Council of Europe presents new strategy for children's rights


European Union


Photo Unsplash, Marina Shatskih

For the first time, the European Council included "exposure to pornographic and other harmful content" in its definition of cyberviolence. It did so in its new strategy for the children's rights.

The Italian Presidency of the Council of Europe presented the new plan, called the Council of Europe's Strategy for the Right of the Child for 2022-2027. It did so on April 7-8, the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) reports. According to the Council, children are vulnerable to human rights violations, especially when they live in countries with a weak judicial system. Also, poor "family and social protection services and justice, education and health systems" increase the risk, the Federation cites the strategy.

The strategy aims to identify the needs of children, find ways to ensure that these are met, and set milestones that can be evaluated.

Zero-tolerance policy towards violence against children

One of the strategy's priorities is to protect children's rights in crises and emergencies, the Council of Europe announces in a press release. Regarding climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the Council finds it essential to include this new point in the strategy. Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, stated in her opening speech during the conference that "children's rights are at greater risk during crisis and emergencies." She pointed out that the Russian aggression is "devastating, especially for children."

Other priorities include freedom from violence, equal opportunities and social inclusion, access to the safe use of technologies, child-friendly justice for all children and giving a voice to every child, the press release states.

According to the new strategy, the Council of Europe will adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward violence against children. It wants to pay attention to sexual violence in particular, but also reducing cyberbullying, hate crime and peer violence is part of the strategy. The Council of Europe specifically wants to "prevent addiction to the digital environment and technologies, including virtual reality and offer support services for children and families concerned."



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