What is cyberviolence against children?

Cyberviolence against children

The Internet exposes children to a wealth of opportunities, but also risks that may have a detrimental impact on their human rights. Some of these risks include, but are not limited to:


oline child sexual exploitation and abuse 

online grooming


online stalking

What can we do?

Given the complexity of this phenomenon, countries need to have a multidisciplinary approach.

 The first step of this process is to harmonise national legislation with the international standards of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) and the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention).

 However, legislation is not enough, and criminal justice authorities require additional capacities, especially law enforcement and the judiciary. The main challenges they face are posed by new technologies, collection of electronic evidence and international cooperation.

 In this regard, the Council of Europe implements a number of capacity building projects aiming to address this challenge:

What are the Council of Europe instruments?



Globally, 1 in 5 girls
and 1 in 13 boys

have been sexually exploited or abused
before reaching the age of 18

*United Nations Children’s Fund (2021): Ending online child sexual exploitation and abuse. Lessons learned and promising practices in low- and middle-income countries, UNICEF, New York

In 2021, 7 in 10 of the reports assessed by the Internet Watch Foundation
 contained online imagery of children being sexually abused
97% of the identified child sexual abuse material showed girls

* Internet Watch Foundation (2021): Annual Report

68% of the reports assessed by Internet Watch Foundation in 2021
contained online imagery of children aged 11 to 13

* Internet Watch Foundation (2021): Annual Report

Initiatives on Cyberviolence against children
education and prevention

Other tools

 "VAC Clearinghouse” – an online platform set up by the Council of Europe meant to facilitate access to various resources on violence against children with a view to support all stakeholders and partners involved in developing effective responses.