Co-operation with civil society actors, particularly with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is essential for the promotion, implementation and monitoring of the Lanzarote Convention. NGOs also play an important role in promoting the ratification/accession to the Lanzarote Convention by governments. The impact of the Lanzarote Committee’s work is enhanced thanks to the civil society’s involvement.

How to contribute to the promotion and implementation of the Convention?

  • Participate in the annual 18 November Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (’#EndChildSexualAbuseDay)

NGOs are encouraged to participate in the annual 18 November: Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse by taking action and raising awareness, for example, through public discussions, school workshops, screening of films on the topic of sexual violence against children, public statements and media events.

They are also welcome to make use of and disseminate as widely as possible Council of Europe publications, awareness-raising and communication materials available in several languages focused on the prevention of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.

  • Organise awareness-raising activities and trainings

These activities may aim to:

  • raise awareness about the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse;
  • educate different target groups and provide a platform for professional discussions;
  • share information and enhance cooperation through multi-stakeholder meetings;
  • enhance visibility through liaison with the media.

You may also like to check the relevant courses provided by the Council of Europe Programme on Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP): Child-Friendly Justice, and Children’s Rights in the Digital Environment and Protection against Sexual Exploitation/Abuse. A comprehensive updated HELP course on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse will be available in 2025.

  • Participate in the elaboration and implementation of national policies to prevent sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children

In practice, this may cover a wide variety of activities, from following and getting involved in the adoption of new laws and policies to providing education, training, and awareness-raising services to relevant stakeholders.

  • Assist and support the victims

According to the Lanzarote Convention, NGOs shall be provided with the possibility to assist and/or support the victims, with their consent, during criminal proceedings in co-operation with State authorities and in accordance with national law. While doing so, they are encouraged to implement the recommendations of the Lanzarote Committee made, inter alia, in its implementation reports. National and local NGOs are encouraged to contact their national members in the Lanzarote Committee for further support and information.

How to contribute to the monitoring work of the Committee?

  • Provide information to the Committee

During both thematic and special monitoring rounds, the Committee seeks the views of civil society on the implementation of the Lanzarote Convention in the Parties to the Convention. Civil society actors, particularly national and local NGOs working in the prevention and protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, may contribute to the monitoring by submitting replies to the monitoring questionnaires and providing comments on Parties’ replies. The replies of NGOs shall be submitted to the Secretariat in accordance with deadlines and with a clear indication of whether the information is public or confidential. Joint submissions by NGOs and the involvement of children in drafting monitoring replies are strongly encouraged.

The Committee is also keen on receiving information about promising practices of NGOs working to prevent, and protect children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Those should be sent to [email protected].

  • Disseminate the implementation reports and request a follow-up procedure

NGOs are encouraged to disseminate the implementation reports adopted by the Lanzarote Committee as widely as possible and advocate for the implementation of the recommendations made.

NGOs are welcome to draw the attention of the Lanzarote Committee to the fact that a Party seems not to be implementing recommendations of an implementation report and request a follow up by sending a clear request supported by sufficient evidence to [email protected].

  • Hold observer status with the Committee

INGOs working in the field of prevention and protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse may be admitted as observers to the Lanzarote Committee. INGOs with observer status can contribute to the preparation of reports, opinions and declarations and take part in any of the discussions of the Lanzarote Committee.

National and local NGOs holding membership in or co-operating with one of the INGOs with observer status are encouraged to contact them and ask them to voice their views and recommendations where relevant to the work of the Committee.

INGOs working in the field of prevention and protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse interested in obtaining observer status with the Lanzarote Committee shall contact the Secretariat for further information via [email protected].

International non-governmental organisations holding observer status with the Lanzarote Committee: