On the occasion of the 6th European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, the Council of Europe has raised the topic of preventing risky behaviour by children related to self-generating sexual images and/or videos especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejcinovic Buric said that during the Covid-19 related lockdowns children tend to play and chat online more than before which gives child offenders online more opportunity for phishing via email or unsolicited contacts on social media.
In addition, travel restrictions have pushed a lot of child sexual abuse online... Children have little knowledge of the risks they are exposing themselves to. Once online, images and videos deleted are very hard to fully remove from the web. Children can easily fall into the trap of online child sex offenders who solicit their victims to post more images or videos”, she said.
Spokesperson of the Council of Europe Daniel Holtgen shared some of Buric's quotes on his Twitter account:
"There is a dark side to children's selfies: children share self-generated sexual nature images and videos without thinking these images can one day escape their control. And the danger is growing” - @CoE Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić #EndChildSexAbuseDay pic.twitter.com/laDKB6ftuD— Daniel Holtgen (@CoESpokesperson) November 18, 2020
Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić on #EndChildSexAbuseDay:— Daniel Holtgen (@CoESpokesperson) November 18, 2020
“Children can’t fully understand the risks of sharing images/videos of sexual nature. Once online, they are hard to fully remove from the web; children can easily fall into the trap of online child sex offenders” pic.twitter.com/upCtGtgrFk
Georgia is a signatory country of the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Committee, the body in charge of monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
Georgia became a party of the convention in 2015 and is one of the 47 countries that have ratified the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention).
About 1,146 Child abuse cases were reported in Georgia in January-August 2020, according to the Agency for State Care and Assistance for the Victims of Human Trafficking.
The Public Defender's report says that almost every day, one child becomes a victim of sexual abuse in Georgia.