Sunday, November 18, marked the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.
The Day was established in 2015 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to prevent the crimes, prosecute the perpetrators and protect the victims. It aims to raise public awareness of and promote prevention mechanisms for the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children in Europe and around the world. Events and campaigns surrounding the Day work to open discussions about how to protect children and prevent and eliminate the stigmatization of victims. The Council of Europe also uses the Day to push for the full ratification and implementation of the Lanzarote Convention.
As part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia (2016-2019), the Council of Europe is currently implementing a project in Georgia titled “Responding to Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Georgia, Phase I.” The project is designed to build the capacity of authorities and professionals to prevent and protect children from sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and other forms of violence, and to promote child-friendly practices in Georgia. As part of the project, on October 15, 2018, the Council of Europe initiated a special training course for legal professionals in Georgia on child-friendly justice called HELP.
Georgia has been a member of the Council of Europe since 1999. The international organization, distinct from the European Union, has worked to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe since 1949. The European Court of Human Rights is likely the Council’s best-known body, enforcing the European Convention on Human Rights. Georgia joined the Lanzarote Convention in 2015.