Cyprus to mobilise against child sexual abuse

A pilot project aimed at strengthening national policies to stop sexual violence against children, together with a video clip aimed at breaking the silence that surrounds child sexual abuse, will be presented during a series of events in Nicosia, Cyprus, from 11 to 14 October as part of the Council of Europe ONE in FIVE Campaign*.

According to Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus, EPP/CD), General Rapporteur on Children of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), available data suggest that about 1 in 5 children in Europe are victims of some form of sexual violence and that in the vast majority of cases, the abuser is somebody the child knows and trusts. “In order to assess the situation in Cyprus, we have to review the existing methodologies, modalities and structures for data collection on child sexual abuse. Without accurate data we cannot guarantee that policy recommendations for legislative and institutional reforms are successful. This review is part of our pilot project and co-funded by the Leventis Foundation,” she stressed.

“The pilot project is due to be completed by April 2016 and I hope that by then my country will be in a position to ratify and implement the Lanzarote Convention, a legally-binding instrument drawn up by the Council of Europe and containing all the measures needed to prevent sexual violence, to protect children and to prosecute the abusers,” Stella Kyriakides concluded.

Participants in the launch ceremony will include all those involved in the pilot project - Stella Kyriakides, Anastasios Paul Leventis, Chairman of the Leventis Foundation, the University of Cyprus, the Hope for Children UNCRC Policy Centre, the Office of the Commissioner for Children’s Rights, the City of Nicosia, UNESCO, and the Independent Advisory Committee for the Prevention of Violence within the Family, as well as members of the government, parliament and ambassadors from Council of Europe member States.


Friday 11 October 2013, 10-11 a.m. (Leventis Municipal Museum, Nicosia): press conference and video clip presentation

Saturday 12 October 2013, 4-7 p.m. (Ledra Pedestrian Street, Nicosia): street event
(organised by the Commissioner’s Young Advisors Team with the support of the office of the Commissioner for Children’s Rights and project partners)

Monday 14 October 2013, 7-9 p.m. (Leventis Municipal Museum, Nicosia): pilot project launch (open to the press).

*The campaign has three dimensions (intergovernmental, parliamentary and local/regional). The parliamentary dimension relies on its dynamic network of 53 contact parliamentarians, who act as relays in their national parliaments. Stella Kyriakides is the contact parliamentarian for Cyprus.