This year's topic: Child participation
Children are all too often sidelined from matters that concern them. They should be given the means, space, opportunity and support to participate in the design and implementation of measures, policies, programmes or other initiatives aiming at preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. The 2019 edition of the European Day therefore focuses on “Empowering children to stop sexual violence”.
As 2019 is also the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Council of Europe encourages the organisation of any type of activity giving center stage to children, their insights and proposals. All initiatives stimulating child-led projects, child participation and interactions amongst children themselves are welcome as well as those between children and policy makers, educators, parents and child protection professionals.
The Council of Europe offers its partners a set of tools in order to help them in their activities:
- A facilitators tool kit to implement child participation on the 2019 edition of the European Day
- A child friendly explanation of the European Day
- A social media kit
These tools exist in different languages. Partners are invited to adapt them in their national language after having contacted us.
|European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse||Empowering children to stop sexual violence|
Our communication tools
Qendra për Mbrojtjen e të Drejtave të Fëmijëve në Shqipëri (Child Rights Centre Albania (CRCA) - ECPAT Albania
Child Rights Centre Albania (CRCA) - ECPAT Albania promoted the European Day on its website and raised awareness of its followers on activities carried out on this occasion.
The 2nd Summit of Girls in Albania “Girls4change: Challenging reality – Projecting the future!” is held under the auspices of the Parliamentary Commission for Gender Equality on 18 November and is hosted by the Municipality of Tirana and its City Council of Tirana. This event is organised by the Women’s Rights Caucus of the Albanian Parliament, the Albanian National Youth Network (ANYN), CRCA/ECPAT Albania, the National Youth Resource Centre Albania (YRCA), the Child and Youth Policy Hub and the Albanian Coalition for Education, and facilitated by the Tirana Alliance of Youth Councillors. A Resolution on the Protection of girls from sexual violence is promoted with the view to have it endorsed and approved by the Parliament.
Several activities are carried out on the occasion of the European Day:
- The State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs organised seminars for parents and specialists working with children, together with local executive powers and municipalities, in the cities of Ucar, Qaradag and Shirvan on 18-19 November. Family and Children support centers also provided community mobilising seminars and trainings for the parents and children on 14-19 November in 11 regions (Shuvelan-Baku, Goygol, Aghdam, Ismayilli, Qabala, Zagatala, Zardab, Goranboy, Hajiqabul, Saatli, Sabirabad) and distributed awareness raising leaflets. Trainings supervised by youth of the Child Forum of the State Committee were also held on 19-20 November in Baku and in the regions of Qabala, Ismayilli and Goychay;
- The State Committee and the Sabunchy district local Monitoring group on Child violence organised a peer to peer training on 18 November, on the Lanzarote convention and child sexual violence for the members of the monitoring groups on violence against children;
- Family and Children Support Centers of the Committee in the regions adapted Council of Europe material into Azeri (posters, leaflets, booklets and the video "Kiko and hand") in order to use them during peer to peer trainings;
- The Azerbaijani member of the Lanzarote Committee was interviewed live on the Azerbaijan State TV, on ASAN radio and on Youtube channel on 18 November, about child violence and the Lanzarote convention.
On 12 November, ECPAT Belgium held a training session on safety against child sexual abuse online to young survivors of child trafficking. This event took place at Espéranto, the support centre for child victims of trafficking in Belgium. The session aimed to empower these survivors, prevent further victimisation and encourage them to pass this knowledge onto their peers. Materials created in the context of the Make-IT-Safe project and the ReACT project ( and ) were used.
The Ruka association for support to pedophilia victims and their families organised a public panel on 25 November 2019 in Zagreb, in the context of its project on education as prevention against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. On this occasion, it created an awareness raising poster on the basis of the “Underwear rule” and distributed the booklet “Kiko and the hand” in Croatian. The project will be proposed to the Ministry of Education for introduction into the preschool and school education system of the Republic of Croatia.
Stop Sexual Violence Association (Stop aux Violences Sexuelles - SVS)
The association Stop Sexual Violence (Stop aux Violences Sexuelles - SVS) published an article in its monthly newsletter (September 2019 edition) drawing the attention of its 5,000 subscribers, in France and internationally, to the theme of the 2019 edition of the European Day and encouraging them to contribute to it.
Ms Martine Wonner, Deputy, 4th district of Bas-Rhin
Video message by Deputy Ms Martine Wonner (4th district of Bas-Rhin), on sexual violence against children on the occasion of the European Day.
