Strasbourg, 12.03.2013 – Today, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is launching a new online tool which will enable local and regional authorities to share the initiatives they are taking to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. This tool accompanies the “Pact of Towns and Regions to Stop Sexual Violence against Children”, launched by the Congress in 2012 as part of its contribution to the Council of Europe’s ONE in FIVE Campaign.
Elected representatives, towns and regions, but also associations of local and regional authorities and other organisations, can sign up for the Pact on this online platform. Thanks to an individualised access, they will be able to post their content online and thus have at their disposal a user-friendly website whereby they can highlight, at European level, their activities, in particular with regard to the prevention of abuse, the protection of victims, the prosecution of perpetrators and the participation of children.
“Local and regional authorities have a key responsibility to protect and promote citizens’ human rights, which includes safeguarding and promoting the safety and welfare of children and young people,” said Congress President Herwig van Staa. “At our grassroots level, we are closest to citizens which means that services can be better tailored to meet local and regional needs. It is also to local services that children will turn for help, for protection, for action, quite simply because we are there, just around the corner. We are on the frontline of the fight to stop sexual violence against children,” he continued. “Local and regional authorities must develop and implement relevant action plans and strategies, the Pact will guide them in their choice of policy. The Platform is a means for municipalities and regions to share their initiatives with others who can follow their good examples.”
The ONE in FIVE Campaign aims, in particular, to achieve further signature, ratification and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (“Lanzarote Convention”).
Congress of the Council of Europe
Current Affairs Committee
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The Congress has two chambers, the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions.