Nine of the United Nations (UN) human rights special rapporteurs urged Canada's government and the Catholic Church on Friday to conduct a probe into the residential schools, following the discovery of the remains of 125 Indigenous children.
Canada Asks for Papal Apology Over Indigenous Children
The experts remarked in a statement addressed to the government and the Holy See, the central governing body of the Catholic Church, that "large scale human rights violations have been committed against children belonging to Indigenous communities, it is inconceivable that Canada and the Holy See would leave such heinous crimes unaccounted for and without full redress."
The specials rapporteurs, including Fabian Salvioli, special rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence, and Francisco Cali Tzay, special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, said that the authorities should carry and investigate all suspicious deaths and allegations of sexual violence, as well as prosecute those who might be alive still.
The residential schools, which operated in Canada from the 19th century until the 1970s, are considered a "cultural genocide" by Canadian authorities. Since 2017, Canada´s government has asked Pope Francis for an apology over the disappearance and human rights violations of Indigenous children practiced by a Catholic Church members in charge of these schools.