Event on Children’s Protection against Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation held on 9 June 2011, in Athens, Greece

05.07.11 - On the initiative of Mr Michail Katrinis, contact parliamentarian to stop sexual violence against children for Greece, an event on children’s protection against sexual abuse and exploitation was organised in Athens with the cooperation of the Greek Delegation to PACE and the Hellenic Institute of Child Health.

The event took place in the framework of the ONE in FIVE Council of Europe Campaign to stop sexual abuse against children and aimed to inform children, parents and agencies, to sensitise civil society, to activate the existing state structures and strengthen the legislative framework.

The event was attended by actors in society and the state such as: the Deputy Minister of Education, Parliamentarians, Representatives of the municipalities of Attica and the Region of Attica, state agencies and institutions, representatives of NGOs, teachers, parents and citizens. The inaugural speech was held by the Vice President of the Hellenic Parliament, Ms Rodoula Zissi.

It was noted in all interventions that there is an unsettling rise of this phenomenon, since it is estimated that in the coming years “ONE out of FIVE” children will fall victim to sexual abuse and exploitation and that there is a need to effectively tackle and prevent this. In particular, the speakers made reference to the problems they face in their own area of competence, calling on the state to establish a national strategy, to co-ordinate the efforts of individuals or institutions, to activate the existing structure and to modernize the legal framework. Furthermore, the civil society should contribute in a decisive manner to the fight against the sexual abuse of children.

Social ads by the Council of Europe and the Institute of Health of the Child were shown and information material of the campaign of the Council of Europe was handed out, adapted into Greek.

In Greece the campaign will be followed by three regional events in 2011 in regions where there is a statistically increased incidence or where specific characteristics have been identified.