Appendix 2 – Opinion of the European Committee
on Legal Cooperation (CDCJ) on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1815 (2007)
the adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of Recommendation 1815 (2007)
on prostitution – which stance to take? the Committee
of Ministers decided to communicate it to the European Committee
on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), for information and possible comments
by 31 December 2007.
2. The Bureau of the CDCJ took note of the recommendation of
the Parliamentary Assembly and decided to comment on the following
points, which fall within its area of responsibility.
3. The Bureau of the CDCJ considers that other important issues
raised by the recommendation (and related resolution), such as policies
concerning voluntary adult prostitution, will be dealt with by the
competent steering committees of the Council of Europe, and will
thus refrain from addressing those issues.
4. Concerning the recommendation made in paragraph 3 to the Committee
of Ministers, “to address the issue of child prostitution […] in
its relevant steering committees”, attention is drawn to the work
currently being carried out under the aegis of the CDCJ.
Children’s rights have been of particular concern for the
CDCJ for a number of years, and will continue to be one of the priority
areas of work for the coming years, inter
, as a direct follow-up to Resolution No. 2
on child-friendly justice adopted by the European Ministers
6. In this resolution, the Ministers of Justice invite the Committee
of Ministers to entrust its relevant bodies, including the CDCJ,
to examine the access and the place children have in judicial proceedings
and to prepare elements for European guidelines on child-friendly
7. The Bureau of the CDCJ considers that an action to consider
the duties and the role of state to intervene and remove children
from the authority of their parents or guardians and place them
in care could be undertaken by the CDCJ.
The particular vulnerability of children who are victims or
witnesses of crime will be considered, following up on the work
carried out this year by one of the subordinate bodies of the CDCJ,
the Group of Specialists on Remedies for Crime Victims (CJ-S-VICT),
which was established following the adoption of Resolution No. 1
on victims of crime.2
9. The group has recently finalised its report, parts of which
deal with children, victims of crime, and more specifically victims
of sexual exploitation and/or trafficking in human beings. The group
recalled that the best interests of children are to be given primary
consideration and that children who have been harmed by crime or
who have witnessed crimes are to be protected and treated fairly
10. As underlined by the group, child victims of crime are often
confronted with additional difficulties, and access to justice for
children should be assessed in each jurisdiction, and any existing
obstacles removed. The group furthermore agreed that the question
of representation in judicial proceedings should be considered when
there is a clear conflict between the child’s interests and those
of the holders of parental responsibility (including legal guardians),
and the possibility of having a special legal representative appointed
in such cases should be examined.
11. Concerning child victims of trafficking, the group underlined
that special measures should be accorded to them and that “unaccompanied
children should be represented by legal guardians, organisations
or authorities which shall act in the best interests of the victim”.
12. The Bureau of the CDCJ also notes that the child’s rights
to privacy and the protection of personal data are of particular
importance and relevance for child victims of sexual exploitation.
13. The Bureau of the CDCJ furthermore welcomes the call made
to the Committee of Ministers to “encourage all Council of Europe
member states which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the
Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human
Beings (CETS No. 197) as soon as possible” and looks forward to
the entry into force of this convention on 1 February 2008, as it
will provide a comprehensive framework for the protection and assistance
of victims, including a particularly important, child-sensitive orientation.
14. The Bureau of the CDCJ would also wish to see this call for
signature and ratification extended to the new Council of Europe
Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation
and Sexual Abuse (CETS No. 201), which opened for signature in October