28 October 2007

CoE - 23 States sign Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

(CoE)
Twenty-three Council of Europe member states signed the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS n° 201), which represents a major step in the prevention of sexual offences against children, the prosecution of perpetrators and the protection of victims. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey signed the convention at the beginning of the 28th Conference of the European Ministers of Justice in Lanzarote. The convention will enter into force once it has been ratified by five states. The convention also criminalises the use of the new technologies – the internet in particular – to sexually harm or abuse children, for example by "grooming", an increasingly worrying phenomenon of children being sexually harmed after meeting adults they have previously encountered in internet chat rooms or game sites.