Rome (Italy), 29-30 November 2010

Launch of European campaign to stop sexual violence against children

The Council of Europe and the Italian Ministry for Equal Opportunities launched a European campaign to promote legal, educational and other measures needed to combat all forms of sexual violence against children on 29-30 November 2010.

Sexual violence happens much more often than people think. One child in five in Europe is thought to be a victim of sexual violence. In 70 to 85% of cases, children know their agressors. In 90% of cases, sexual offences are not reported to the authorities.

The campaign will raise awareness among children, parents, teachers and other people in contact with children about the scale of the problem and to provide them with the knowledge they need to prevent sexual abuse and to report it.

The measures promoted by the campaign are contained in a recent Council of Europe Convention on the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. The campaign’s main objective is to obtain its ratification and effective implementation by all Council of Europe member States.

The campaign sets a simple rule, called the “Underwear Rule”, that parents are encouraged to teach their children aged 4 to 7 to make them understand their right to set limits, and the need to express their feelings and speak up. The rule is explained in a TV spot, a children’s book, a website and other support materials featuring a character called Kiko.

The City of Rome supports the Council of Europe’s action through a poster campaign from 22 November to 5 December 2010. The TV spot will be broadcast on RAI from 29 November to 12 December 2010.

Giorgio Napolitano, President of Italy, Maria Rosaria Carfagna, Minister for Equal Opportunities, Selma Aliye Kavaf, Turkish State Minister Responsible for Family and Women, representing the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, and Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, attended the launch, with other European high officials, parliamentarians and experts.

A website for the European Campaign on sexual violence aganist children

The website of the new Council of Europe Campaign has just been published. It contains all information and material of the Campaign.

This site will be regurlarly updated with the latest developments from the european Campaign but also with informationon partners and national initiatives.

www.coe.int/oneinfive