With the participation of representatives from: Albania,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro,
Organised in co-operation with the Ministry of Family,
Veterans' Affairs and Intergenerational
Zagreb, 27-28 October 2011
The protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation has been a stated goal of the Council of Europe for many years. In 2007, the European Convention on the Protection of Children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse was adopted at a conference in Lanzarote, Spain (“the Lanzarote Convention”).
To date, the Convention has been signed by 28 member states and ratified by 15. Following its fifth ratification, the Convention entered into force on 1 July 2010. A Committee of the Parties composed of the representatives of the Parties to the Convention will be established in 2011 to monitor its implementation. The systematic monitoring of the implementation of the Convention will be one of its major strengths.
The “Lanzarote Convention” is the first international treaty to criminalise sexual abuse. It provides a comprehensive and exhaustive coverage of the protection of children against such crimes and consolidates existing standards in this field. This new instrument also aims at filling gaps in international instruments and national legislations, ensuring coherency throughout Europe and providing equal protection for all children by establishing clear common standards and definitions, which must be applicable in all countries, in particular by harmonising criminal law and other relevant measures.
With an emphasis on keeping the best interests of children in the forefront, the convention covers the following main aspects:
preventive and protective measures;
assistance to child victims and their families;
intervention programmes or measures for child sex offenders;
criminal offences, including several entirely new offences, such as child grooming;
child-friendly procedures for investigation and prosecution;
recording and storing of data on convicted sex offenders;
a monitoring mechanism to ensure implementation of the provisions of the Convention.
Encourage member states to sign and ratify the Convention;
Explore existing good practices on how the Convention can be effectively implemented;
Have an exchange of views about effective prevention policies in different settings where children take an active part;
Examine the recently adopted guidelines on child friendly justice.
The Council of Europe “One in Five” Campaign will also be presented with a view to encouraging member states to launch their national campaigns.
The topic being multidisciplinary and covering issues of justice, health, social affairs, youth and education it is important that representatives of Ministries covering these areas are present. Other targeted participants include:
governmental representatives responsible with legislation on protection of children as well as with ratification of international treaties on this matter;
professionals dealing with child victims;
members of national parliaments;
Ombudspersons dealing with Children’s rights;
representatives of Council of Europe advisory bodies;
other international and regional organisations;
representatives of NGOs;