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

Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children can happen online, on a phone, on the streets or through a webcam, at home or at school. It can be inflicted by someone in the child’s circle of trust or even a complete stranger and can cause lifelong damage to the child’s physical and mental health.

To prevent these crimes, prosecute the perpetrators and protect the victims, society as a whole needs to make sure it does not shy away from the problem, but brings it to light and discusses ways and takes practical steps to solve it. In this context, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted a pioneering Convention and launched a campaign to stop sexual violence against children. In 2015, it decided to go one step further by setting up the first European Day for the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

The European Day follows the important work and impact resulting from the recently-completed Council of Europe ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children. Its annual objectives are to:

  • raise public awareness of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, and the need to prevent such acts;
  • open discussion on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and help prevent and eliminate the stigmatisation of victims;
  • 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 Lanzarote Convention :

See the map >>

Council of Europe member States and civil society have ownership for marking and organising the European Day for children and for everyone who interacts with them in their personal or professional capacity (parents, teachers, law enforcement agents etc.). The Council of Europe provides awareness-raising material and shares and promotes the different national actions and initiatives taken by member States. 

If you wish for the Council of Europe to promote your national action and/or initiative, please fill out the following form.

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