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To defend the rights and dignity of the child worldwide

7 April 2020 | 16:42

Advocacy: fight against sexual abuse in Ukraine

The BICE and his partner Women’s Consortium of Ukraine (WCU) intervened at the interactive conversation of the 42nd session of the United Nation Human Rights Council. They submitted two communications, one written and the other in oral form.

As part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ukraine committed to :

-Enhance its legal assistance system to encourage chilldren access to justice.

-Lead an information campaign on a national scale against child violence. And this, through the media, State websites, partner institutions, and social media.

These commitments are encouraging but several challenges still need to be taken up.

Few actions to prevent cyberviolence

A study, carried out by the WCU, supported by the BICE, reveals that, concerning online sexual abuse, children are helpless. They are not informed about cyberviolence. And are not aware of the services or organizations that are required to call on to file a report or to ask for help.

According to the study, schools don’t inform enough children about the risks they may run on internet. Parents, them, don’t have points of reference, nor necessary knowledge to monitor their children activities on internet. Indeed, some of them, share, their pictures, including the intimate ones, on social media without measuring the danger

1 in 5 children victim of sexual violence

Generally, the level of reporting of online and non-online sexual violence is low. Moreover, barely 10% of the reported cases are investigated and only 2% get to court. According to the Europe Council, 1 in 5 children suffer or suffered from sexual violence, making more than 1.5 million children.  Many more, only 1.5% of children victims receive psychological assistance and care.

Despite the ratification of Lanzarote Convention, Ukraine hasn’t standardized yet its domestic law in accordance with this treaty. The setting up of audition rooms, their equipment and the training of audition professionals are challenges to take up in accordance with the article 35 of the Convention.

The BICE and the WCU call Ukraine to:

  • Create a permanently updated data base with information about online abusers. This allegedly be benefit for police investigations and online research of authors presumed of child abuse.
  • Establish or strengthen the cooperation between Ukrainian police, its investigative services and Interpol, in terms of data sharing and to better track cyber criminals inside and outside the country.
  • Make sure that assistance, support and protection services are accessible and available twenty- four seven. This is essential to effectively assist victims across the country.
  • Establish a mandatory self-regulatory framework for digital and telephony private sector companies, including mobile phones, computers, network hardware and software providers to fight online sexual abuse.

*From the 9th to the 27th of September 2019