Protecting children and promoting their rights

Children's rights

"Never forget promises made to children." In making this declaration in New York on 11 December 2007, during a UN session on children, Deputy Secretary General Maud de Boer-Buquicchio underlined the Council of Europe’s policies to promote children’s rights.

In its advocacy of the rights of the child, the Council of Europe’s policies are guided by the four P’s - protection of children, prevention of violence, prosecution of criminals and participation of children.

The European Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights establishes procedural measures to allow children to exercise their rights. It gives substance to the obligation to provide children with relevant information on matters such as custody, residence, access, questions of parentage, legal guardianship and protection from cruel or degrading treatment.

The Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse is the first international legal treaty which criminalises the sexual abuse of children.

The convention also recognises the new phenomenon of sex tourism by establishing that individuals can be prosecuted for offences committed abroad in legality, when the perpetrator returns to his or her country of nationality.

In order to respond to the rise of the internet as a new source of menace to children, the Council of Europe devised the interactive game ‘Wild Web Woods’. In an educational environment, children learn to identify and resist virtual threats whilst surfing the web in security.

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Wild Web Woods

Wild Web Woods: safe surfing on the Internet

The game ''Wild Web Woods'' has been developed to help children learn the rules of internet safety in a fun format, using familiar fairy tales to guide children through a maze of potential dangers to the fabulous ''E-city.'' The game, mainly for children between 7 and 10, has been created in the spirit of the Council’s ''Building a Europe for and with children'' programme.

Did you know that ...

International Children's Rights Day is celebrated on 20 November.

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