Lanzarote Convention

On 21st June 2018 the UK government’s ratified of the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse in the UK and abroad. The Lanzarote Convention is the first instrument to establish various forms of sexual abuse of children as criminal offences, including acts that are committed abroad. It was signed by the UK government in 2008, and ratified ten years later. The convention requires states to prevent and combat sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children; protect the rights of child victims of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and to promote national and international co-operation against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children. This includes implementing legislative measures to protect the rights of children without discrimination on any grounds of sex, race, gender, language, religion, national or social origin.

The ratification will allow for greater international cooperation and information‐sharing across borders to investigate and prosecute offenders' sexual crimes against children in the UK and abroad. In addition, the UK will be required to implement preventative measures such as screening, child protection training and the collection of data on convicted offenders.