Law Approving The Convention Of The Council Of Europe On The Protection Of Children Against Sexual Exploitation And Sexual Abuse, Made In Lanzarote On 25 October 2007 (1) (2)

Original Language Title: Loi portant assentiment à la Convention du Conseil de l'Europe sur la protection des enfants contre l'exploitation et les abus sexuels, faite à Lanzarote le 25 octobre 2007 (1) (2)

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7 FEBRUARY 2012. - An Act to approve the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, made in Lanzarote on 25 October 2007 (1) (2)



ALBERT II, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The Chambers adopted and We sanction the following:
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 77 of the Constitution.
Art. 2. The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, made in Lanzarote on 25 October 2007, will come out its full and full effect.
Promulgation of this law, let us order that it be clothed with the seal of the State and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Brussels, 7 February 2012.
ALBERT
By the King:
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
D. REYNDERS
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
Seal of the state seal:
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
____
Notes
(1) 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 session.
Senate.
Documents
Bill tabled on 23 August 2011, No. 5-1204/1. Report on behalf of Commission No. 5-1204/2.
Annales parlementaire
Discussion, meeting of November 23, 2011. - Vote, meeting of 23 November 2011.
Room
Documents
Project transmitted by the Senate, No. 53-1927/1. Report on behalf of Commission No. 53-1927/2. - Text adopted in plenary and submitted to Royal Assent No. 53-1927/3.
Annales parlementaire
Discussion, meeting of 12 January 2012. - Vote, meeting of 12 January 2012.
(2) See Decree of the Flemish Community of 12 February 2010 (Moniteur belge of 4 March 2010 - Ed. 1), the Decree of the French Community of 28 April 2011 (Moniteur belge of 13 May 2011 - Ed. 1), the Decree of the German-speaking Community of 28 March 2011 (Moniteur belge 29 April 2011 - Ed. 2), the Decree of the Walloon Region of 26 April 2012 (Moniteur belge of 22 May 2012 -er March 2012 (Moniteur belge du 14 mars 2012 - Ed. 1 ).

Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
Preamble
States members of the Council of Europe and other signatories to this Convention;
Considering that the purpose of the Council of Europe is to achieve a closer union between its members;
Considering that every child is entitled, on the part of his family, society and the State, to the protection measures required by his or her condition as a minor;
Noting that the sexual exploitation of children, especially in the forms of child pornography and prostitution, as well as all forms of sexual abuse of children, including when committed abroad, seriously jeopardize the health and psychosocial development of the child;
Recognizing that sexual exploitation and abuse of children have taken alarming dimensions at both the national and international levels, including with regard to the increased use of communication and information technologies by children and offenders, and that, in order to prevent and combat them, international cooperation is essential;
Considering that the welfare and best interests of children are fundamental values shared by all Member States and must be promoted without any discrimination;
Recalling the Action Plan adopted on 3e Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Varsovie, 16-17 May 2005), which calls for the development of measures to end the sexual exploitation of children;
Recalling in particular the following Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers: N R (91) 11 on sexual exploitation, pornography, prostitution, as well as on trafficking in children and young adults and Rec(2001)16 on the protection of children against sexual exploitation, and the Convention on Cybercrime (STE n 185), and in particular its article 9, as well as the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (STC);
Bearing in mind the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950, STE n 5), the revised European Social Charter (1996, STE n 163), the European Convention on the Exercise of the Rights of Children (1996, STE n 160);
Bearing in mind also the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular article 34, the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as the Additional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, as well as the International Labour Organization Convention on the Elimination of
Bearing in mind the Framework Decision of the Council of the European Union on combating sexual exploitation of children and child pornography (2004/68/JAI), the Framework Decision of the Council of the European Union on the Status of Victims in Criminal Procedures (2001/220/JAI) and the Framework Decision of the Council of the European Union on combating trafficking in persons (2002/629/JAI);
Taking into account other relevant international legal instruments and programmes in this area, including the Stockholm Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted at the 1ster World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (27-31 August 1996); Yokohama Global Engagement, adopted in the 2e World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (17-20 December 2001); the Budapest Engagement and Action Plan, adopted at the conclusion of the preparatory conference of the 2e World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (20-21 November 2001); the Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly S-27/2 "A World Fit for Children" and the Triennial Programme "Building a Europe for and with Children", adopted following the 3rd Summit and launched by the Monaco Conference (4-5 April 2006);
Determined to contribute effectively to the common goal of protecting children from sexual exploitation and abuse, regardless of the perpetrator, and to provide assistance to victims;
Taking into account the need to develop a comprehensive international instrument focusing on aspects related to prevention, protection and criminal law in the fight against all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse of children, and establishing a specific monitoring mechanism;
The following agreed:
CHAPTER Ier. - Purpose, principle of non-discrimination and definitions
Article 1er
Subject
1. The purpose of this Convention is to:
a. prevent and combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children;
b. protecting the rights of child victims of sexual exploitation and abuse;
c. to promote national and international cooperation against sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
2. In order to ensure the effective implementation of its provisions by Parties, this Convention shall establish a specific monitoring mechanism.
