The Committee of Ministers of the 47-member Council of Europe took a decision today to establish a new European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse that from now on will be marked on the 18th of November in member States of the Council of Europe.
Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children, a particularly vulnerable group of society, constitute serious violations of their rights and tend to have a long-lasting and detrimental effect on their entire lives.
The objective of the European Day will be to raise awareness of such crimes and of the need to prevent such acts, to promote the ratification and implementation of the Lanzarote Convention by the member States of the Council of Europe, as well as to prevent the stigmatisation of victims.
The Lanzarote Convention (the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse) requires for the criminalisation of all kinds of sexual offences against children, as well as for the adoption of specific legislation and measures to prevent them, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators. To date, the Convention has been ratified by 36 countries.
The European Day will be marked through awareness raising activities with the strong involvement of civil society in member States. These steps will complement the already existing Council of Europe’s campaigns, such as the ONE IN FIVE campaign.