On the 29th of June 2022, experts from civil society, governments and intergovernmental organisations across North-Africa, the Middle East and Europe united to address the protection of girls against violence.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of girls around the world are subjected to practices that harm them physically, psychologically, or both. The lack of legal provisions regarding the minimum age of marriage, the critical rise of violence against girls in humanitarian settings, and the lack of public awareness on the harmful practices to which girls are subjected are urgent priorities highlighted by civil society organisations and grassroots workers in the Southern Mediterranean.

“Protecting Girls” opened the discussion on both a regional and societal level, considering the challenges and solutions to protect girls against violence and strengthen the legal and social infrastructure to support victims. The conference also presented recommendations and promising initiatives from civil society actors.

The Women Empowerment conference were bilingual, conducted in English and Arabic, with simultaneous interpretation. Taking place in Lisbon (Portugal), the event was broadcasted through on online platform offering the possibility to join and interact remotely for anyone willing to know more about what must be done, at different levels, to ensure the protection of girls. 

The event was organised in the framework of the South Programme IV  “Regional Support to Reinforce Human Rights, Rule of Law and Democracy in the Southern Mediterranean” and with the support of the European Commission representation in Portugal. This milestone event concludes the North-South Centre’s project Euro-Mediterranean cooperation to protect women and girls against violence, and guides the Centre’s action for future coordination and cooperation in the promotion women and girls rights and combat against gender-based violence.

objectives of the conference:
To encourage multilateral and multisectoral cooperation to improve the protection of girls against violence in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
To reinforce technical cooperation between Council of Europe and Southern Mediterranean countries.
To put forward recommended actions for national and cross-border cooperation with regards to exploitation and trafficking of girls.
how did it go ?
Experts interviews

 The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention). 

 The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

 Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

 GREVIO’s General Recommendation on the digital dimension of violence against women.

 The Council of Europe Recommendation on the protection of the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls.

south programme IV

   This project is implemented in the framework of the programme "Regional Support to Reinforce Human rights, Rule of Law and Democracy in the Southern Mediterranean" (South Programme IV), a joint initiative, financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the latter, with the objective to support democratic reforms in the Southern Mediterranean region.

The views expressed in this webpage can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union or the Council of Europe.

* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of Council of Europe and European Union member States on this issue.