Violence against children takes many forms and occurs in place that should be safe havens for children: in the family, in the school, or in residential institutions thus, in the so-called "circle of trust", as well as in the digital environment. 

Violence against children is a human rights violation, as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child confirms in Article 19. In spite of the many international and regional treaties that protect children's rights, violence against children remains widespread. It occurs in every country in Europe, irrespective of people's geographical origin or social stratum. Albeit in different degrees, violence can deprive children of their well-being and the ability to learn and socialise normally, and it can have devastating effects on their adult-lives.

The Council of Europe addresses the various forms of violence against children as presented in its current Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2022-2027) and through its standard setting, monitoring, co-operation, capacity building and promising practices. It is committed to working with and supporting its 46 member States in implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular its Article 16.2 on ending all forms of violence against children.

In the course 2023, the Council of Europe launched its "VAC Clearinghouse" - a new online platform on responses to violence against children which shall be regularly updated thanks to contributions by member states and other partners of the Council of Europe.