Building a Europe for and with children

The Council of Europe Convention against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse will come into force on 1st July 2010

Strasbourg, 22.03.2010 – In ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse today, San Marino has cleared the way for the convention to come into force on 1 July this year.


Designed to protect children against all forms of sexual violence, whether committed by persons close to the victims (such as sexual abuse within the family or in care facilities) or by strangers, the convention represents a significant advance in terms of stepping up prevention, victim protection and the prosecution of offenders, regardless of where the offences are committed, while also fostering international co-operation.


To date, the convention has been signed by 38 countries and ratified by five of them: Albania, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands and San Marino.


The convention also includes measures to fight offences committed through the Internet, such as online child pornography and “grooming” (where adults seek to enter into contact with children or adolescents for sexual purposes, for example through chat rooms).


San Marino’s ratification comes on the eve of the opening of the Council of Europe’s annual conference on cybercrime, which will focus in particular on the measures to be taken to combat more effectively the sexual abuse and exploitation of children via the Internet. Should child pornography content be taken down or access to the relevant sites blocked? Over 300 participants from the public and private sectors from all over the world will carry forward the debate already under way at national level in several European countries.


Governments which have not yet done so are once again urged to sign and ratify the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse and the Convention on Cybercrime.


See also our Webpage on sexual abuse