Article 2
Principle of non-discrimination
The implementation of this Convention by Parties, in particular the benefit of measures to protect the rights of victims, must be ensured without any discrimination, including on the basis of sex, race, colour, language, religion, political opinions or any other opinion, national or social origin, belonging to a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, state of health, disability or any other situation.
Article 3
Definitions
For the purposes of this Convention:
a. the term "child" means any person under the age of 18 years;
b. the expression "sexual exploitation and abuse of children" includes the behaviour referred to in articles 18 to 23 of this Convention;
c. the term "victim" means any child who is a victim of sexual exploitation or abuse.
CHAPTER II. - Preventive measures
Article 4
Principles
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to prevent and protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
Article 5
Recruitment, training and awareness-raising
of Children
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to promote awareness of the protection and rights of the child of persons who have regular contacts with children in the areas of education, health, social protection, justice, law enforcement, as well as in the sectors related to sports, cultural and leisure activities.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that persons referred to in paragraph 1er have adequate knowledge of sexual exploitation and abuse of children, how to detect them and the possibility provided for in Article 12, paragraph 1er.
3. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures, in accordance with its domestic law, to ensure that the conditions of access to the professions in which the exercise normally involves contacts with the children allow to ensure that candidates for these professions have not been convicted for acts of sexual exploitation or abuse of children.
Article 6
Education of children
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that children receive, during primary and secondary schooling, information on the risks of sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as on how to protect themselves, appropriate to their stage of development. This information, provided, if any, in conjunction with parents, is part of a more general information on sexuality and focuses on risk situations, including those resulting from the use of new information and communication technologies.
Article 7
Preventive intervention programs or measures
Each Party shall ensure that persons who fear that they may commit any of the offences established in accordance with this Convention may, where appropriate, have access to effective programmes or measures of intervention to assess and prevent the risks of passage to the act.
Article 8
Measures to the public
1. Each Party promotes or organizes awareness-raising campaigns that inform the public about the phenomenon of sexual exploitation and abuse of children and preventive measures that may be taken.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to prevent or prohibit the dissemination of material that publicizes offences established in accordance with this Convention.
Article 9
Participation of children, from the private sector,
and Civil Society
1. Each Party shall encourage the participation of children, depending on their stage of development, in the development and implementation of policies, public or other programmes on combating sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
2. Each Party encourages the private sector, including the communications and information technology sectors, the tourism and travel industry and the banking and financial sectors, as well as civil society, to participate in the development and implementation of policies for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of children, and to implement internal standards through self-regulation or co-regulation.
3. Each Party encourages the media to provide appropriate information on all aspects of sexual exploitation and abuse of children, in accordance with media independence and press freedom.
4. Each Party shall encourage funding, including, where appropriate, through the creation of funds, projects and programmes supported by civil society to prevent and protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
CHAPTER III. - Specialized authorities and coordination bodies
Article 10
National coordination and collaboration measures
1. Each Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure coordination at the national or local level between the various bodies responsible for the protection of children, prevention and combating sexual exploitation and abuse of children, including the education and health sector, social services, law enforcement and judicial authorities.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to establish or designate:
a. independent national or local institutions competent to promote and protect the rights of the child, ensuring that they are provided with specific resources and responsibilities;
b. data collection mechanisms or information points, at the national or local level and in cooperation with civil society, allowing, in accordance with the requirements for the protection of personal data, the observation and assessment of sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
3. Each Party shall promote cooperation between the relevant government, civil society and the private sector in order to better prevent and combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
CHAPTER IV. - Protection measures and victim assistance
Article 11
Principles
1. Each Party shall establish effective social programmes and establish multidisciplinary structures to provide the necessary support to victims, their relatives and those entrusted to them.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that, in the event of uncertainty about the age of the victim and where there are reasons to believe that she is a child, the protection and assistance measures provided for children are granted to her, pending the verification and establishment of her age.
