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Cyprus signs Convention for Children Protection October 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus News, Living, Police & Crime.
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The Republic of Cyprus has signed the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.

The Convention was signed last week by 23 Council of Europe member states, including Austria, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Moldova, Bulgaria and Poland. “The Convention represents a major step in the prevention of sexual offences against children, the prosecution of perpetrators and the protection of victims”, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, said.

According to a press release by the CoE, for the first time, an international treaty criminalises sexual abuse, an offence which is usually carried out by people known to the victims, sometimes within the family, and is one of the most damaging for children. The convention will enter into force once it has been ratified by five states.

Preventive measures outlined in the convention include the screening, recruitment and training of people working in contact with children, making children aware of the risks and teaching them to protect themselves, as well as monitoring measures for offenders and potential offenders.

The convention establishes programmes to support victims, encourages people to report suspected sexual exploitation and abuse, and sets up telephone and internet helplines for children. It ensures that certain types of conduct are classified as criminal offences, such as engaging in sexual activities with a child below the legal age and child prostitution and pornography.

The convention criminalises the use of the new technologies, the internet in particular, to sexually harm or abuse children, for example by ”grooming”, an increasingly worrying phenomenon of children being sexually harmed after meeting adults they have previously encountered in internet chat rooms or game sites.

With the aim of combating child sex tourism, the convention establishes that individuals can be prosecuted for some offences even when the act is committed abroad. The new legal tool also ensures that child victims are protected during judicial proceedings, for example with regard to their identity and privacy.

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