“Sexual assault against children is an urgent human rights issue and
fighting it should be a political priority”.
(Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, 2011)
“No violence against children is
justifiable; all violence against children is preventable”.
Global Study on Violence Against Children, 2006)
Council of Europe Convention on Protection
of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse,
also known as “the Lanzarote Convention”, requires criminalisation of
all kinds of sexual offences against children. It sets out that states
in Europe and beyond shall adopt specific legislation and take measures
to prevent sexual violence, to protect child victims and to prosecute
Committee” (i.e. the Committee of the Parties to the
Convention) is the body established to monitor whether Parties
effectively implement the Lanzarote Convention. The monitoring
procedure is divided by rounds, each round concerning a theme.
As available data shows that the majority of sexual abuse against
children in Council of Europe countries is “committed within the family
framework, by persons close to the child or by those in the child’s
social environment” (see Lanzarote Convention Explanatory Report,
paras. 48 and 123-125), the Lanzarote Committee decided that the
first monitoring round
would focus on “sexual
of children in the circle of
To set this first monitoring round in motion, the Lanzarote Committee
prepared a “Thematic Questionnaire” to collect specific information on
how Parties implement the Lanzarote Convention with respect to the
situation of sexual abuse
of children in the circle of trust.
In addition it also prepared a “General Overview Questionnaire”
to collect information to have a general framework within which it will
assess replies by Parties to the thematic questionnaire.
All Parties to the Lanzarote Convention should reply to both
questionnaires by 31 January 2014.
All Parties shall in fact be monitored at the same time. The outcome of
the monitoring process will be an implementation report concerning all
Representatives of civil society
involved in preventing and combating sexual exploitation and sexual
abuse of children
may reply to both questionnaires
as well by the same deadline.
States having signed but not ratified
the Lanzarote Convention are
warmly encouraged to reply to the General Overview Questionnaire by the
same deadline. These replies will provide the Lanzarote Committee with a
broader general framework of the situation.
The questionnaires are available here:
General Overview Questionnaire
A non-exhaustive summary of the relevant case-law of the
European Court of Human Rights and European Committee of Social Rights
is available here:
Reference document T-ES(2013)07
The deadline for submitting replies to
is 31 January 2014.
This deadline is identical for both questionnaires and anyone replying.