The values on which Europe is founded are respect for human dignity, freedom and equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
These core values of Europe have not applied to hundreds of thousands of children and young people in Europe, and their rights and human dignity have been severely violated in the past. These violations have taken place in various ways, especially in the form of child sexual abuse, through maltreatment especially in institutions, and through forced adoptions.
Tens of thousands of victims from that time live among us. To this day, these victims suffer from the injustice and consequences of the abuse that was done to them. Many are psychologically burdened and live in poverty due to the experience of violence. In a few countries in Europe, efforts have been made to redress the suffering. In most countries, a serious confrontation with the abuse has not taken place to this day. This state of affairs is unacceptable for Europe as a community of values and must be corrected now. The victims should receive justice during their lifetime.
Against this background, groups of victims, academics and NGOs from all over Europe have joined forces to formulate a joint political initiative. This is intended to look into the past, but above all to have an effect on the future.