Priests and religion: new mandatory reporting laws of child sexual abuse

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Priests, rabbis, pastors, ministers and imams will all be regulated under Western Australia’s new legislation surrounding mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect incidents.

The current laws apply to the police force, teachers, doctors, nurses and midwives but will now be extended in the state to the religious sector.

Perth’s Catholic church has recognised that child safety is currently a threatening issue but is urging the state government to not change laws as priests will not attend confessionals owing to the new development. However, the government has not shied away from its intention of applying these laws to religious clergy, emphasizing their moral responsibility and addressing the importance of child safety in the state.

 

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