The 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 perpetrators.

The “Lanzarote Committee” (i.e. the Committee of the Parties to the Lanzarote Convention) is the body established to monitor whether Parties effectively implement the Lanzarote Convention. The Committee is also charged with identifying good practices, in particular during capacity-building activities (study visits, conferences, etc.).

All 46 Council of Europe member states have signed and ratified the Convention. The Russian Federation has also signed and ratified the Convention; Tunisia acceded to it and thus became the first non-European State Party.


 Text of the Convention in several languages

The text of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse is available in several languages, and the Explanatory Report is available in English, French and Russian:


 How to accede to the Lanzarote Convention?

Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse are among the worst forms of violence against children. To protect them against these, the Council of Europe has adopted the most comprehensive legal instrument in this field, the Lanzarote Convention.

Since sexual violence against children is a global concern, any country across the globe may accede to the Convention. The accession process at the Council of Europe level consists of three steps:

  1. Request for accession in an official letter (signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or a diplomatic representative) addressed to the Secretary General
  2. Consultation of the Parties to the Convention to obtain their unanimous consent
  3. Decision on the request by the Committee of Ministers

It takes three steps to make a giant leap forward.

Contact the Treaty Office »


 18 November: End Child Sex Abuse Day

In 2015, to follow up on the important work and impact resulting from the ONE in FIVE Campaign that was completed, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers decided to go one step further by setting up the first European Day for the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, celebrated each year on or around 18 November.

Learn more about the End Child Sex Abuse Day »