Cyprus ratifies Lanzarote Convention

Cyprus became on Thursday the 35th Council of Europe (CoE) member state to ratify the Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, known as the Lanzarote Convention.

CoE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has said that sexual abuse constitutes one of the most outrageous and unacceptable crimes against children, a press release issued by the Council of Europe says.

“Thanks to our Convention, we can collect data and check whether the states have fulfilled their promise to protect children from sexual violence and to better combat it,” he added.

Jagland further expressed his satisfaction because Cyprus joins us in this battle.

The Convention which comes into force on June 1, 2015 criminalises all kinds of sexual abuse against children, while making it mandatory for states to adopt relevant legislation and to take steps to prevent sexual violence.

It also encourages governments and social services to protect children who have fallen victim, whilst at the same time prosecuting offenders.

Statistical data shows that one in five children under 18 years old falls victim of sexual abuse, while in most cases the perpetrator is a member of the family or another person the child trusts.

The Council of Europe has launched the “One in Five” awareness campaign aiming to break the silence surrounding the issue, considered taboo in many countries.

Cyprus participates in the campaign since November 2015, when the House of Representatives ratified the Convention, paving the way for its ratification at an international level.