Cyprus Mail

Call for tougher child sex abuse legislation

Kiko and the Hand

ALMOST ONE in four people in Cyprus under 18 have been subjected to some form of sexual abuse or exploitation, a member of a leading children’s welfare group said on Monday.

Dr Antonis Stylianou, member of the Hope for Children policy centre’s advisory board told a press conference the figure was larger than the EU one in five average.

Stressing the importance of implementing strict national legislation which is synchronised with the Lanzarote Convention that requires criminalisation of all kinds of sexual offences against children, Stylianou said that the specific matter “should become an issue of major importance in Cyprus”.

He added that the steering committee of the campaign One in Five, and the Council of Europe will hold the first workshop in Cyprus on Tuesday against child sexual abuse to train and inform all state services on good practices followed by other countries.

At the press conference were also present the chairman of  the Lanzarote committee Bragi Gudbrandsson and Greek MP and coordinator of the One in Five campaign of the Council of Europe in Greece, Elena Rapti.

In Cyprus, the Lanzarote Convention was ratified last November by a unanimous House vote. The One in Five campaign, named after the estimates that say one in five children fall victim to sexual violence, aims at educating children and society at large by providing the knowledge and tools to prevent and report sexual violence against children.

One in Five launched the underwear rule campaign which teaches children through the story of Kiko and the Hand, where others should not try to touch them, how to react and where to seek help.


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