On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (“Lanzarote Convention”) PACE President, Ms Stella Kyriakides, praised the Convention as an important milestone towards better protection of children in the modern world and as the most comprehensive legal instrument aimed at preventing sexual violence against children and supporting children who have been sexually abused or exploited.
“During the last ten years, the Lanzarote Convention has substantially contributed to making a difference in children’s lives by putting the interest of the child first. The Convention aims at protecting, first and foremost, the rights and interests of the children survivors of abuse, assisting them – in the short and long term – in their physical and psycho-social recovery, and enabling all children to receive information on the risk of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, as well as on the means to protect themselves” she said.
“I am proud of the valuable contribution made by our Assembly through its former parliamentary network created under the ONE in FIVE Campaign and what it did to promote further ratifications and dynamic implementation of the Convention, and the steps the network took to increase the Convention’s visibility and strengthen its impact. It is certainly due to the commitment by our Assembly and the many national activities initiated by individual parliamentarians that so many new ratifications could be achieved over the last few years”.
“However, we should not stop at the level of our current legal achievements before the Convention has been ratified by all countries. Furthermore, as parliamentarians, we should continue to raise awareness, and promote effective implementation of the Lanzarote Convention, as, despite progress made, so many children are still suffering from sexual violence across Europe” – she concluded.