European states urged to strengthen and support families before resorting to out-of-home care

Lanzarote Committee, Council of Europe

The Lanzarote Committee, the Council of Europe body overseeing the implementation by states of the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (“Lanzarote convention”), has adopted a declaration on ”Protecting children in out-of-home care from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse,” according to this news release.

"Residential care and institutional settings place children in a vulnerable situation and increase the risk of those children being sexually abused by the professionals or volunteers taking care of them, or by other children residing there," says the Lanzarote Committee. "Once victimised, such children face additional difficulties in disclosing their experiences and thus bear long-lasting psychological implications throughout their childhood and adult life. The Lanzarote Committee calls upon the state-parties to take all necessary measures to strengthen the capacities of families as an alternative to out-of-home care settings."