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A little girl with a soft teddy Bear  in her hand

Council of Europe: 2nd report on the protection of children against sexual abuse

In a report published on 13 february 2018, the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Lanzarote Committee analyses the strategies used by 26 european countries to protect children against sexual abuse in the circle of trust (extended family and persons close to the child who exercise influence over the child).

According to the report, states-parties to the Council of Europe’s Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (Lanzarote Convention) are undertaking effective steps in this field. Enabling children to take an active part in the development and adoption of policies against child sexual abuse.

Moreover the report underlinethe important role of the media in informing about child sexual abuse paying particular attention to the full respect for the privacy and the rights of the child. For example in Croatia and Romania, it is prohibited to reveal the identity or any other information about the private life of the child. Almost all the 26 european countries cooperate with civil society organisations and the private sector in awareness-raising, education and training of people working with children to prevent child sexual abuse. The Lanzarote Committee also propose allocating financial resources to regular training on child sexual abuse in the circle of trust for all professionals in regular contact with children. It is noted that only Denmark and Iceland have permanent governmental funding for such training programs for all institution levels.

As regards Italy, the Lanzarote Convention was ratified with the Law 172/2012, which introduced new types of crimes within the Penal Code. In this context there are some positive practices, highlighted in the report, including the project "Pediatric Network Against Child Abuse" launched in May 2016 in Florence, supported by the Menarini Pharmaceutical Industry, together with Telefono Azzurro Onlus, Italian Federation of Paediatric Physicians (FIMP), Italian Society of Paediatrics (SIP) and Italian Paediatric Hospitals Association AOPI). This project is the first in the world of this type and provides for the creation throughout the national territory of a network of 15,000 pediatrics (baby doctors) and family physicians trained to recognize signs of abuse. Moreover, Italy celebrated on 5th May the the National Day for the fight against pedophilia.