One in Five

Council of Europe standards for protection


The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) is the main legal text to combat sexual violence against children. It is also the first universal convention to criminalise all forms of sexual violence against children, regardless of whether commercial or not.

It was opened for signature on 25 October 2007 and entered into force on 1 July 2010. Although elaborated by the 47 Council of Europe member states, the Convention is is also open to accession by the European Union and by non European States.

The purposes of the convention are
  1. to prevent and combat sexual exploitation and sexual abuse
  2. to protect the rights of child victims of sexual violence
  3. to end with the impunity of the perpetrators of sexual violence through harmonisation of criminal law
  4. to promote national and international co-operation against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children

A monitoring mechanism will assess progress on the implementation of the Convention.

To discover the Convention in detail, please consult:

For more on convention monitoring, click here

Two other key Council of Europe Conventions to combat sexual violence against children