European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse

Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children are still a tragic reality for all our societies. They are serious violations of children’s rights, and can have long lasting and often detrimental consequences on a child’s entire life.

Recent research estimates that in 70 - 85% of cases, the perpetrator is a person known to the child. In 90% of cases, abuse is not reported to the police. To prevent these crimes, prosecute the perpetrators and protect the victims, the Council of Europe and its member states need to make sure that parents, educators, NGOs and decision-makers do not shy away from the problem, but bring it to light and discuss ways and take practical steps to solve it.

By combining our efforts, we can all contribute to a world free of sexual violence against children.

The European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse will add on to the work of the Council of Europe and its member states under the ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children, which will end in November 2015.

The ONE in FIVE Campaign had two main goals: to achieve further ratifications and implementation of the Lanzarote Convention, and to equip children, their families and carers as well as societies at large with the knowledge and tools to prevent and report sexual violence against children. The European Day activities will help maintain the momentum the Campaign created.

 The objectives of the European Day are to:

  • raise public awareness of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, and the need to prevent such acts;
  • facilitate open discussion on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and help prevent and eliminate the stigmatisation of victims;
  • promote the ratification and implementation of the Lanzarote Convention- a unique legally-binding instrument that obliges Parties to criminalise all forms of sexual abuse of children and spells out the ways to fight it.

Mapping out the Lazarote Convention :

See the map