Launch of the "Start to Talk" Campaign
Ms Roxana Maracineanu, Minister of Sport, and Mr Adrien Taquet, Secretary of State for Child Protection, launched the Council of Europe's "Start to Talk" Campaign on Thursday, 14 November in Strasbourg. This campaign is a call for action by the Council of Europe to public authorities, the sports movement and other actors to take preventive measures and offer protection needed to stop sexual abuse of children. “Start to Talk” is about adults breaking the silence and lending children a voice.
ECPAT Germany and Die Kinderschutzzentren
ECPAT Germany and Die Kinderschutzzentren launched a new video on the issue of sexualised violence in organised and ritual structures of violence. The video aims to raise awareness and to provide expertise on this topic, which is too often still a taboo. The video is a follow-up to a publication of April 2018 on the same topic with recommendations for policy makers and society.
Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues
The Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues (UBSKM), Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, issued a press release emphasising the importance of preventive parenting where adults take children’s voice seriously and build a relationship of trust with them. Recalling the situation of child sexual violence in Germany, he reiterated his call for politics and society to invest extensively in prevention.
Conference “Children Help Government to Work for Children”
A conference “Children Help Government to Work for Children” discussing cyberbullying and child sexual violence in Georgia was held at the European University in Tbilisi, on 15 November. The event was attended by 60 children, aged 12-18, and representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Healthcare, Public Defender’s Office and Office of Resource Officers of Educational Institutions (Office in charge of the safety and security of pupils). The event was organised by the Partnership for Human Rights and the Georgian Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims with the support of the Council of Europe’s project “Responding to Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Georgia, Phase I”.
Public Health Foundation
The Public Health Foundation organised a special event on 18 November in Tbilisi, involving children, in the framework of the project “Hear Our Voice” - combating online child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation in Georgia. The purpose of the event was to empower children to prevent, recognise and report Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA) and to raise awareness among children on how to stay safe online and offline.
About 40 schools (of all types, from kindergarten to high schools and vocational schools, and from all over the country) followed the call made by the Ministry of Education to be active on the occasion of the European Day. They organised various types of activities to raise awareness sexual exploitation and abuse of children and to have children participating in, such as:
- watching awareness raising videos (Kiko and the Hand; Tell Someone You Trust; Nicky’s Secret I and Nicky’s Secret II (Victor’s Adventure); Start to talk; …);
- reading Kiko and the Hand story;
- drawing or painting scenes of the videos or books;
- preparing informative materials (posters, comic, slogans, leaflets, …);
- discussing the issue of child sexual violence (with adults such as a psychologist, a social worker, the headmaster or a police officer) in particular “good and bad” secrets and “the underwear rule”;
- exchanging ideas and information on how to protect oneself and alert on cases (helplines);
- sending letters to parents or meeting with them for awareness raising purposes.
The schools that have carried out an activity include:
Junior High School of Agiasos, 3rd Neapolis Primary School of Ait / Nia, 2nd Primary School of Anavyssos, 9th (Galatsi) Elementary School of Athens, Primary school of Chalkiades, Primary school of Chrisopigi, Junior School of Demenika, Junior School of Echinos, 8th Primary School of Gerakas, Agios Syllas kindergarten school of Iraklio-Crete, Elementary School of Kalamaria, Primary School of Kalandra, Primary School of Kassos Dodekanesa, Primary school of Kato Zevgaraki, 1st School of Kavala, High School of Kopanos, Junior High School of Korisos, Primary School of Kozani, 3rd High school of Kozani, 3rd High school of Lagada, Junior High School of Nikea, Larissa, 10th Junior High School of Larissa, 2nd Junior High School of Leros, Junior High School of Loutro, 1st Junior High School of Nafpaktos, 2nd Primary School of Oreokastro, Primary school of Pantanassa, 2nd Junior High School of Paralia, White Houses Senior High School of Paralia Distomou, Elementary school of Paravola, Middle School "Gennio" of Patmos, 6th Primary School of Patras, 17th Primary School of Patras, 62nd Elementary School of Patras, Primary School of Pelasgia, High School of Pelasgia, High School of Plomari, Lesbos island, 5th Primary School of Ptolemaida (general information and activity), 6th High School of Serron, Junior High School of Tegea, 3rd Primary School “Kostas Virvos” of Trikala, Kindergarden school of Varia in Mytilene on Lesbos island, 1st Technical Vocational School of Veria, 3rd High School of Veria, 18th Primary School of Volos, Elementary school of Zanneio.
