18 November marks the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, established by the Council of Europe (CoE) in 2015. This is an important opportunity to reflect on a phenomenon that has a very serious impact on the health and future of children and adolescents.
The 2022 edition, theme of the Day, Doing the right thing: guaranteeing child-friendly justice thanks to Barnahus facilities in Europe. "Barnahus (Children's House) – reads the website of the Council of Europe - is the main European model of multidisciplinary and inter-agency response (MDIA) tailored to children's sexual abuse. Its unique approach brings together all relevant services under the same roof, to avoid re-victimisation of the child during investigations and judicial proceedings and to provide each child with a coordinated and effective response".
The event organised for the occasion by the Council of Europe and the Council of Baltic Sea States, under the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, will take place on 16 November in Strasbourg. Speakers will include the Icelandic Minister for Education and Children, Ásmundur Einar Daðason, on behalf of the Icelandic Presidency, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, and the Director-General of the Secretariat of the Council of Baltic Sea States, Grzegorz Posnanski (via video message). The programme is available on the CoE website, on the dedicated page.
It is also worth mentioning the child-friendly version of the Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2022-2027) - launched by the Council of Europe's Steering Committee on the Rights of the Child and available on the CoE website, on the dedicated page - and the new short film on the sexual abuse of children in sport Campo da gioco, designed and produced by the French director Roland Edzard, which will be broadcast on 17 November by the CoE Parliamentary Assembly.
To further explore the theme of the Day, we propose a normative framework on the theme of sexual abuse and exploitation to the detriment of children and adolescents. This document describes the legal instruments that, at international and national level, make it possible to combat the phenomenon of paedophilia and child pornography, prevent sexual abuse and exploitation, and stop girls and young women from falling victim to these crimes.
On the website of the Department for Family Policies, in the dedicated news section, there are two informative brochures that report information on the Day, on the objectives and principles that guide it and on the subject of the 2021 edition.
The Department for Family Policies uses a range of measures to deal with the prevention and fight against violence against children and the various forms of sexual abuse they suffer, through numerous actions. These include the drafting of the Report that the President of the Council of Ministers submits annually to Parliament (pursuant to Article 17 of Italian Law 269/1998), carried out with the technical support of the Istituto degli Innocenti, which contains information on the actions carried out by all public administrations relating to prevention, assistance and protection of children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
The Department also chairs the Observatory for the Fight against Paedophilia and Child Pornography, established under the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in 2006 with the main task of collecting and monitoring data and information on the activities carried out by all public administrations in the prevention and suppression of the phenomenon of sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people.
The following study materials selected by the Biblioteca Innocenti Library A.C. Moro are worthy of further study: bibliographic research on sexual violence; bibliographic research on domestic sexual violence; bibliographic research on children and adolescents who are victims of violence; bibliographic research on paedophilia; bibliographic research on child prostitution and sexual exploitation; bibliographic research on online violence.