure of the systems in place to protect children.


The call for a Public Inquiry at the event has been supported by the Ministry and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS) and the National Association of People Abused in Care (NAPAC). The organisers of the meeting hope that more MPs and organisations will become involved, encouraging the government to look into whether a public inquiry is the right action to take. 


Members of church organisations hold influential and highly respected roles within the community and have had unquestioned access to children. Both Church of England and Roman Catholic clergy have been convicted of serious sexual offences, with some police investigations ongoing. This is an internationally issue, with campaigns taking place in other countries including Ireland, Australia, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands. The Australian case is particularly relevant as the Attorney General for the State of Victoria has very recently announced a Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.


Meg commented:


“This is a very serious matter that needs addressing by the UK government; it is useful to look to other countries on their experiences and how to best to proceed. The question at this stage is whether a public inquiry would be the most effective course of action.”


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