Article 12
Reporting suspicions of sexual exploitation or abuse
1. Each Party shall take such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to ensure that the rules of confidentiality imposed by domestic law on certain professionals involved in working with children do not impede the possibility, for such professionals, of reporting to the child protection services any situation of a child for which they have reasonable grounds to believe that he is a victim of sexual exploitation or abuse.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to encourage any person who has knowledge or suspected, in good faith, of sexual exploitation or abuse of children to report to the relevant services.
Article 13
Support services
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to encourage and support the establishment of communications services, such as telephone or internet lines, to provide advice to appellants, whether confidentially or in accordance with their anonymity.
Article 14
Victim assistance
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to assist, in the short and long term, victims with a view to ensuring their physical and psychosocial recovery. The measures taken pursuant to this paragraph shall give due consideration to the views, needs and concerns of the child.
2. Each Party shall take measures, under the conditions set out in its domestic law, to cooperate with non-governmental organizations, other relevant organizations or other elements of civil society engaged in assistance to victims.
3. When the parents or persons to whom the child is entrusted are involved in the sexual exploitation or abuse of the child, the procedure for intervention taken under paragraph 1er of Article 11 shall include:
- the possibility of removing the alleged perpetrator from the facts;
- the possibility of removing the victim from his family environment. The terms and duration of this withdrawal shall be determined in accordance with the best interests of the child.
4. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that relatives of the victim may receive, where appropriate, therapeutic assistance, including emergency psychological support.
CHAPTER V. - Intervention programmes or measures
Article 15
General principles
1. Each Party shall, in accordance with its domestic law, provide or promote effective programmes or measures of intervention for persons referred to in Article 16, paragraphs 1er and 2, to prevent and minimize the risk of reiteration of sexual offences against children. These programs or measures must be accessible at any time in the proceedings, in prison settings and outside, as defined by domestic law.
2. Each Party shall provide or promote, in accordance with its domestic law, the development of partnerships or other forms of cooperation between the competent authorities, including health services and social services, and the judicial and other authorities responsible for the follow-up of persons referred to in Article 16, paragraphs 1er and 2.
3. Each Party shall, in accordance with its domestic law, make an assessment of the danger and potential reiteration of offences established in accordance with this Convention of persons referred to in Article 16, paragraphs 1er and 2, with the aim of identifying appropriate programs or measures.
4. Each Party shall, in accordance with its domestic law, provide for an assessment of the effectiveness of the programmes and interventions implemented.
Article 16
Recipients of programs and intervention measures
1. Each Party shall, in accordance with its domestic law, provide that persons prosecuted for one of the offences established in accordance with this Convention may access the programmes or measures referred to in Article 15, paragraph 1erin conditions that are neither harmful nor contrary to the rights of defence and to the requirements of a fair and impartial trial, and in particular in accordance with the rules governing the principle of innocence.
2. Each Party shall, in accordance with its domestic law, provide that persons convicted of committing one of the offences established in accordance with this Convention may access the programmes or measures referred to in Article 15, paragraph 1er.
3. Each Party shall, in accordance with its domestic law, provide that intervention programmes or measures shall be put in place or adapted to meet the development needs of children who have committed sexual offences, including those below the age of criminal responsibility, in order to address their sexual behaviour problems.
Article 17
Information and consent
1. Each Party shall, in accordance with its domestic law, provide that persons referred to in Article 16 to whom intervention programmes or measures are proposed, be fully informed of the reasons for this proposal and that they consent to the program or measure in full knowledge of cause.
2. Each Party shall, in accordance with its domestic law, provide that persons to whom intervention programmes or measures are proposed may refuse them and, if convicted, that they be informed of any consequences that may be attached to their refusal.
CHAPTER VI. - Material criminal law
Article 18
Sexual abuse
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to criminalize the following intentional behaviours:
a. engaging in sexual activities with a child who, in accordance with the relevant provisions of national law, has not reached the legal age for sexual activities;
b. engaging in sexual activities with a child:
- using coercion, force or threats; or
- by abusing a recognized position of trust, authority or influence on the child, including within the family; or
- by abusing a situation of particular vulnerability of the child, especially because of physical or mental disability or dependency.
