Child Victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse

[STRASBOURG, 22 December 2006] - In a report made public today, Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) rapporteur on child victims, Jean-Charles Gardetto (Monaco, EPP/CD), explains that maltreatment, physical violence or neglect is the cause of death of three children per week in France and two per week in Germany and the United Kingdom. *

“Every day, children are bought, sold, imported, exported, used as commodities, subjected to forced marriages, prostitution. They become soldiers, servants, have their organs removed for the purpose of trafficking. They are victims of sexual abuse, everyday maltreatment, corporal punishment, trivialised domestic and parental violence as well as intimidation at school. Although there is an extensive legal apparatus at the international level intended to secure children’s rights and combat certain forms of exploitations, there is a glaring discrepancy between the rights secured to children on paper and the reality,” Mr Gardetto says in his report.

PACE is due to adopt a series of proposals for more effective prevention and punishment of all forms of violence and abuse involving children during a debate on 23 January 2007 in which H.R.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover, President of the World Association of Children’s Friends as well as Unicef Executive Director Ann M. Veneman will participate.

On this occasion, Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Maud de Boer Buquicchio will present the 46-nation organisation’s three-year action programme (2006-2008) to promote children’s rights and protect them against violence. “The attitude of Europe towards its children should be based on care, protection and respect for their personalities, their human dignity and their rights,” she stressed.

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