“Local and regional governments are the first witnesses of crimes of sexual violence against children committed inside their own communities” stated Johan van den Hout, Congress Spokesperson on Children, at the 27th meeting of the Network of Contact Parliamentarians to stop sexual violence against children, in Florence on 1 December 2016. The Congress has been working on raising awareness to prevent sexual violence against children at local and regional levels in the 47 member States of the Council of Europe. Speaking about the Pact of Towns and Regions to Stop Sexual Violence against Children which was launched by the Congress in 2012 and which comprises policies and initiatives to guide local and regional authorities”, he said: “Even if the One in Five Campaign of the Council of Europe officially ended last year, the Congress will pursue its efforts to promote the Campaign and the Pact” He referred to the statement issued by the Congress President, Gudrun Mosler-Törnström on the occasion of the European Day on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (18 November) which calls on local and regional authorities to fight against these crimes. Since 2015, the Congress has been organising a biannual seminar for national associations of local and regional authorities to explore ways of cooperation and to encourage them to sign the Congress Pact.
Johan van den Hout: “Local Authorities have a key responsibility in safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare”
Children's rights Florence 1st December 2016
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