2. For the purposes of paragraph 1ereach Party shall determine the age below which it is not permitted to engage in sexual activities with a child.
3. The provisions of paragraph 1er.a is not intended to govern sexual activities between minors.
Article 19
Offences relating to child prostitution
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to criminalize the following intentional behaviours:
a. recruiting a child to engage in prostitution or fostering the participation of a child in prostitution;
b. compel a child to engage in prostitution or to take advantage of it or to exploit a child in any other way for such purposes;
c. using a child's prostitution.
2. For the purposes of this section, the term "child prostitution" means the use of a child for sexual activities, by offering or promising money or any other form of remuneration, payment or benefit, whether such remuneration, payment, promise or benefit is made to the child or to a third party.
Rule 20
Offences relating to child pornography
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to criminalize the following intentional behaviours, where they are committed without right:
a. production of child pornography;
b. offering or making available child pornography;
c. dissemination or transmission of child pornography;
d. procuring or procuring child pornography to others;
e. possession of child pornography;
f. access to child pornography, knowingly and through communication and information technologies.
2. For the purposes of this article, "child pornography" means any material that visually represents a child engaged in sexually explicit, actual or simulated behaviour, or any representation of the sexual organs of a child for primarily sexual purposes.
3. Each Party may reserve the right not to apply, in whole or in part, paragraph 1er.a and e to production and possession:
- pornographic material consisting exclusively of simulated representations or realistic images of a child who does not exist;
- pornographic material involving children who have reached the age established under Article 18, paragraph 2, when these images are produced and held by them, with their consent and only for their private use.
4. Each Party may reserve the right not to apply, in whole or in part, paragraph 1er.f.
Article 21
Offences relating to participation
from a child to pornographic shows
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to criminalize the following intentional behaviours:
a. recruiting a child to participate in pornographic shows or to encourage the participation of a child in such shows;
b. compel a child to participate in or benefit from pornographic performances or to exploit a child in any other way for such purposes;
c. attendance, knowingly, at pornographic shows involving the participation of children.
2. Each Party may reserve the right to limit the application of paragraph 1.c to situations where children have been recruited or coerced in accordance with paragraph 1.a or b.
Article 22
Corruption of children
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to criminalize the intentional act of having a child who has not attained the age established pursuant to Article 18, paragraph 2, even without involvement in sexual abuse or sexual activities, for sexual purposes.
Article 23
Solicitation of children for sexual purposes
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to criminalize an adult's intentionally proposing, through communication and information technologies, a meeting with a child who has not attained the age established under Article 18, paragraph 2, with a view to committing an offence established in accordance with Article 18, paragraph 1er.a, or 20, paragraph 1er.a, when this proposal was followed by material acts leading to the said meeting.
Article 24
Complicity and attempt
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to criminalize any complicity when committed intentionally for the commission of any of the offences established in accordance with this Convention.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to criminalize any intentional attempt to commit any of the offences established in accordance with this Convention.
3. Each Party may reserve the right not to apply, in whole or in part, paragraph 2 to offences established pursuant to Article 20, paragraph 1er.b, d, e and f, in article 21, paragraph 1er.c, section 22 and section 23.
Rule 25
Jurisdiction
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to establish its jurisdiction over any criminal offence established in accordance with this Convention, where the offence is committed:
a. on its territory; or
b. a ship flying flag of that Party; or
c. on board an aircraft registered under the laws of that Party; or
d. by one of its nationals; or
e. by a person with his or her habitual residence in his or her territory.
2. Each Party shall endeavour to take the necessary legislative or other measures to establish its jurisdiction over any criminal offence established in accordance with this Convention, where the offence is committed against any of its nationals or a person habitually resident in its territory.
3. Each Party may, at the time of signature or deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, in a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, declare that it reserves the right not to apply, or to apply only in specific cases or conditions, the rules of jurisdiction defined in paragraph 1.e of this article.
4. For the prosecution of offences established under articles 18, 19, 20, paragraph 1erand 21, paragraph 1er.a and b, of this Convention, each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the establishment of its jurisdiction under paragraph 1 (d)er is not subordinate to the condition that the facts are also punishable at the place where they have been committed.
