Sommaire: 10 March 2010, Geneva - European Union Statement at the UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 13th Session (1 - 26 March 2010), Annual full-day discussion on the rights of the child: 2nd Panel on Protecting boys and girls from sexual violence: Prevention and response
After the fruitful discussion during this morning's session of the annual full day meeting on the rights of the child, the EU welcomes warmly that we focus now on efforts to achieve effective prevention and response to sexual violence against children. We would like to thank UNICEF and the different NGO's for their useful help in preparing the panel and for providing us with their expertise. We also want to thank national and UN experts for their very interesting presentations. We seize the opportunity as well to encourage different mandate holders relevant to this issue to enhance their cooperation and obtain greater synergies.
The EU fully agrees that violence against children is never justifiable and defending human dignity and physical and mental integrity of children is a top priority for us. There are important initiatives at every level (regional, national and international), which are definitely contributing in raising the importance of this issue. In regions other than Europe, we can mention the 20th Pan-American congress on Children and Adolescents, or the Cairo Conference on the CRC held in 2009, among others.
Regarding Europe, we would like to mention some of the major developments in policymaking in the fight against sexual violence, within the Council of Europe and the European Union. The Council of Europe Strategy for 2009-2011 "Building Europe for and with Children" includes the protection of children from violence as one of its priorities.
The EU is preparing a new Framework Decision on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, which aims to increase effectiveness in preventing and combating this type of crime as well as protecting the victims. The proposal contains provisions aimed at extending the criminalization of child sexual abuse and exploitation and child pornography, raising the "minimum maximum" penalties, in certain cases disqualifying convicted sexual offenders from having regular contacts with children, introducing special rules on limitation periods, extending national jurisdiction, protecting and assisting victims and blocking access to internet sites containing child pornography.
We believe engaging children in prevention and response is essential. Children who suffer sexual violence should not be considered simply as victims, but rather as rights holders who deserve protection, remedy, redress and reparation.
The EU would like to ask the following questions:
1.-To what extent are the psychological effects of sexual violence against children dealt with in the national policies?
2.-Could you mention some best practices of comprehensive, multi-dimensional strategies to prevent and respond to all forms of violence?
3.-Given that child participation is essential to the fight against violence, could you provide us with specific child-led initiatives and their results?
4.-What is your assessment of the international fight against sexual violence against children since 1996, when the 1st world congress on this issue took place? Which priorities should be set for the coming years?