Building a Europe for and with children

Entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse

The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse has been prepared by the Committee of Experts on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PC-ES), established in 2005, as  a sub-committee of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC).

Open for signature on 25 October 2007 in Lanzarote, Spain, the convention entered into force on 1 July 2010.

The objective of the convention is to protect children against any form of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
Every provision aims at preventing sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, protecting child victims of sexual offences and prosecuting perpetrators. With an emphasis on keeping the best interests of children in the forefront, the convention covers the following main aspects:  

  • preventive and protective measures;
  • assistance to child victims and their families;
  • intervention programmes or measures for child sex offenders;
  • criminal offences, including several entirely new offences, such as child grooming;
  • child-friendly procedures for investigation and prosecution;
  • recording and storing of data on convicted sex offenders;
  •  international co-operation;
  • and a monitoring mechanism.

The convention provides a comprehensive and exhaustive coverage of the protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse, which consolidates existing standards in the field.

The new instrument fills gaps, ensures coherency in Europe and the equal protection of all of its children by establishing clear common standards and definitions that are applicable in all European countries, in particular through harmonising criminal law and other relevant measures.

Presentation brochure of the Convention

Croatian, French, Slovak, Slovene and Spanish versions of the brochure

Child Protection Website