The Legal Affairs Committee unanimously supported the signing of the Lanzarote convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. The first reading of the Bill on the ratification of the Convention will take place on 28 September.
“The Convention is a signpost for developing national law as well as international cooperation in a field as important as violence against children,” said the Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee Heljo Pikhof. “Ratification also shows that the state is fully prepared to meet the strict requirements set out in the Convention.”
Pikhof spoke about how important it was for the Estonian government to view the combating of violence against minors as its priority. “We must also ensure that the police, the prosecutor’s office, and the bar have people who have received special training in communicating with children who have fallen victims to violence,” she added. “And we must also make sure that the judicial proceedings take the interests of the child into account in every way, protecting the child from repeatedly reliving their emotional traumas. In some countries, such court proceedings take place outside the court house, in a homelier environment for the child.”
The Bill on the Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (279 SE), initiated by the Government, lists prevention of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, ensuring the protection of the rights of children who have fallen victims to sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, and developing national and international cooperation in combating sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children as the corner stones of the Convention.
The Convention is a crucial document in transposing the necessary elements of sexual criminal offences against children into national law, harmonising child friendly procedures, and improving the needed social services.
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