Strasbourg, April 8-9
Ending all forms of violence against Children, including sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children is identified as a priority area for action under the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021). To this end the Council of Europe will promote, monitor and support the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention). The Lanzarote Convention is the most ambitious and comprehensive international legal instrument for the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, including provisions on prevention and prosecution of perpetrators. The Lanzarote Convention entered into force in July 2010 and requires Parties to criminalise all forms of sexual offences against children and adopt specific legislation and policy measures to prevent sexual violence, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators.
The conference aimsed to further strengthen cooperation between the Council of Europe and civil society actors and to build capacities to strengthen the prevention and protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (both online and offline dimensions) by:
- familiarising participants with the Council of Europe child rights strategic agenda and work, including the Lanzarote Convention and its monitoring process;
- discussing strategies and ways civil society actors can strengthen the implementation of the Lanzarote Convention at local and national level and develop or deepen their engagement with the Lanzarote Committee; and
- providing the opportunity to share experiences, promising practices and lessons learnt with peers at pan European level.
The conference was gathering up to 30 representatives of NGOs from selected beneficiary countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, and Ukraine), representatives from NGOs with experience in contributing to the work of the Lanzarote Committee as well as representatives of NGOs who are potential, current and/or future partners of the Council of Europe cooperation activities for the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. APSCF was represented at the conference by Vasile Coroi, board member.