The objective of the convention is to protect children against and prevent sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, protecting child victims of sexual offences and prosecuting perpetrators.
Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children are among the worst forms of violence against children and have long-lasting damaging consequences for the young victims.
Protecting children from violence has been a top priority at the Council of Europe for many years. In 2007 the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse was adopted and opened for signature on the occasion of the 28th Conference of European Ministers of Justice in Lanzarote, Spain.
With an emphasis on keeping the best interests of children in the forefront, the convention covers the following main aspects: preventive and protective measures; assistance to child victims and their families; intervention programmes or measures for child sex offenders; criminal offences, including several entirely new offences, such as child grooming; child-friendly procedures for investigation and prosecution; recording and storing of data on convicted sex offenders; international co-operation; and a monitoring mechanism.