SEXUAL ABUSE: Protection Mechanisms and Resilience Congress Outcome

[2 June 2015] - Pursuing its commitment to fight violence against children abuse, the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE) held an international congress entitled "Child Sexual Abuse: Protection Mechanisms and Resilience" on May 20, 2015 in Paris. The congress was attended by the 29 partners involved in BICE three-year programme (2015-2017) on the sexual abuse of children, which is implemented in 19 countries worldwide and by representatives of States, international and national experts and practitioners in the field of child rights and sexual abuse. 
Sexual abuse is defined as the act of: 
  • engaging in sexual activities with a child of national law, has not reached the legal age
  • engaging in sexual activities with a child where:
    • use is made of incitement, coercion, force or threats; or
    • abuse is made of a recognised position of trust, authority or influence over the child, including within the family; or
    • abuse is made of a particular vulnerable situation of the child, notably because of a mental or physical disability or a situation of dependence; 
  • exploiting a child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; 
  • exploiting a child for the production and dissemination of images or pornographic material. 
Child sexual abuse:
  • is a global scourge that affects all States throughout the world, regardless of their level of political, social or economic development; 
  • is most common in circles of trust and perpetrated by people whom the victim trusts, or by people who have a certain power or authority over the victim, aggravating his/her inability to defend him/herself; 
  • causes profound long-lasting and concealed trauma, affects both the integrity and the physical, psychological and mental health of the victim, and requires specific and multidisciplinary interventions; 
  • has an insidious and hidden character and assumes varied and pernicious forms, thus limiting the availability of reliable quantitative and qualitative data structured according to age, sex and geographic areas; 
  • rarely leaves tangible or lasting evidence beyond the word of the child and possible witnesses, which has an impact on the victim’s access to justice and his/her recovery in dignity and rights.


Read the recommendations in the paper attached


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