Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called for a Royal Commission to review instances of child sexual abuse at institutions including religious organizations and schools across the country.
She said at a press conference in Canberra today that there was no time period specified for the inquiry, which will focus on institutional responses to allegations of sexual abuse of children. “This is an incredibly complex and sensitive area,” Gillard said.
Gillard said she spoke before the announcement to the premiers of Victoria and New South Wales states and also to Catholic Cardinal George Pell, the archbishop of Sydney. He authored a statement dated yesterday on the church’s website titled “Our Church Is No Shelter for Abusers of Any Kind.”
The prime minister said the inquiry is not targeted at any one church.