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

The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse came into force on 1st July 2010.

 It is the first international instrument to tackle all forms of sexual violence against children, including abuse perpetrated within the family environment. Apart from sexual abuse, child prostitution and pornography and coercing children into participating in pornographic performances, the convention also deals with grooming and sex tourism.

 For Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, "Sexual violence against children is a crime against childhood. Eradicating it will take more than words and promises. We shall need definite actions to prevent, condemn and punish abuses, help children to protect and express themselves, and give victims a chance to overcome their trauma. This is necessary, feasible and urgent."

 The Council of Europe will accordingly be launching an awareness-raising campaign in Rome (Italy) on 29 November, the aim being to eliminate sexual violence against children. One of the principal objectives will be to draw public attention to the extent of the sexual abuses perpetrated by trusted individuals (within the home, at school or in the context of extracurricular activities). The campaign will also be an opportunity to break the silence surrounding sexual abuse and to educate children and professionals so as to prevent all forms of sexual violence as far as possible.

The convention has been signed by 39 of the Council of Europe's 47 member states, five of which have also ratified it (Albania, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands and San Marino), thereby enabling its entry into force on 1 July 2010.

See also our Webpage on sexual abuse