Ending all forms of violence against Children, including sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, is identified as a priority area for action under the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021). The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention) is the most ambitious and comprehensive international legal instrument for the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, including provisions on prevention and prosecution of perpetrators.
Cooperation with civil society actors, particularly with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is essential for the promotion, implementation and monitoring of the Lanzarote Convention at local, national and international levels. In order to further strengthen cooperation between the Council of Europe and civil society actors and to build capacities to strengthen the prevention and protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, the Council of Europe project "Combating violence against children in Ukraine" organised an online workshop for civil society organisations "Strengthening civil society participation in the implementation and monitoring of the Lanzarote Convention, best practices in Ukraine".
Participants got acquainted with the Council of Europe child rights strategic agenda and work, including the Lanzarote Convention and its monitoring process, had the opportunity to discuss strategies and methods for monitoring the implementation of the Lanzarote Convention at the local and regional levels, and learned from experiences and promising practices.
"The involvement of civil society in preventing and combating child sexual exploitation and abuse is crucial. The Lanzarote Convention explicitly recognizes the role of civil society actors in its effective implementation, " said Steen Norlov, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, in his welcoming speech.
More than 30 participants joined the training workshop from among NGO representatives working on the protection of children's rights from sexual violence and exploitation. Representatives of NGOs that are current and/or future partners of the Council of Europe for cooperation in the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse were also invited.