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For an assessment of the means and provisions to combat children's exposure to pornographic content

Recommendation 2225 (2022)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 25 April 2022 (10th sitting) (see Doc. 15494, report of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, rapporteur: Mr Dimitri Houbron; and Doc. 15505, opinion of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Mr Stefan Schennach). Text adopted by the Assembly on 25 April 2022 (10th sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 2429 (2022) “For an assessment of the means and provisions to combat children’s exposure to pornographic content”, as well as to its Resolution 2412 (2021) “Gender aspects and human rights implications of pornography”, Resolution 2330 (2020) and Recommendation 2175 (2020) “Addressing sexual violence against children: stepping up action and co-operation in Europe”, Resolution 2119 (2016) and Recommendation 2092 (2016) “Fighting the over-sexualisation of children” and Resolution 1835 (2011) and Recommendation 1981 (2011) “Violent and extreme pornography”.
2. The Assembly welcomes the recent adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2022-2027), which includes the strategic objectives “Access to and safe use of technologies for all children” and “Freedom from violence for all children”.
3. The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
3.1 encourage relevant bodies, such as the Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child (CDENF), the Committee of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Committee), the Ad hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) and the Steering Committee for Education (CDEDU), to give due consideration to the issue of children’s exposure to pornographic content in their relevant activities and to support member States in combating children’s exposure to pornographic content, for example by:
3.1.1 facilitating the exchange of good practice;
3.1.2 organising capacity-building events;
3.1.3 providing advice on age-appropriate and comprehensive sexuality education, including pornography harm awareness, at all levels of education;
3.1.4 facilitating a stocktaking exercise on relevant initiatives and lessons learned, and developing a road map for future action;
3.2 examine possible follow-up to be given to this Recommendation and the above-mentioned resolutions and recommendations in the framework of the Council of Europe Partnership with Digital Companies, which was signed with representatives of leading technology firms and associations in 2017, in order to promote an open and safe internet, where human rights, democracy and the rule of law are respected in the online environment; envisage a parliamentary dimension and co‑operation with civil society organisations, including parents’ and children’s organisations in this context;
3.3 call on the Council of Europe member States to fully implement the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS No. 201, Lanzarote Convention), the recommendations of the Lanzarote Committee, and Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)7 on Guidelines to protect, respect and fulfil the rights of the child in the digital environment;
3.4 consider closer co-operation with the European Commission, with a view to developing pan-European regulations on combating children’s exposure to pornographic content;
3.5 support co‑operation with relevant United Nations bodies, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, and in this context, propose the setting-up of a government platform partnership, with the participation of digital companies and adult content providers, in order to develop a co-ordinated, cost-effective and sustainable global response with a view to combating children’s exposure to pornographic content.