The Council of Europe welcomes the decision of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference (DBK) to introduce a commemoration day dedicated to the victims of sexual abuse. The Bishops’ Conference announced the annual commemoration should take place on or around the 18th November, which coincides with the “European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse”.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, said: “The decision by the church in Germany is an important sign.
“We have to raise awareness of the need to protect child victims in all areas of society and to strengthen measures to prevent sexual abuse. I encourage the church to do all it can to protect children from abuse.”
The decision of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference was inspired by a proposal by Pope Francis. The “European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse” was introduced by the Council of Europe in 2015. It is based on the 2007 Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as the Lanzarote Convention. All 47 Council of Europe member states have signed the convention, which Germany ratified in 2015.