Children may be confined, but their rights are not!

Most experts and staff working at the Council of Europe have continued their work in favour of children’s rights from their homes, using technology and new working methods to achieve their mission. This includes reviewing the measures taken by different countries to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and advising on how to mitigate the negative impact they may have on children generally and in vulnerable situations.

This page offers direct access to: 

  • Responses to the crisis by Council of Europe bodies,
  • Thematic responses provided by other international organisations and civil society to support children in the digital environment,
  • Responses provided by member States represented on the Lanzarote Committee (LC)

 CDENF Summary Report "COVID-19 pandemic responses – Lessons learnt from management and adaptation to ensure that children are treated as rights holders during the pandemic"

 CDENF Factsheet "the COVID-19 pandemic and children: Challenges, responses and policy implication"

 Children can reach the world from home

The global sanitary crisis has brought unprecedented changes in our interactions and routines due to social distancing and confinement. In many countries, only essential businesses have been functioning normally while many adults in institutions and companies have worked from home and children followed their school lessons online. Families, communities, businesses and governments have learned heavily on internet, digital technology and social media to continue day-to-day activities and also considerably expanded their use for entertainment.

ICTs have allowed children to continue their education and to acquire new skills; to access information and to seek advice and support if they are worried; to play and keep in touch with their peers and loved ones. Screens have helped many children to cope with the confinement and continue to do so in progressive deconfinement, but they are also exposing them to risks. Guidance on some of these challenges provided by different institutions organisations and media can be found under the following headers.

Keeping children safe from child sexual abuse in times of Covid-19 pandemic

Following the statement on stepping up protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse in times of the COVID-19 pandemic made early April 2020 by the Lanzarote Committee’s Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, a call was issued to all State Parties to the Lanzarote Convention, observers on the Committee and other partners to share relevant initiatives taken following the lock-down to ensure protection of children against sexual violence. Subsequently, the Lanzarote Committee’s Bureau asked for more specific information (including relevant data), on the effect of the crisis response on the maintenance of child safeguarding and support measures, the possible creation of new mechanisms, as well as the ways in which children were heard concerning their protection against sexual abuse and exploitation during the crisis and will be heard when it comes to the evaluation of measures.

To enable the sharing of experiences and to join forces in eradicating sexual violence against children at all times, the Lanzarote Committee agreed to publish all relevant information collected in the above exercises online as it was submitted to [email protected].

This document compiles the information sent by the Parties to the Lanzarote Convention as well as information submitted by other stakeholders. The replies are reproduced in the language version in which they were received (English or French).