Building a Europe for and with children

High Level Cross-Regional Meeting
on the Protection of Children from Sexual Violence

Regional action to support the global agenda to stop sexual violence against children

Organised by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children and the Council of Europe


18-19 June 2015, Palais de l'Europe, Strasbourg, France

Thursday 18 June

09:15 Official Opening

Moderator: Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy, Council of Europe

10:00 THEMATIC SESSION I: Sexual abuse of children in the circle of trust
Insight of European countries’ responses to sexual abuse in the circle of trust
Moderator: Ms Regína Jensdóttir, Head of Children’s Rights Division, Council of Europe 
  Presentation of the Lanzarote Committee’s approach to “sexual abuse in the circle of trust” and of the initial findings of its monitoring work on this theme 
  • Mr Bragi Guðbrandsson, Chair of the Lanzarote Committee
  • Ms Gioia Scappucci, Executive Secretary to the Lanzarote Committee
10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Strategies and good practices for the protection of children from sexual violence in the circle of trust 
  Moderator: Mr Matthew McVarish, actor, playwright and activist against sexual abuse of children 
  From denial to informed action: the importance of investing in research, capacity building and awareness raising  
  • Mr Théophane Nikyèma, Executive Director, The African Child Policy Forum
  • Mr Jorge Freyre, Member of the Latin-American and Caribbean Movement for Children, Regional Advocacy Director, Save the children LAC
  Safe and child sensitive counselling, complaint and reporting mechanisms 
  • Mr Manus de Barra, Child Protection Specialist, Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on violence against children, United Nations
  Challenges in providing child friendly justice and treatment for child victims of sexual abuse in the circle of trust 
  An integrated approach to the elimination of sexual violence: lessons learnt in the Netherlands 
13:00 Lunch
14:30 THEMATIC SESSION II : Protection of children from sexual abuse through information and communication technologies (ICTs) 
  Moderator: Ms Alicia Bala, Deputy Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation, Socio-Cultural Community 
  Connecting with children's and young people's wishes and expectations 
  • Mr Niels Baas, Communication Researcher at the University of Twente, The Netherlands, and founder of Cyberpesten de Baas
  Maximizing opportunities and minimizing risks through empowerment and participation 
  Research and findings from the ROBERT project on online behaviour related to child sexual abuse 
  • Ms Turid Heiberg, Head of the Children at Risk Unit, Council of the Baltic Sea States
  Solicitation of children for sexual purposes through ICTs: Presentation of the Opinion of the Lanzarote Committee on Article 23 of the Lanzarote Convention  
  • Mr Erik Planken, Dutch Member of the Lanzarote Committee
16:00 Coffee break
  Continuation of thematic session II  
  Moderator: Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography 
  Fighting sexual exploitation of children at national level  
  • Mr Geronimo Sy, Assistant Minister of Justice, Philippines
  • Mr Steve Grocki, Deputy Chief, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Criminal Division of Department of Justice, USA
  International Collaboration in Victim Identification and Online Child Sexual Exploitation 
  • Mr Robert Shilling, Coordinator of INTERPOL’s Operations Crimes against Children, Acting Assistant Director Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation
  Promoting public and private partnerships and cybersecurity for children 
  • Mr Howard Schmidt, former Cybersecurity advisor to Presidents Bush and Obama, Co-Founder Ridge Schmidt Cyber, Executive Director SAFECode, USA
18:00 Closing of day one
18:15 Reception in the Foyer of the Committee of Ministers, Palais de l'Europe
  Presentation of the ENOC exhibition "Austerity Bites: Children's Voices"

Friday 19 June

09:00 THEMATIC SESSION III: Opportunities for strengthening international cooperation for the protection of children from sexual violence including on-line

Moderator: Ms Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children

Exploring the role and potential of existing platforms to promote a safe, empowering and inclusive digital agenda for children
  • Ms Clara Sommarin, Child Protection Specialist Exploitation and Violence, UNICEF
  • Ms Verónica Donoso, Executive Director, International Association of Internet Hotlines – INHOPE
  • Ms Janice Richardson, Senior advisor, ENABLE coordinator, European Schoolnet
  • Ms Claire Cody, Research Fellow, International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking, University of Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
  The Stockholm World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of children +20: lessons learnt in the fight against sexual exploitation of children and vision for the future 
11:00 Coffee break
11:15 Closing remarks 
  • Ms Marja Ruotanen, Director of Human Dignity and Equality, Council of Europe
  • Ms Marta Santos Pais, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children