Smile of the child
The NGO The Smile of the child published a press release to raise awareness on the issue of child sexual violence and its activities (past and future) in this field. Calling victims and their relatives to speak out, this was also the occasion to inform on the nationwide campaign “It Remains a Secret” which provides with 15 concrete proposals on the prevention and tackling of child sexual abuse.
The Smile of the Child also launched the “302010 Campaign –give me the Right to Smile” on 20 November 2019 (watch the TV spot), which focuses on the importance of child participation in a variety of thematic areas that concern the rights of children, including sexual abuse and exploitation
Organisation of a concert by the Permanent Representation of Hungary to the Council of Europe, given by four young musicians of Roma origin, on 13 November 2019, in Strasbourg. All four young musicians are participants in the programme of the Snétberger Music Talent Centre. The centre focuses on the training and teaching of 60 talented young musicians of Roma origin, recruited from disadvantaged areas of Hungary. Besides their musical training they receive tailor-made personal mentoring and peer assistance. The centre also helps the participants with post programme mentoring including career-development information and organising stage performances.
Il Cavallo Rosa
The NGO Il Cavallo Rosa organises a talk on 24 November 2019 in Milan on the role of the coach, the abuse of power, stories of manipulation and proposals for a turning point, on the occasion of the European Day and in the context of the “Start to Talk” Campaign.
Ministry for Equal Opportunities and Family
Publication of a public call for proposals for the funding of projects for the prevention of peer violence, including online violence, the prevention and fight against child sexual abuse and exploitation, the prevention and protection of child victims of violence in sport, and the support to parents and families of child abusers. The total amount of available funding equals 5 million euros.
On 18 November 2019 in Bologna, the NGO Agevolando organised a Conference entitled “Through our eyes! Experiences of Care leavers’ in Emilia-Romagna and in Europe”. This conference brought to light the Care Leavers Network Italy project, which establishes and consolidates a national network of 16-24 year old boys and girls who have lived “outside the family” (residential care, foster care). Agevolando also discussed the “LeaveCare-LiveLife” project, run in partnership with other European NGOs, which aims at creating the first European network of care leavers with a view to prepare a set of recommendations to be presented to the European Parliament in February 2020.
On the occasion of the European Day, Telefono Azzurro recalled victims and persons aware of a dangerous situation to call the Emergency Childhood service at 114 or ton contact thourgh the web chat www.114.it. Telefono Azzurro also recalled prevalence data of child sexual violence of 2018.
State Inspectorates for protection of children’s rights Child Helpline 116111
Campaign “Stop the Silence” was organised from 18 to 24 November 2019. Its purpose was to provide the opportunity to report cases of sexual abuse against children, to receive professional psychological counselling and support, and to gain the necessary information on the possible signs of sexual abuse and following steps to stop possible abuse.
Latvian Safer Internet Centre
Informative materials were developed for youngsters, their parents and pedagogues about sharing nude pictures, explaining what the consequences are, how to react if a child is requested to send nude pictures and where to report or turn for a help. Latvian Safer Internet Centre also sent a press release to media describing the importance of reporting child sexual abuse materials available online to hotline at www.drossinternets.lv and shared information about reports statistics.
Latvian State Probation Service
An article was developed to voice the problem of sexual violence against children and its possible solutions to wider society. It also recalled that activities to inform and to educate society and experts are organised throughout the year.
A presentation was held on 1 November 2019 on the renewed “Džimbas safety program”, which is a child focused program for reducing child victimisation. As sexual abuse is the most common type of crime against children in Latvia and the Internet environment poses new risks to child safety, “CentrsDardedze” is expanding its preventive program on safety in pre-school and primary school children as they need to know how to recognise unsafe situations and seek help. It is also the responsibility of adults not to be afraid to talk about it. “CentrsDardedze” also reached out to media to raise awareness of more specific prevention issues in accordance with this topic, explore opportunities for victim victimisation stories, and develop practical tips for parents on using social networking platforms.
