States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent:
- (a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;
- (b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practises;
- (c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
Sexual abuse and exploitation has severe and long-term repercussions for children. Not only are their bodies in physical danger, but abuse can leave permanent scars on children’s mental health. Sexual violence against children happens much more than people think. The Council of Europe says that one child in five in Europe is thought to be a victim. In 70 to 85 per cent of cases, children know their aggressors but few cases are ever reported to the authorities.