5. Each Party may, at the time of signature or deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, declare that it reserves the right to limit the application of paragraph 4 of this article with respect to offences established in accordance with Article 18, paragraph 1er.b, second and third dashes, in cases where the national has his habitual residence in his territory.
6. For the prosecution of offences established under articles 18, 19, 20, paragraph 1er.a, and 21 of this Convention, each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the establishment of its jurisdiction under items d and e of paragraph 1er is not subordinate to the condition that the prosecution be preceded by a complaint of the victim or a denunciation of the State where the facts were committed.
7. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to establish its jurisdiction over any offence established in accordance with this Convention, where the alleged perpetrator is present in its territory and may not be extradited to another Party on the basis of its nationality.
8. Where a number of Parties claim their jurisdiction over an alleged offence established in accordance with this Convention, the Parties concerned shall, where appropriate, consult to determine the best extent to which the prosecution is carried out.
9. Without prejudice to the general rules of international law, this Convention does not exclude any criminal jurisdiction exercised by a Party in accordance with its domestic law.
Rule 26
Liability of legal persons
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that legal persons may be held liable for the offences established in accordance with this Convention, where they are committed on their behalf by any natural person, acting either individually or as a member of a body of the legal person, who exercises executive power within it, on the following basis:
a. a power of representation of the legal person;
b. an authority to make decisions on behalf of the legal person;
c. an authority to exercise control within the legal person.
2. In addition to cases already provided for in paragraph 1ereach Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that a legal person may be held liable when the lack of supervision or control on the part of a natural person referred to in paragraph 1er has made possible the commission of an offence established in accordance with this Convention on behalf of that legal person by a natural person acting under its authority.
3. According to the legal principles of the Party, the liability of a legal person may be criminal, civil or administrative.
4. This liability is established without prejudice to the criminal liability of natural persons who committed the offence.
Rule 27
Sanctions and measures
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the offences established under this Convention are subject to effective, proportionate and deterrent sanctions, taking into account their seriousness. These include custodial sanctions that can give rise to extradition.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that legal persons declared responsible under Article 26 are liable to effective, proportionate and deterrent sanctions, which include criminal or non-criminal fines and possibly other measures, including:
a. exclusion measures for the benefit of a public benefit or assistance;
b. temporary or final bans on commercial activity;
c. judicial supervision;
d. a judicial measure of dissolution.
3. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures:
a. to enable seizure and confiscation:
- property, documents and other material means used to commit or facilitate the commission of offences established under this Convention;
- the proceeds of such offences or property valued in such products;
b. to allow the temporary or final closure of any establishment used to commit any of the offences established in accordance with this Convention, without prejudice to the rights of third parties in good faith, or to prohibit, on a temporary or final basis, the exercise of the activity, professional or voluntary, involving contact with children, on the occasion of which they were committed.
4. Each Party may adopt other measures with respect to offenders, such as the loss of parental rights, monitoring or monitoring of convicted persons.
5. Each Party may establish that confiscated proceeds of crime or property in accordance with this article may be allocated to a special fund to fund prevention and assistance programmes for victims of one of the offences established in accordance with this Convention.
Rule 28
Aggravating circumstances
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the following circumstances, provided that they do not already constitute elements of the offence, may, in accordance with the relevant provisions of domestic law, be taken into consideration as aggravating circumstances in determining the penalties for offences established in accordance with this Convention:
a. the offence has seriously affected the physical or mental health of the victim;
b. the offence is preceded or accompanied by acts of torture or serious violence;
c. the offence was committed against a particularly vulnerable victim;
d. the offence was committed by a family member, a person who cohabits with the child or a person who abuses his or her authority;
e. the offence was committed by several persons acting jointly;
f. the offence was committed in a criminal organization;
g. the author has already been convicted of similar facts.
Rule 29
Previous convictions
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to provide for the possibility of taking into account, as part of the assessment of the sentence, the final convictions in another Party for offences established in accordance with this Convention.
CHAPTER VII. - Investigation, prosecution and proceural law
Rule 30
Principles
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that criminal investigations and procedures take place in the best interests and respect for the rights of the child.
2. Each Party shall endeavour to adopt a protective approach to victims, ensuring that criminal investigations and procedures do not worsen the child's trauma and that the criminal response is accompanied by assistance when appropriate.
