Welcome to this week, and another question, which this time focuses on the duty of care, not of local authorities and their agents, police or medical practitioners looking after children, but of religious men and women tasked with guiding their communities and protecting children and vulnerable people from abuse and exploitation.
Tomorrow, the House of Commons is hosting a debate on religious power, its regulation and the risks involved in having religious organisations which may not always be subject to the same rules and regulations as other non religious organisations. This debate will be looking at the sexual abuse and exploitation of children within a faith setting and will ask: are we doing enough to protect our most vulnerable from this type of harm?
We already know that a duty of care exists by the Catholic Church to ensure that those within the Church are protected from abuse. This duty of care extends to priests within the Catholic Church regarding child protection and creates a compelling point of interest for child abuse cases within care homes and institutions generally.
Our question this week then, is this: what kind of duty of care would you like to see, if any, across all religious organisations in the UK, when it comes to child protection?