high-level round table to discuss international
standards to eliminate sexual violence against children
was held within the context of the 55th Session of the
Commission on the Status of Women the 28th of February
2011 in New York.
The round table discussed the contents and the
complementarity of the two most important international
legal texts in this field: the UN Optional Protocol on
the sale of children, child prostitution and child
pornography and the Council of Europe Convention on the
Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and
Sexual Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention).
Both the Council of Europe and the United Nations are
campaigning for the ratification of these treaties that,
if combined, create the necessary conditions to
effectively fight sexual violence against children at
national and international level.
The Lanzarote Convention was referred to as the most
comprehensive legal text that should serve as a
reference for action worldwide while through its
universal ratification, the Optional Protocol would
create a universal common legal space to address the
worst forms of sexual violence.
When speaking about the need to raise awareness on the
extent of sexual violence, the Deputy Secretary General
of the Council of Europe, Ms de Boer-Buquicchio
ONE in FIVE campaign as an empowering tool that
responds to concrete needs and creates opportunities for
action by all social partners.
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General
on Violence against Children, Ms Marta Santos Pais, in
underlined the need to develop child-friendly
reporting and complaint mechanisms.
Ms Gordana Buljan Flander
described the functioning of the Center for Child
Protection in Croatia which she is heading and provided
a concrete example of the interest of good coordinating
between the various professionals involved in attending
to cases of sexual violence. She also demonstrated how
lessons learnt can be translated into information
material for children, parents or professionals.
The panellists also stressed the key role that
parliamentarians play in the ratification and
implementation of international treaties. Ms Maria
Stavrositu, a member of the Romanian Parliament and of
the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly,
referred to the creation of a network of contact
parliamentarians in support of the Lanzarote Convention
and the ONE in FIVE campaign.
The host and chair of the event, Ukrainian Ambassador
Yuriy Sergeyev, underlined his country's commitment to
children's rights and recent steps undertaken to fight
trafficking in children. Ukraine will soon be chairing
the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers and
children's rights appear as one of its programme