3. Each Party shall ensure that criminal investigations and procedures are dealt with as a priority and without undue delay.
4. Each Party shall ensure that the measures adopted in accordance with this chapter do not prejudice the rights of defence and the requirements of a fair and impartial trial, in accordance with Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
5. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic law:
- to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of offences established in accordance with this Convention, allowing, where appropriate, the possibility of conducting discrete investigations;
- allow units or services of investigation to identify victims of offences established in accordance with Article 20, including through the analysis of child pornography materials, such as accessible, accessible, disseminated or transmitted audiovisual images and recordings through communication and information technologies.
Rule 31
General protection measures
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to protect the rights and interests of victims, including as witnesses, at all stages of criminal investigations and proceedings, in particular:
a. by keeping them informed of their rights and services at their disposal and, unless they do not wish to receive such information, the follow-up to their complaint, the counts selected, the general conduct of the investigation or procedure and their role in the investigation and the decision rendered;
b. ensuring that, at least in cases where there is a danger to victims and their families, they may be informed, if necessary, of any temporary or final release of the person, prosecuted or convicted;
c. giving them, in a manner consistent with the rules of procedure of domestic law, the opportunity to be heard, to provide evidence and to choose the means by which their views, needs and concerns are presented and examined, directly or through an intermediary;
d. by providing appropriate assistance, to ensure that their rights and interests are duly presented and taken into account;
e. by protecting their privacy, identity and image, and by taking measures consistent with domestic law to prevent public dissemination of information that may lead to their identification;
f. ensuring that they are, as well as their families and witnesses, safe from the risks of intimidation, reprisals and new victimization;
g. ensuring that victims and perpetrators of offences are in direct contact at the premises of the investigative services and the judicial premises, unless the competent authorities decide otherwise in the best interests of the child or for the purposes of the investigation or procedure.
2. Each Party shall ensure that victims, from their first contact with the competent authorities, access to information on the relevant judicial and administrative procedures.
3. Each Party provides that the victim has access, free of charge, to legal aid where it can be a party to the criminal proceedings.
4. Each Party shall provide for the possibility for the judicial authority to appoint a special representative for the victim when, under domestic law, the victim may be a party to the judicial proceedings and that the holders of parental responsibilities are denied the ability to represent the victim in the proceedings following a conflict of interest with the victim.
5. Each Party shall, by means of legislative or other measures and in accordance with the conditions laid down in its domestic law, provide for the possibility for groups, foundations, associations or governmental or non-governmental organizations to assist and/or support victims who consent to it in criminal proceedings concerning offences established under this Convention.
6. Each Party shall ensure that the information provided to victims, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, is appropriate to their age and maturity and in a language that they may understand.
Rule 32
Implementation of the procedure
Each Party shall take such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to ensure that investigations or prosecutions relating to offences established under this Convention are not subject to the statement or accusation of a victim and that the proceedings may continue even if the victim withdraws.
Rule 33
Prescription
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the limitation period for the prosecution of the offence leader established in accordance with articles 18, 19, paragraph 1er. a and b, and 21, paragraph 1er.a and b, continue to run for a sufficient time to allow effective prosecution, after the victim reaches the age of majority, and is proportionate to the seriousness of the offence in question.
Rule 34
Investigations
1. Each Party shall adopt the necessary measures to ensure that persons, units or services in charge of investigations are specialized in combating sexual exploitation and abuse of children or that persons are trained for this purpose. Such services or units shall have adequate financial resources.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that uncertainty as to the actual age of the victim does not prevent the initiation of a criminal investigation.
Rule 35
Auditions of the child
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to:
a. hearings of the child shall be held without undue delay after the facts have been reported to the competent authorities;
b. the child's hearings, if any, take place in premises designed or adapted to this effect;
c. the child's hearings are conducted by trained professionals for this purpose;
d. where possible and when appropriate, the child is always questioned by the same persons;
e. the number of hearings shall be limited to the minimum and to the extent strictly necessary for the conduct of the proceedings;
f. the child may be accompanied by his or her legal representative or, if any, by the person of the child's choice, unless the person is otherwise motivated by the person.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the hearings of the victim or, where appropriate, the hearings of a child witnessing the facts may be audio-visually recorded and that such recording may be admissible as a means of proof in the criminal proceedings, as prescribed by its domestic law.
