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Child abuse in Europe: addressing, compensation and prevention

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 15390 | 04 October 2021

Mr Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Pedro BACELAR DE VASCONCELOS, Portugal, SOC ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Ms Arta BILALLI ZENDELI, North Macedonia, SOC ; Ms Margreet De BOER, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Pedro CEGONHO, Portugal, SOC ; Mr Damien COTTIER, Switzerland, ALDE ; Ms Edite ESTRELA, Portugal, SOC ; Mr Bernard FOURNIER, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Béatrice FRESKO-ROLFO, Monaco, ALDE ; Mr Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Mr Carlos Alberto GONÇALVES, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Ion GROZA, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, Croatia, SOC ; Mr Alfred HEER, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Claude KERN, France, ALDE ; Ms Bisera KOSTADINOVSKA-STOJCHEVSKA, North Macedonia, SOC ; Mr Christophe LACROIX, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Luís LEITE RAMOS, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Pere LÓPEZ, Andorra, SOC ; Ms Yuliya LOVOCHKINA, Ukraine, SOC ; Mr Didier MARIE, France, SOC ; Mr Kęstutis MASIULIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Ms Isabel MEIRELLES, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Oleksandr MEREZHKO, Ukraine, SOC ; Ms Marica MONTEMAGGI, San Marino, SOC ; Mr Simon MOUTQUIN, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Paulo PISCO, Portugal, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Ms Diana STOICA, Romania, ALDE

The Parliamentary Assembly considers that member States should be urged to put in place effective systems in order to aim at the following.

With regard to establishing the truth about child abuses, the Council of Europe and the member States should conduct an independent and comprehensive scientific investigation into the violation of children's rights and promote public discussion on the issue. Experts from different fields of social sciences must be engaged to robust scientific research.

The Council of Europe and the member States should also provide for the official recognition of children who suffered from any kind of sexual, physical and psychological violence (including the adverse impact of discrimination), especially regarding children in public, private or religious institutions and those externally placed, forcibly adopted or separated from their mothers. State’s acknowledgment and apology have to be provided in line with best international standards and practices.

Moreover, the Council of Europe and the member States should provide for the official reparation for children who suffered from any kind of sexual, physical or psychological violence. The Council of Europe and the member States would ensure that victims receive a form of reparation and/or a solidarity contribution; the amount has to be determined in line with best international practice. Those who as children have been severely affected by such violations of human and children's rights are entitled to reparation. They have the right to receive reparation or solidarity contribution without any time limitation. The length of time between the perpetration of the abuse and its disclosure by the victim shall not be a justification for the refusal of any reparation or contribution.

Lastly, the Council of Europe and the member States should ensure that the current legislations in the member States focus on protecting all children from abuse and maltreatment; preventive work must be strengthened.

The Assembly should also make recommendations in this respect.