Dutch commission announces 350 child abuse reports

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Dutch authorities have received 350 reports of sexual abuse against children placed by social services in centres and families, a government-appointed commission announced Wednesday.

"Until now, 350 reports have been received" since 1945, with most involving "serious" sexual abuse, said a statement by the Samson Commission which launched its probe last year.

Some 36 cases have been transferred to the Netherlands public prosecutors office for possible legal proceedings, the commission said. It said more than half the alleged cases reportedly took place within the last three decades.

"By serious abuse, I mean rape," commission head Rieke Samson told the AD newspaper in an interview published Wednesday, describing a variety of alleged perpetrators including health and social workers and foster families.

The commission is expected to publish a final report before the summer of 2012.

A separate commission, tasked to look into alleged sexual abuse by members of Dutch Roman Catholic clergy, received nearly 2,000 reports between March and December 2010.

© 2011 AFP

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