3. In the event of uncertainty about the victim's age and where there are reasons to believe that she is a child, the measures set out in paragraphs 1er and 2 apply, pending its age being verified and established.
Rule 36
Judicial procedure
1. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures, in accordance with the rules governing the autonomy of judicial professions, to ensure that training on children's rights, sexual exploitation and abuse of children is available to the benefit of the actors of the judicial process, including judges, prosecutors and lawyers.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that, in accordance with the rules laid down in domestic law:
a. the judge may order that the hearing be conducted outside the presence of the public;
b. the victim may be heard at the hearing without being present, including through the use of appropriate communication technologies.
CHAPTER VIII. - Data registration and storage
Rule 37
Registration and storage of national data
on convicted sexual offenders
1. For the purpose of preventing and punishing offences established in accordance with this Convention, each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to record and maintain, in accordance with the relevant provisions on the protection of personal data and other appropriate rules and guarantees as provided for in domestic law, data relating to identity and to the genetic profile (ADN) of persons convicted for offences established in accordance with this Convention.
2. Each Party, at the time of signature or deposit of its instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, shall communicate to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe the names and addresses of the only national authority responsible for paragraph 1er.
3. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the information referred to in paragraph 1er may be transmitted to the competent authority of another Party, in accordance with the conditions established by its domestic law and the relevant international instruments.
CHAPTER IX. - International cooperation
Rule 38
General principles and international cooperation measures
1. The Parties shall cooperate, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, in accordance with the relevant international and regional instruments, with arrangements based on uniform or mutual legislation and their domestic law, to the extent possible to:
a. prevent and combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children;
b. protect and assist victims;
c. conduct investigations or proceedings relating to offences established in accordance with this Convention.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that victims of an offence established in accordance with this Convention and committed in the territory of a Party other than that in which they reside may lodge a complaint with the competent authorities of their State of residence.
3. If a Party that subordinates mutual legal assistance in criminal matters or extradition to the existence of a treaty receives a request for assistance or extradition from a Party with which it has not concluded such a treaty, it may consider this Convention as the legal basis for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters or extradition for offences established in accordance with this Convention.
4. Each Party shall endeavour to integrate, where appropriate, the prevention and control of sexual exploitation and abuse of children in development assistance programmes conducted for the benefit of third States.
CHAPTER X
Rule 39
Committee of the Parties
1. The Committee of the Parties shall be composed of representatives of the Parties to the Convention.
2. The Committee of the Parties is convened by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Its first meeting must be held within one year of the entry into force of this Convention for the tenth signatory having ratified it. It will meet thereafter at least one third of the Parties or the Secretary General.
3. The Committee of the Parties shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
Rule 40
Other representatives
1. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Committee for Criminal Problems (CDPC) and other relevant intergovernmental committees of the Council of Europe each appoint a representative to the Committee of the Parties.
2. The Committee of Ministers may invite other Council of Europe bodies to appoint a representative to the Committee of the Parties after consulting the Committee of the Parties.
3. Representatives of civil society, including non-governmental organizations, may be admitted as observers to the Committee of the Parties following the procedure established by the relevant rules of the Council of Europe.
4. Representatives designated under paragraphs 1er to 3 above shall participate in meetings of the Committee of the Parties without the right to vote.
Rule 41
Functions of the Committee of the Parties
1. The Committee of the Parties is responsible for ensuring the implementation of this Convention. The procedural rules of the Committee of the Parties shall determine the procedure for evaluating the implementation of this Convention.
2. The Committee of the Parties is responsible for facilitating the collection, analysis and exchange of information, experiences and good practices among States in order to improve their capacity to prevent and combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
3. The Committee of the Parties is also responsible, as appropriate:
a. to facilitate the effective use and implementation of this Convention, including the identification of any problems in this regard, as well as the effects of any declaration or reservation made in accordance with this Convention;
b. to express an opinion on any matter relating to the application of this Convention and to facilitate the exchange of information on important legal, political or technical developments.
4. The Committee of the Parties shall be assisted by the Secretariat of the Council of Europe in carrying out its functions under this Article.
5. The European Committee for Criminal Problems (CDPC) is kept regularly informed of the activities envisaged in paragraphs 1er2 and 3 of this article.