Organisation of the third edition of the "ECPAT Week", from 18 to 27 November 2019 with the following awareness-raising events:
- Launch of a comic strip by Andy Genen "Send me a picture...", on "sexting";
- Screening, to students, of the film "Disconnect" on the dangers of new technologies, followed by an educational quiz about the different types of online sexual exploitation of children;
- Screening of the film by Andrea Bescond and Eric Metayer, "Les Chatouilles", followed by a debate;
- Pub Quiz in English and Luxembourgish to raise awareness of the subjects and countries covered by ECPAT;
- Magic show on children's rights in collaboration with MENJE, with screening of a short awareness video for children;
- Round table discussion on volunteerism, a widespread practice that combines tourism with volunteerism, followed by a cocktail reception.
Office of the Commissioner for Children
The Office of the Commissioner for Children distributed the “Kiko and the Hand” book to all 4 year old children in Malta in order to mark the European Day.
Ministry for the Family, Children's rights and Social solidarity
The ministry for the Family, Children's rights and Social solidarity organised a National Conference “International Children’s Day & the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse”, on 20 November at St. Julians. The event took place in the presence, in particular, of the Prime minister, Dr Joseph Muscat, the minister for the Family, Children's rights and Social solidarity, Dr Michael Falzon, and the Chairperson of the Committee of the Parties to the Convention for the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (Lanzarote Committee), Mr George Nikolaidis. A video was produced on this occasion.
REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
Centrul Naţional de Prevenire a Abuzului faţă de Copii (CNPAC) (National Centre for Child Abuse Prevention)
Activities of the CNPAC include a touring photo exhibition (see in Romanian and in English) and media materials to raise awareness about online child sexual exploitation and abuse developed with child participation and an advocacy group of youth advocates and survivors of child sexual abuse.
La Strada – Moldova
In partnership with the Prosecutor’s Office for Special Causes and Organized Crime, La Strada – Moldova, organised a press conference aimed to raise awareness about online child sexual exploitation.
La Strada – Moldova also conducted a thematic local training for school psychologists, from one district in Moldova, regarding the signs of online child sexual exploitation and intervention focused on children rights. These initiatives will continue with one full day conference for teachers from high school regarding the sextortion risk among youngsters and awareness raising debriefing with local police regarding online child sexual exploitation and child-oriented interventions.
The Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro. Activities include development of materials to raise awareness about the Lanzarote Convention along with educational workshops for children and workshops for professionals working with children.
The European Parliament office in Poland published a post on Twitter on the occasion of the European Day recalling that sexual abuse causes an excessive damage on child’s mental and physical health for the whole life.
Directorate General of Policy for Justice
The Directorate General of Policy for Justice translated into Portuguese the European day poster, published it on its website and disseminated it to several institutions like the Prosecutor’ office, the Ministry of Education, the Police and several NGOs.
The Judiciary Police took the occasion of the European Day to publish data on the prevalence of sexual violence against children.
National Commission for the Promotion of Rights and Protection of Children and Young People
The National Commission for the Promotion of Rights and Protection of Children and Young People (ComissãoNacional de Promoção dos Direitos e Proteção das Crianças e Jovens) (FaceBook) organised the following activities on the occasion of the European Day:
- Translation into Portuguese of the facilitators tool kit to implement child participation on the 2019 edition of the European Day (kit de material de apoio às CPCJ);
- Invitation and stimulation of the 310 Local Commissions of Protection of Children and Young People of the country to celebrate the European Day and to develop initiatives in the spirit of the 2019 theme, Empowering children to stop sexual violence;
- Organisation of two working sessions with teachers and students of a school in Lisbon, based on the Council of Europe's materials on Empowering children to stop sexual violence, to stimulate child-led projects in school context, namely on the prevention of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation;
- In partnership with the Lisbon Municipality, reedited a live session of the theater play “Picos e Avelã - Discovering the Forest of the Treasure”, whose script is based on a book focused on the need to prevent sexual abuse at very early ages. The session was attended by approximately 200 children aged 3 to 10 (preschool and 1st cycle of education) and aims at providing young children with defence mechanisms and at enabling them to report possible abuse situations of which they are victims or of their knowledge. At the end of the play, children had the opportunity to interact with one of the authors of the book.
