Cooperation with the Council of Europe

The Special Representative collaborates closely with the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental human rights organisation counting 47 member States.

The Council of Europe was a major contributor to the preparation of the UN Study on violence against children and, since 2006, has consistently included the elimination of violence as a priority of its transversal programme “Building a Europe for and with children”. According to the current Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of the Child (2012-2015):

“The Council of Europe will continue to act as a regional initiator and co-ordinator of initiatives to eliminate all violence against children in Europe. As the European forum for follow-up to the recommendations of the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children (2006), it will continue to support the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children as well as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. To this end, the Organisation will adopt a two-pronged approach to:

• support the adoption and implementation of integrated national strategies to protect children from violence. These will include legislative, policy and institutional reforms and a focus on prevention;

• promote zero tolerance for all forms of violence by raising awareness and taking action to address specific types of violence and focus on settings in which violence occurs.”

The Special Representative regularly and strategically engages with the various Council of Europe bodies and institutions, including its Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and several intergovernmental and monitoring bodies. The richness of Council of Europe contribution to the elimination of violence against children includes several legally binding treaties, policy guidelines and recommendations, monitoring of States compliance with international standards, training and capacity building programmes and two major campaigns (against corporal punishment and against sexual violence).

The result of this work is made available at the Council of Europe website:

Cooperation with the European Union

The Special Representative works with the European Union, with a view to advance the development of the European Union strategy on the rights of the child, under preparation by the Commission, and the further implementation of the 2007 European Union Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child and its strategy to fight violence against children.

The promotion and protection of the rights of the child is one of the objectives of the EU on which the Treaty of Lisbon has put further emphasis. Notably, Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union explicitly requires the EU to promote the protection of the rights of the child.

On 15 February 2011, the European Union established an Agenda for the Rights of the Child, listing 11 actions that the Commission would take over the coming years. The initiative aimed to reaffirm the strong commitment of EU institutions and Member States to promoting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of the child in all relevant EU policies and to turn them into concrete results. In the future, EU policies that affect children directly or indirectly should be designed, implemented, and monitored taking into account the principle of children’s best interests.

In November 2010, the Special Representative met the Vice President of the European Commission, Viviane  Reding. The meeting was a strategic opportunity to address areas of shared concern, including the inclusion of children’s protection from violence in the above-mentioned strategy on the rights of the child, the consolidation of legislation and other actions for the protection of girls from harmful practices, and the safeguard of the rights of child victims of incidents of violence.

In the framework of the partnership developed with the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, the Special Representative participated in the conference on the theme “Ensuring justice and protection for all children”, held in Brussels on 7 and 8 December 2010, and organized with the Belgian Presidency of the European Union. Attended by a vast network of Government officials, academics and child rights experts, intergovernmental and civil society, the meeting gave prominent attention to violence prevention and the promotion of ethical and child-sensitive approaches to counselling and support for child victims of violence.

Political Declarations


Council of Europe Committee of Ministers

Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2012-2015)

Council of Europe Strategy - Building a Europe for and with children (2009-2011)

Council of Europe Policy Guidelines on integrated national strategies for the protection of children from violence (2009)

Committee of Ministers Recommendation on the participation of children and young people under the age of 18 (2012)

Council of Europe Guidelines on child friendly health care (2011)

Committee of Ministers Recommendation on children’s rights and social services friendly to children and families (2011)

Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on child friendly justice (2010)

Committee of Ministers Recommendation on measures to protect children against harmful content and behaviour and to promote their active participation in the new information and communications environment (2009)

Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation on Combating sexual violence against children: towards a successful conclusion of the ONE in FIVE Campaign (2014)

Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation on alternatives to the immigration detention of children (2014)

Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation on Children’s Right to physical integrity (2013)

Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation on Education against violence at school (2011)

Parliamentary Assembly Recomendation on Children who witness domestic violence (2010)

Council of Europe Conferences

“Growing with Children’s Rights”. Conference on the implementation of the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child 2012-2015 (2014)

Conference on "Preventing sexual abuse of children" (2013)

The role of international cooperation in tackling sexual violence against children (2012)

Stepping up progress in combating violence against children (2012)

International Conference "Combating violence against children: from isolated actions to integrated strategies" (2011)

Launch of the council of Europe campaign to stop violence against children (2010)

European Union

European Parliament resolution on the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Communication from the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - Towards the elimination of female genital mutilation

European Union Agenda for the Rights of the Child

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - An EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child

European Union Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child

Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA

European Union - Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage

Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council - Human Rights and Democracy at the Heart of our External Action - Towards a more Effective Approach

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - A Special Place for Children in the EU External Action 


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