The first edition of the European Day on the Protection of children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse was celebrated on 18 November 2015. More than 40 initiatives and actions were undertaken by both governments and civil society. These were met with considerable success and made the European Day truly unique and special. To mark the Day, the Council of Europe launched a new awareness raising animation “Tell Someone You Trust” on sexual abuse committed in the child’s circle of trust, which was heavily shared on social medias, shown in cinemas and schools, and translated in many different languages.
17 Nov 2015 13:40:00Strasbourg 18 November 2015
Marking the first ever Europe-wide action day to end child sex abuse, the Secretary General of...
17 Nov 2015 19:14:0018 November 2015
“Combating sexual abuses and sexual exploitation of children is a very important but challenging...
18 Nov 2015 13:10:0018 November 2015
On the occasion of the first European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual...
18 Nov 2015 13:19:0018 November 2015
17 Nov 2015 13:42:0018 november 2015
Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio / United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
I congratulate the Council of Europe on its decision to establish a European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. It signals that, outrageously, sexual abuse and exploitation of children is widespread, and a call for action. Scientific studies carried out in the last decades estimate that 10 to 20% of children in Europe are sexually assaulted during their childhood: one in five too many. Data on sexual exploitation of children are lacking and are urgently needed. What we do know is that sexual offenders know no borders, no limits and no shame. Our response should equally be borderless, bold and effective. International standards are there, so let there be no excuse. This is not – and must not be – a European Day alone. On this day, we must commit to turn these standards into reality across the world, so that there is no safe haven for sex offenders. Let us make sure, together, that one day this day will be one of celebration: of having defeated this planetary scourge.
Professor Laura Lundy / Director of the cross-university Centre for Children's Rights, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Our experience at the Centre for Children’s Rights in Queen’s University, Belfast tells us that, in order to produce ‘child-friendly’ material, we need to involve children in authorship. We were delighted to work with the Council of Europe to support a group of children to develop child-friendly materials on the Lanzarote Convention. Sexual abuse and exploitation is a sensitive topic and the Lanzarote Convention is a detailed legal document. That made it even more important to take children’s advice on how to explain these issues to other children in ways that are appropriate, accurate and engaging.
Actions and initiatives
The National Agency for the Protection of Child Rights in Albania, in partnership with Terre des Hommes Foundation and USAID, presented on 18 November a new study on « Sexual Abuse of Children in the Circle of Trust ». This event was then followed by activities, such as showing “Tell Someone You Trust” with children to raise their awareness on sexual violence.
Andorra organised a round table with child protection experts to raise awareness among professionals working with children, on child sexual violence. The Andorran Government also translated “Tell Someone You Trust” into Catalan.
MPs of all political groups participated in the launch of balloons in front of the Austrian Parliament in Vienna, upon the initiative by ONE in FIVE contact parliamentarians. The Federal Ombudsman for Children organised a "Children´s-Rights-Spot" competition where children and young people were invited to produce and send either a live action or animated spot on selected topics.
The Social Activities and Practices Institute (SAPI) organised in five Bulgarian cities, workshops with children, and open discussions and meetings with parents and foster parents on the issue of sexual violence against children. The TV sport “Kiko and the Hand “ was broadcast!
The State Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs organised discussions in various support centers on the topic of sexual violence against children. The Parliament of Azerbaijan also organised a roundtable on the Protection of Children from Violence.
The European Day was presented at a press conference followed by a balloon launch in front of the Parliament building.
Estonia marked the European Day by showing “Tell someone you trust”, at the Black Nights Film Festivals youth program which focused on the rights of children and youth (Just Film special programme). Experts then initiated discussions with the audience on topics such as sexual violence, solitude and poverty.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Education conducted an interactive lecture for school students to raise their awareness on violence, bullying, sexual abuse and the risks of online sexual exploitation.
The Contact Parliamentarian of the network to stop sexual violence against children, organised an awareness-raising event entitled “ONE in FIVE – The Greek Model”, in the House of Parliament. Ms Rapti presented in particular the two newest tools of the campaign: the story book “Kiko and the Hand” in Greek and in English specially designed in tactile form and the 3D animation video “Nicky’s Secret”.
The Icelandic Ministry of Welfare, in cooperation with the Government Agency for Child Protection and the Ombudsman for Children in Iceland, organised for the animated video, Tell Someone You Trust, to be shown in all schools, to open up the discussion on the matter of sexual violence.
The Foundation for Social Welfare Services in Malta, organised a commemorative event marking the first European Day aimed at raising awareness on how children can be further protected from sexual violence. Experts, politicians, government officials, charity organisations, government organisations, and NGO's participated and all Council of Europe’s awareness-raising material on sexual violence was shown during the event.
The Republic of Moldova
The authorities of the Republic of Moldova, in partnership with NGOs, organised several information meetings in schools from the North, South and Centre of the country. These explained to children and teachers the risks and the vulnerability of children. The videos “The Lake” and the “Underwear Rule “ were shown.
the Ministry of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security ran a public session in Lisbon on the Protection of Children against Sexual violence. The Ministries of Justice, Education and Science, and Internal Affairs, held public sessions, aimed at different target groups.
Other activities were organised such as conferences, workshops, and dissemination of material to children, NGO’s, the police and many others.
Slovenia and the Association Against Sexual Abuse organised a high level event with key governmental authorities to raise public awareness on sexual violence against children.
Saint-Marino,in partnership with RTV San Marino TV channel, showed the TV spot « Kiko and the Hand » in Italian. Furthermore the San Marino Lanzarote Committee Member was interviewed on TV.
The International Children’s Center organised ONE in FIVE Campaign trainings with several municipalities in collaboration with The Union of Municipalities of Turkey. Eight Council Members of Cankaya Municipality had a stand in one of the most crowded parts of Ankara and distributed materials there and organised a press conference on the importance of the Day.
The Child-Well Being Fund presented the manual “Teach your Child to Protect” which is based on KIKO and the hand.
- The UNCRC Policy Center in Cyprus organised a series of events: radio programs to raise awareness on sexual violence against children; a treasure hunt with 20 different schools based on the ONE in FIVE campaign; an informative seminar on the Lanzarote Convention and finally a child-friendly event “let’s end violence against children” to teach children the different forms of child abuse and its prevention methods.
- The Augeo Foundation organised an e-lecture on sexual violence (freely available) to mark the first European Day. It was presented by 3 international experts in the field and was developed by the Augeo Foundation and ISPCAN.
- ECPAT Austria and ECPAT Luxembourg organised awareness raising events on the ECPAT “Don’t look away!” project and promoted Tell Someone You Trust on social media.
- EUROPOL and INTERPOL raised awareness of the European Day and promoted Tell Someone You Trust via social medias.
- Our Voices Network organised a webinar to share findings from a series of consultations with children and young people affected by sexual violence in Albania, Bulgaria and England. These consultations share the ways that young people felt they or other young people could get involved in sexual violence prevention efforts.
- The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People promoted “Tell Someone You Trust” with their stakeholders via social media and via a website link to the animation.
"Council of Europe calls on member states to protect children against sexual abuse"
(based on Xinhua report)