Press Advisories

19. 11. 2015 23:41

The European Day for Prevention of maltreatment and sexual abuse of children supported by the Czech Republic

November 18th was European day on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

According to recent estimates, one of every five children in Europe is a victim of some form of sexual violence. In most of the cases (around 80%), the offender belongs to the circle of trust of the child, and in 90% of all cases, abuse is not reported.

For the past 25 years, this phenomenon has never decreased. On the contrary, certain forms of sexual violence, like child pornography, are growing rapidly and spreading as a result of modern technology, which allows criminals to disseminate images, videos of children and contacts with them without restriction via the Internet. Fifty thousand new child abuse images are put on line each year. And these images never disappear.

Fighting these crimes is very difficult since children are vulnerable, and often ashamed and afraid to report any incident.

For these reasons, we cannot allow ourselves either to remain passive, or to act alone. This is a phenomenon that no country can tackle on its own. International cooperation is essential if we want to help victims and to find and to prosecute offenders.

Many international initiatives have already been taken, but, unfortunately, figures demonstrate that these are largely insufficient.

In the framework of the Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of the Child for the period 2013-2015, this Committee of Ministers decided on 12 May 2015, that the 18th of November would be the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

We welcome the fact that conferences and events are being organised by several countries in the framework of this first European Day.

The Secretariat of the Council of Europe has also been actively involved. With the aim of increasing awareness among children, it has prepared a video for children aged between 9 and 13 years old, entitled “Talk to someone you trust”.  It must be underlined that this video was prepared by children and for children.  But it is also important for adults to see it.

We hope that children in our countries will also see this video, and we also hope that, if need be, it will encourage them to speak out and report the abuses of which they have been victim. For this is an essential step in improving the life of a victim.

Until we can guarantee that our children grow up safely in our countries, we should deploy all necessary efforts to eradicate these hideous crimes in Europe, which, strike at the very heart of human rights. 

Czech Republic on the occasion of the first European Day for Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse also endorsed the joint statement delegations some member states of the Council of Europe. 

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