In the context of an ongoing debate and diverse approaches to statutes of limitations in respect of sexual offences against children and the legal age for sexual activities, commonly known as the “age of consent”, in Council of Europe member states, the Lanzarote Committee (Committee of the Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse) together with the Permanent Representation of France to the Council of Europe will organise a public seminar on 31 May to discuss these issues.
The Lanzarote Committee has been following developments on statues of limitations for sexual offences against children and legal age of sexual activities for several years. In 2021, it launched two wide-ranging surveys among the 48 Parties to the Lanzarote Convention. The survey results being varied and complex, the Committee is currently carrying out a comprehensive analysis of the replies, and the seminar is part of the process.
The event will be held in Strasbourg and online. Representatives of the Parties to the Lanzarote Convention, prominent experts in the protection of children from sexual violence, and other stakeholders will discuss main challenges and emerging trends in the statutes of limitations for sexual offences against children and the legal age for sexual activities. The event will also foster the exchange of good practices among states and will strive to identify innovative ways of enhancing existing policies to effectively safeguard children’s well-being.
The Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France to the Council of Europe, Marie Fontanel and Director General of Democracy and Human Dignity at the Council of Europe, Marja Ruotanen, will deliver the opening remarks.
The seminar will start at 9h30 Strasbourg time and will be livestreamed in English and French.