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Addressing sexual violence against children: stepping up action and co-operation in Europe

Recommendation 2175 (2020)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 26 June 2020 (see Doc. 15109, report of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, rapporteur: Ms Doreen Massey).
1 The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 2330 (2020) “Addressing sexual violence against children: stepping up action and co-operation in Europe” and acknowledges the progress made so far at national, European and international levels in addressing sexual violence against children.
2 The Assembly welcomes the work done by the Lanzarote Committee, which supports the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention, CETS No. 201) by Council of Europe member States. The convention’s monitoring mechanism has been successful in identifying key challenges and providing useful guidance to the States parties to the convention. Its monitoring function and capacity should be strengthened to meet evolving needs and respond to States’ expectations.
3 The Assembly greatly values the co-operation that has developed, in particular between the Council of Europe and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, as well as with the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children and with the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children.
4 The Assembly is convinced that stronger action is needed on the part of the Council of Europe and its member States to address sexual violence against children. The Council of Europe is in a strategic position to provide necessary guidance and support, in close co-operation and co-ordination with other European and international institutions and organisations.
5 In light of the above, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
5.1 call on the Council of Europe member States that have not yet ratified the Lanzarote Convention and the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention, CETS No. 210) to do so as a matter of priority, as a contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Target 16.2: “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children”;
5.2 call on the countries that are not member States of the Council of Europe to sign and ratify the Lanzarote Convention;
5.3 support the continuation and further development of the Start to Talk campaign and the design and promotion of Council of Europe materials on addressing sexual violence against children;
5.4 further support the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse – 18 November – as an opportunity for raising awareness of sexual violence against children;
5.5 call on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to support the creation of an observer seat for a Council of Europe representative.
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