Briefing: The Holy See and the United Nations


18 February 2019 - In 2014 the United Nations scrutinised the children’s rights record of the Holy See, the sovereign State headed by the Pope, and issued a raft of recommendations to improve the State’s compliance with international human rights law.

States have to report back every five years with an update on how they have sought to improve their human rights record, but the Holy See did not submit the required information ahead of time, therefore its five-year review will not take place this year. While this is not uncommon, the Holy See previously reported to the UN 14 years late.

In the face of such failure to engage with the UN, this briefing follows up where the Holy See has not. It shows how Vatican authorities have not only failed to bring into effect the UN’s recommendations, but in some cases actively undermined progress for children’s rights.

Download the briefing here.