Back Lanzarote Committee launches new monitoring round on the protection of children against sexual abuse in the circle of trust

© Council of Europe – Photo: Maria Erla Portway

© Council of Europe – Photo: Maria Erla Portway

Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse affects children in every country. The majority of abuse occurs in the child’s circle of trust, and in many cases is never reported to the police or victim support services.

At its 38th meeting (30 May - 2 June 2023), the Committee of the Parties (Lanzarote Committee) to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) agreed that all 48 Parties to the Convention should provide information about their legal frameworks to assess progress made in ensuring that children are protected against sexual abuse in their circle of trust, i.e. by someone they trust or who exercises authority or influence over them. In this context, an electronic questionnaire was addressed to them on 20 June 2023 via the EUSurvey platform (the text of the questionnaire can be found in Appendix II of the list of decisions). Replies are due by 20 September 2023.

Representatives of civil society will then be called upon to comment on the Parties’ replies. The Committee would like to invite children to participate in this monitoring exercise, more information on how this will be facilitated will be released in September.

During this meeting the Lanzarote Committee also:

  • Requested the Russian Federation to submit by 10 July 2023, a special report responding to 7 urgent questions concerning the implementation of its Convention obligations with regard to the vulnerable situation of the Ukrainian children unlawfully transferred or deported to its territory or areas temporarily controlled or occupied by it.
  • Decided to consider the adoption of a guidance note to clarify the Convention’s requirements as to statutes of limitations for sexual offences against children, highlighting promising practices based on the best interest of the child and taking into account survivors’ experience of the impact of any limitation on prosecuting sexual offences.
  • Agreed to examine possible further safeguards surrounding the legal age for sexual activities, in order to better protect the best interests of the child.
  • Was informed that the 2023 Edition of the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse will focus on learning from survivors of childhood sexual violence.

 List of decisions of the 38th meeting of the Lanzarote Committee 

 Lanzarote Committee public seminar on Statutes of limitation in respect of sexual offences against children & Approaches to the legal age for sexual activities

Strasbourg 23 June 2023
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