CHILDREN: COUNCIL OF EUROPE, "PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE"

"Improving the protection of children from exploitation and sexual abuse", chiefly by ratifying the specific Convention of the Council of Europe. The appeal was made from Strasbourg by the CoE which organised an international conference of the protection of children, to which the ministers of justice of the 47 member states have been invited, in Copenhagen (Denmark) on May 21st and 22nd. Adopted in 2007, the Convention, explains the CoE in a note, has been ratified by 28 member states so far. "The Convention is a remarkable step forward in the prevention of sexual abuse on children, in the search for culprits, in the protection of the victims, and in international cooperation". Now, the CoE is pushing more states to sign the Convention, so that "it can be enforced as soon as possible". "For the first time – explains the Council of Europe –, an international treaty equates sexual abuse to a crime and punishes it as such; actually, such crime is often committed by people known to the victims and its repercussions on children are the most serious". Under the Convention, "such behaviours as sexual intercourse with children", "child pornography and prostitution" and online enticement "are equated to criminal offences".

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