« The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe » is contributing to the ONE in FIVE Campaign - a pan-European campaign coordinated by the Council of Europe
Combating child sexual exploitation at local and regional levels
Aims and objectives
Thanks to their proximity to citizens, local and regional authorities have an important role to play in achieving the aims of the One in Five Campaign.
The Congress first addressed the issue of tackling violence against children in 2009 and made a number of recommendations to local and regional authorities. At that time, the Congress recognised that the main challenge to local and regional authorities is to develop and implement community-based action plans and strategies, and to invest in better services that respect children’s rights in order to deliver locally what children and families need, to stop sexual violence and to bring perpetrators to justice. Awareness-raising and political will at this level are extremely important.
The aims of this seminar were, therefore, to provide information on the issue of sexual violence against children; to examine actions local and regional authorities may undertake to prevent and deal with cases; and to present structures which may be set up to provide concrete solutions which will help families, carers and children in preventing sexual violence and avoiding secondary victimisation of children.
The specific objectives of the seminar were to:
- present the Council of Europe One in Five Campaign and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities’ Strategic Action Plan;
- provide information on the issue of sexual violence against children;
- raise awareness on the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse and the solutions and opportunities it provides to local and regional authorities;
- put forward different models for dealing with cases of sexual violence against children at local and regional levels;
- explore the different tools available for achieving the Congress’ Strategic Action Plan’s aims;
- learn about the network of contact parliamentarians with a view to exploring the possibility of setting up a network of contacts at local and regional levels.
Nick McPartlan: "A multi-service agency is the best way of fighting against sexual exploitation"
During the Congress seminar to explore the local and regional dimensions of the Council of Europe ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children, Nick McPartlan, a social worker in Blackburn (United Kingdom), presented the measures taken by Blackburn to improve detection of sexual violence against children and put a stop to it.
Dusica Davidovic: “We need to devise local strategies to prevent sexual violence against children”
“Available data suggests that about 1 in 5 children in Europe are victims of some form of sexual violence and victims generally first turn to local services for help”, said Dusica Davidovic, Congress Thematic Rapporteur on children. In an interview, she analyses local and regional authorities’ role in the context of the Strategic Action Plan adopted by the Congress to combat sexual violence against children. The Action Plan is a Congress contribution to the Council of Europe ONE in FIVE campaign.