Associação Portuguesa de Crianças Desaparecidas (APCD)
The Portuguese association of missing children (Associação Portuguesa de Crianças Desaparecidas) distributed the child friendly explanation of the European Day into Portuguese
Comissãoes de Protecção de Crianças e Jovens (CPCJ), Schools
Activities with children were carried out by Child and Youth Protection Commissions (Comissãoes de Protecção de Crianças e Jovens - CPCJ) in a number of cities, such as Alcácer do Sal, Alijó, Barrancos, Batalha, Mesão Frio, Monção, Ovar, Penalva do Castelo, Póvoa de Varzim, Vale de Cambra, Vizela and schools in Amares.
Civil society was also active in promoting the European Day, such as:
- Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima (APAV) which informed on the European Day and offered its help to children and young victims, their families and friends;
- Associação ACEGIS Pela construção de uma sociedade mais justa, paritária e inclusive, which published on its website general information on the European Day;
- Jesuítas em Portugal which issued a statement raising the importance of prevention of child sexual violence.
City of Lisbon
The Lisbon Municipal Assembly approved, on 29 October 2019, decision N° 87/04 which aim is to:
1 - Associate with and support public initiatives to be launched on the European Day for the Protection of Children against Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.
2 - Inform all CML councillors, the National Commission for the Promotion of the Rights and Protection of Children and Youth, the National Commission for the Protection of Children and Youth at Risk and the 4 Child and Youth Protection Committees of Lisbon.
Several events took place on the occasion of the European Day:
- The national TV broadcasted the video "The Lake” in Italian over 10 days, 3 times a day, during peak hours;
- On 18 November a joint press release was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health, Equal Opportunities and Social Affairs. It mentioned the activities of the Council of Europe and the Lanzarote Convention;
- The Service for Minors, in cooperation with the Social Security Institute, organised a press conference during which statistical data from recent years were presented and made public (for the first time, highlighting figures on sexual violence). The most recent prevention activities were illustrated, including educational laboratories in schools.
Centar za Prava Deteta (Child Rights Centre)
Child Rights Centre activities included a media campaign with child participation to raise awareness about online child sexual exploitation and abuse and an analysis of legislation, policy and training in co-operation with a multi-disciplinary working group of stakeholders at national level.
Зашттника грађана (Protector of Citizens)
The Protector of Citizens, Mr Zoran Pašalić, issued a press statement on the occasion of the European Day, calling, in particular, to a better protection of children against sexual violence in law, a better prevention scheme through sexuality education and improved fight against child sexual exploitation and trafficking.
The National coordination centre for resolving the issues of violence against children (under the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family) renewed its national campaign “It does concern me” for a second year running from 18 November to 31 December 2019 - but this year in the online environment. The campaign aimed at raising awareness on the importance of listening to children´s voices and included promotion via Youtube, Facebook and Instagram, with reference to the campaign page. An evaluation was carried out to gage the impact of this latest campaign.
Federación de Asociaciones para la Prevención del Maltrato Infantil (FAPMI-ECPAT) (Federation of Associations for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment)
Seminar on sexual violence against minors with intellectual or developmental disabilities (Seminario sobre violencia sexual contra las personas menores de edad con discapacidad intelectual o del desarrollo), on 21 September 2019 in Vigo, organised together with the Association on child sexual abuse of Galicia (Asociación Abuso Sexual Infantil No.Galicia – AMINO.Gal). This seminar was the occasion to present the program “Poñendo os Lentes” which aims at disseminating massively the “One in Five” Campaign, as well as the “Underwear Rule”, Kiko and the Hand and the “Detective school”, as tools to work on the prevention of sexual violence against children. In addition, Fundacion A la Par addressed the issue of sexual education as key for the prevention of sexual abuse of children with intellectual disability.
Conference “Violence (In)Visible. Know to walk towards the good treatment of children and adolescents with disabilities” (Jornada: “Violencias (In)Visibles. Conocer para caminar hacia el buen trato a la infancia y adolescencia con discapacidad”), on 19 November 2019 in Valladolid, organised together with the Association of Leonese Castilian for the Defense of Children and Youth (Asociación Castellano Leonesa para la Defensa de la Infancia y la Juventud – REA).
Awareness Day “Making visible the impact of violence in childhood” (Jornada de Sensibilización: “Visibilizando el impacto de la violencia en la infancia”), on 20 November 2019, in Oviedo, organised together with the Asturian Association for Child Care and Care (Asociación Asturiana para la Atención y el Cuidado de la Infancia – ASACI).
Conference “Child sexual abuse. Tools for its Prevention, ‘One in Five’ Campaign” (El Abuso Sexual Infantil. Herramientas para prevenirlo. Campaña uno de cada cinco) on 21 November 2019, in Murcia, organised by the Association for the assistance of abused childhood of Murcia (Asociación Murciana de Ayuda a la Infancia Maltratada – AMAIM). The aim was to promote social awareness and to endow children with strategies for the prevention of child sexual abuse.
IV State Seminar on child sexual exploitation “Minors in migration and trafficking of children” (IV Seminario Estatal sobre explotación sexual de la infancia y la adolescensia “Personas menores de edad en tránsito y trata de niñas y niños”) on 21 and 22 November 2019, in Bilbao, organised together with the Association for the help to Children Maltreated (Asociación Vasca para la Ayuda a la Infancia Maltratada – AVAIM). This seminar is seen as a meeting point for professionals from different fields to deepen in the knowledge of this problem.
Karadeniz İlleri Kadın Platformu Derneği - Kikap (The Women's Platform of Blacksea Cities)
Kikap-Trabzon, in cooperation with the Trabzon bar and the support of the Province of Trabzon, organised on 18 November 2019, a panel discussion and a workshop on proposals for legal changes when the perpetrators of crimes against children are children themselves
The National Council of Children and Youth NGO and the Office of the Ombudsman for Children with the President of Ukraine
The National Council of Children and Youth NGO, in cooperation with the Office of the Ombudsman for Children with the President of Ukraine, organised the following activities:
- Volunteer school project: child representatives from schools across all 25 Ukrainian regions are trained to teach their peers and provide information about online child sexual abuse and exploitation, so that they can organise trainings in their schools on 18 November;
- A webinar for teens on how to conduct lessons about online child sexual abuse and exploitation;
- Invitation to teachers from all around the country, with the support of the Ministry of Education, to hold quest lessons “Private selfies on the Internet – a joke or a dangerous risk?” for teens who are asked to seek for different clues and objects in the classroom to restore fictional stories of the sexting, online grooming and sextortion victims;
- Press-conference at the President’s Office with the Ombudsman for Children, Head of Juvenile prevention Department, representatives from the National Youth Council and a developer of parental control services, to raised awareness on the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.
Activities of the Women’s Consortium of Ukraine include a social media campaign developed with child participation to raise awareness about cybercrime and sexual abuse and exploitation in Ukraine, along with awareness raising among policy makers through an online survey and roundtable.
Initiative group of children and young people
The Initiative group of children and young people organised the screening of David Schwimmer’s movie, “Trust”, on 16 November 2019 in Kiev, followed by a discussion on “Improving awareness about sexual exploitation and abuse of children online”, in the presence of the singer DaKooka. This event was organised with the support of the Women’s Consortium of Ukraine, the Council of Europe and the Fund End Violence Against the Children, in partnership with Kyiv Educational Centre “TolerSpace” and Zmina Human Rights Centre.
Child Well-Being Fund Ukraine
Child Well-Being Fund Ukraine promoted the European Day on its website and organised the following activities:
- Informational campaign on Facebook on the issue of child sexual abuse and exploitation, and prevention measures;
- As a consequence, more than 50 educators, psychologists, parents informed about their own activities dedicated to the Day;
- 3-days training for school psychologists in Kyiv to present them the methodological manuals for teaching children the underwear rule;
- Dissemination of informational materials among professionals and parents on the topic “How to teach children safe behaviour rules to protect them from sexual abuse”;
- Translation into Ukrainian of the facilitators’ toolkit and the child friendly poster on the European Day.
Our Voices Programme (University of Bedfordshire)
The Our Voices Programme produced a Special Edition Newsletter to Mark the 18 November. It features upcoming events and new blogs, podcasts and resources that explore young people's participation in addressing sexual violence, including a webinar on the Our Voices Too Youth Advocacy Project.
ECPAT International issued a statement on the occasion of the European Day calling to take action and join the fight to end the sexual exploitation of children. The Organisation recalled its work all around the globe with its 111 members, in providing victim support, advocating for better laws, running hotlines, helplines and shelters, raising awareness and putting the issue of child sexual exploitation on the global agenda.
INHOPE alerted its subscribers, via a publication on its Facebook account, about the existence of the European Day. They recalled that they have been active in the fight against child sexual abuse for two decades.
Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)
A delegation from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) went to Brussels on the occasion of the European Day to meet with several MEPs and representatives of the European Commission to ensure that the issue of tackling child sexual abuse, particularly online, remain high on the political agenda in the European Union.
