Press Release Lanzarote Meeting

Child Protection Coordinator of “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center, Ms Kristina Marku, defends children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse at the 18th meeting of Lanzarote Committee of the Council of Europe, held in Strasbourg, 10-12 of May 2017.  

The Committee of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection of children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Committee), the body established to monitor whether Parties effectively implement the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention).  

“Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center was granted Observer status in the Committee along with only a handful of other organizations active in the area of the protection and promotion of children’s rights. Under our capacity as Observers, we were present at the 18th Meeting of the Committee that took place in Strasbourg (France) between 10-12 May. The issue of concern was the applicability of the Lanzarote Convention?to sexual offences against children?facilitated through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). 

The Committee, acknowledging that information and communication technologies (ICTs) are rapidly evolving and that children are increasingly using ICTs, in particular social media and mobile messaging applications, to communicate and form relationships, which may, in some cases, bring them into contact with sexual offenders, decided to put it in the heart of the meeting. To this effect the Committee Members were asked to share information on the existing trends in their respective countries, good practices, policies and concerns on the matter. 

In order for the meeting to have added value and greater impact, experts from different agencies, institutions and organizations were called to share their experiences with the Committee Members and add to the existing pool of knowledge. 

Among the experts were a representative of Europol presenting their Preventive Campaign on Sexual Coercion and Extortion, a representative of the PedoHelp Project which aims to provide understanding and support in preventing child sexual abuse, and a representative of the Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking (GRETA) presenting the findings of their 6th General Report.

The Committee reiterated their commitment to monitoring the implementation of the Lanzarote Convention and vigilant in new forms of child abuse and exploitation under the framework of the Convention. The findings and results of the meeting are to be disseminated in due time.?