Victoria Climbié

Victoria Climbié's sorry legacy -

and 11 million children lose their civil liberties

Victoria ClimbiéVictoria Climbié

In January 2001 Marie-Therese Kouao and Carl John Manning were convicted of the torture and murder of Victoria Climbié'. This was a cause célèbre. The Laming Inquiry exposed the usual shambolic catalogue of errors, carelessness and mismanagement as is usual in such cases. The only people spared from criticism were Victoria's parents. Lord Laming stated that:

I wish to pay a warm tribute to Victoria's parents, Francis and Berthe Climbié. They were present for the whole of Phase One of this Inquiry. Their love for Victoria was clear, as were their hopes that she would receive a better education in Europe. In the face of the most disturbing evidence about the treatment of their daughter, they displayed both courage and dignity...... Victoria's parents' reasons for allowing her to travel to Europe with Kouao fall outside the Terms of Reference of this Inquiry. It is not a matter I will be dealing with, except to observe that I have seen evidence which shows that entrusting children to relatives living in Europe who can offer financial and educational opportunities unavailable in the Ivory Coast is not uncommon in Victoria's parents' society.

Well it should have been.

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