Council of Europe
Mr George Nikolaidis, Chairperson of the Lanzarote CommitteeToday, 18 November, as every year, is a day dedicated to particular awareness and memory of the millions of children subjected to sexual violence.
As Chairperson of the Committee of the Parties to the Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (the Lanzarote Convention / Committee), it is my duty and privilege to remind all of us - state representatives, NGO activists, parents, adults in regular contact with children and, of course, children themselves, that each and every one of us can contribute to eradicating sexual violence against children.
Currently and despite remarkable progress being made globally for enhancing child protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, there are still considerable challenges for governments, international organisations and civil society stakeholders: Since, too often, they do not apply effective measures of prevention or they do not inform children timely about their rights to their own bodies, children are still exposed to dangers of child sexual abuse ; children –victims that find the courage to disclose still face barriers in unfriendly administrative and juridical procedures instead of efficient, children-friendly responses which could minimise their traumatic revictimisation but also facilitate prosecution of offenders; children who survive sexual abuse still find it hard to enjoy therapeutic services and the level of care required for them to strengthen their resilience and be able to thrive; mostly vulnerable populations of children are exposed in increased risk of sexual exploitation and abuse such as children affected by the migration crisis, children in detention, children placed in institutional and residential care, children with disability, children belonging to minorities, socially excluded children living in extreme poverty. All these represent a major challenge for all of us to join forces for bringing about all necessary social policy measures in order for providing a safer environment for children at the pan-European and global level.
However, this challenge is not to be achieved successfully if children continue to be perceived as passive subjects of policies designed and implemented by adults only; they have to be included in the global mobilisation of forces required but as active agents of change, by enhancing their own participation at all levels of decision making that is concerning them. The theme of this year’s edition of the European Day, “Empowering children to stop sexual violence”, is of particular relevance to the Lanzarote Committee. First, because child participation is an obligation under the Lanzarote Convention: “Each Party shall encourage the participation of children, according to their evolving capacity, in the development and the implementation of state policies, programmes or other initiatives concerning the fight against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.” (Article 9.1). Second, because the Lanzarote Committee is a monitoring body which invited children to contribute actively to its work. Indeed, it received contributions from children coming from 10 countries. These remarks, comments and suggestions are duly being taken into consideration by the Lanzarote Committee in its current monitoring round on “The protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse facilitated by information and communication technologies (ICTs)”. The views shared by these children broaden perspectives and enrich our work. I very sincerely thank them all for contributing to our work by voicing their views. Lastly, because apart from ad hoc instances of child participation, it is of paramount importance to promote globally the institutional participation of children in all decisions concerning them in a systematic, meaningful and substantial way.
I therefore strongly invite you to take this year’s edition of the European Day as an excellent opportunity to encourage children to share their views and start involving them more in matters that concern them.
Children’s contributions to the 2nd monitoring round
The visual contributions (videos and posters) of children from Albania, Cyprus, Hungary and Ukraine to the 2nd monitoring round of the Lanzarote Committee on "The protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse facilitated by information and communication technologies (ICTs)" were compiled in a 3mn30 video. This video was presented to representatives of Council of Europe member states on 13 November 2019.
Joint statement by Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly, and Stefan Schennach, Chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development.
Hearing of experts
The Sub-Committee on Children and the Sub-Committee on the European Social Charter, of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development organised a hearing of experts on 14 November 2019, as a Parliamentary Assembly contribution to the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (18 November). On this occasion, participants discussed the Parliamentary action empowering children to stop sexual violence, in the presence of:
- Ms Cath Larkins, member of Eurochild, child participation consultant, University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom)
- Ms Josiane Bigot, President of Themis (France), association for access of children and young people to justice
- Mr Olivier Égelé, President of Stop Aux Violences Sexuelles Alsace (France)
- Mr Mikaël Poutiers, Secretary of the Committee of the Parties to the Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (Lanzarote Committee)
So, this is Sexual Abuse? is a new Council of Europe child-friendly booklet for teenagers (aged 12 and up), to explore some of the ways in which sexual abuse and exploitation of children can occur today. This publication was developed in the context of the EndOCSEA@Europe project, with Hintalovon child Rights Foundation and the participation of children. It is a tool for parents, teachers, youth workers to start the conversation with teenagers about sexual abuse and exploitation.