Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland has called on Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ireland and the United Kingdom to ratify the Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (“Lanzarote Convention”).
Today Norway became the 43rd state of the Council of Europe to have ratified the Convention. It will enter into force in Norway on 1 October 2018.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland said: “Sexual abuse of children is a most heinous crime that is sadly all too common in Europe. Today, Norway is joining the fight against it by ratifying the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Convention. This leaves only four Council of Europe member states – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ireland and the United Kingdom – who have not yet ratified this essential treaty providing better legal protection for children against abuse. I welcome Norway’s ratification of the Lanzarote Convention and call on the remaining countries to join the cause.”
One in five children under the age of 18 in Europe is a victim of sexual violence. The Lanzarote Convention obliges states to criminalize all kinds of sexual offences against children, including online, to protect victims and to prosecute perpetrators. It also requests countries to ensure that the statute of limitation for initiating proceedings with regard to sexual offences against children continues for a period of time sufficient to allow the efficient start of proceedings after the victim has reached the age of majority.