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Analysis on the Terminology guidelines for the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse

In order to effectively fight against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, communication is essential. But how can we ensure that it contributes to an effective protection of victims? First, by agreeing on the vocabulary used. Indeed, many disagreements and confusions persist as to existing notions. Terms such as « paedophile », « child prostitution » or « child pornography » are increasingly criticised as being imprecise, harmful, or stigmatising towards children. However, depending on the words used, different images and perceptions will be created1 . Thus, the proper use of terms is necessary in order to adopt coherent laws and policies to address these issues.

The purpose of this document is to define a number of key terms, which ECPAT Belgium advises to adopt in order to avoid causing any harm to victims.

Bill of Rights for Child Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Following the first “Global Survivors’ Forum” organized by ECPAT International and which took place at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on November 18th 2016, the “Bill of Rights for Child Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse” was published.

This Bill of Rights is the result of a collaboration involving children and young people (most of them victims of sexual abuse or exploitation), as well as several local ECPAT offices. The results of the project demonstrated that one of the major barriers to children accessing justice is a low level of awareness of their rights. The Bill of Rights was therefore developed to inform children  about their right to effective access to justice and remedies.

In order to help professionals disseminate the tools, a Q&A has also been created.

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How is Europe protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation?

ECPAT Belgium, Missing Children Europe and eNASCO have launched a report that examines the transposition of Directive 2011/93/EU on combatting sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography by 27 Member States.

Together against sexual exploitation of children

ECPAT coordinates the analysis regarding extradition laws and support to the victims. The results have been presented during a workshop held in April 2015 in front of représentatives of the Member States of the European Union in Brussels.

Studies suggest that between 10-20% of children in Europe are sexually assaulted during their childhood. This phenomenon is not decreasing and certain forms of sexual violence are becoming a matter of growing concern. The Internet has made it easier to “groom” children or to produce and distribute child sexual exploitation material. Children portrayed in pornography are getting younger and the images are becoming more graphic and more violent.

Copyright ECPAT Belgique « Stop à l’exploitation sexuelle commerciale des enfants »