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European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse

Data tal-Pubblikazzjoni: Nov 18, 2019

Since 2015 the Council of Europe has declared the 18th of November as the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. All children have the right to live a life free from such abuse which may have long lasting effects on them.

This year, the European Day will focus on “Empowering Children to Stop Sexual Violence”. Children are all too often sidelined from matters that concern them. They should be given the means, space, opportunity and support to participate in the design and implementation of measures, policies, programmes or other initiatives aiming at preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

Also in light of the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Office of the Commissioner for Children would like to call on all entities and organisations as well as all professionals, educators, parents and volunteers to implement each and every child’s right to participation as enshrined in the Convention. It is the responsibility of all adults to ensure child participation in all decisions made that affect them both directly and indirectly.

Children should, from an early age, be taught about what kind of behaviour can lead to abuse. Over the next few days the Office will be distributing a copy of Kiko and the Hand, a Council of Europe publication, to all children in Kinder 1. This is a story book for children, with an insert for parents, which aims to help parents to engage in discussions with their children about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

It is estimated that about one third of abused children do not speak up. Therefore, the Office emphasises the importance of adults supporting children to report such abuse. Whoever is aware of any abuse being perpetrated against children, should report it. This can be done by calling supportline 179.