CHAPTER XI. - Relationship with other international instruments
Rule 42
Relationship to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
This Convention does not affect the rights and obligations arising from the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; Its purpose is to strengthen the protection established by these instruments and to develop and complement the standards they set out.
Rule 43
Relationship with other international instruments
1. This Convention shall not affect the rights and obligations arising from the provisions of other international instruments to which the Parties to this Convention are Parties or shall become Parties, which contain provisions relating to matters governed by this Convention and provide greater protection and assistance to children victims of sexual exploitation or abuse.
2. Parties to the Convention may enter into bilateral or multilateral agreements with each other relating to matters governed by this Convention for the purpose of supplementing or strengthening the provisions of this Convention or facilitating the application of the principles it enshrines.
3. Parties that are members of the European Union shall apply, in their mutual relations, the rules of the Community and the European Union to the extent that there are rules of the Community or the European Union governing the particular subject matter concerned and applicable in the case of a species, without prejudice to the object and purpose of this Convention and without prejudice to its full application to the other Parties.
CHAPTER XII. - Amendments to the Convention
Rule 44
Amendments
1. Any amendment to this Convention proposed by a Party shall be communicated to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and transmitted by the Council of Europe to the Member States of the Council of Europe, to any other signatory State, to any State Party, to the European Community, to any State having been invited to sign this Convention in accordance with Article 45, paragraph 1erand any State invited to accede to this Convention in accordance with the provisions of Article 46, paragraph 1er.
2. Any amendment proposed by a Party shall be communicated to the European Committee for Criminal Problems (CDPC), which shall submit its opinion to the Committee of Ministers on the amendment.
3. The Committee of Ministers shall consider the proposed amendment and the notice submitted by the CPC and, after consultation with non-member States parties to this Convention, may adopt the amendment.
4. The text of any amendment adopted by the Committee of Ministers pursuant to paragraph 3 of this article shall be communicated to the Parties for its acceptance.
5. Any amendment adopted pursuant to paragraph 3 of this Article shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of one month after the date on which all Parties have informed the Secretary General that they have accepted it.
CHAPTER XIII. - Final clauses
Rule 45
Signature and entry into force
1. This Convention is open for signature by the Member States of the Council of Europe, by the non-member States involved in its preparation and by the European Community.
2. This Convention shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval. Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
3. This Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date on which 5 signatories, including at least 3 Member States of the Council of Europe, have expressed their consent to be bound by the Convention, in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph.
4. If a State referred to in paragraph 1er or the European Community subsequently expresses its consent to be bound by the Convention, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of the deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.
Rule 46
Accession to the Convention
1. After the entry into force of this Convention, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe may, after consultation with the Parties to the Convention and having obtained its unanimous consent, invite any non-member State of the Council of Europe having not participated in the elaboration of the Convention to accede to this Convention by a majority decision provided for in Article 20.d of the Statute of the Council of Europe, and unanimously by the representatives of the Contracting States
2. For any Member State, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of deposit of the instrument of accession to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Rule 47
Territorial application
1. Any State or the European Community may, at the time of signature or at the time of deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, designate the territory or territories to which this Convention shall apply.
2. Any Party may, at any other time thereafter, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, extend the application of this Convention to any other territory designated in that declaration, in which it provides international relations or on whose behalf it is authorized to make commitments. The Convention shall enter into force in respect of that territory on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of the declaration by the Secretary General.
3. Any declaration made under the two preceding paragraphs may, in respect of any territory designated in that declaration, be withdrawn by notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. This withdrawal will take effect on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary General.
Rule 48
Reservations
No reservation is permitted to the provisions of this Convention, except those expressly provided for. Any reservation may be withdrawn at any time.
Rule 49
Denunciation
1. Any Party may, at any time, denounce this Convention by sending a notification to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
2. This denunciation shall take effect on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary General.
Rule 50
Notification
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify the States members of the Council of Europe, any signatory State, any State Party, the European Community, any State having been invited to sign this Convention in accordance with the provisions of Article 45, and any State invited to accede to the Convention in accordance with the provisions of Article 46:
a. any signature;
b. the deposit of any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;
c. any effective date of this Convention in accordance with Articles 45 and 46;
d. any amendment adopted in accordance with Article 44 and the date of entry into force of that amendment;
e. any reservation under section 48;
f. any denunciation made under the provisions of section 49;
g. any other act, notification or communication relating to this Convention.
In faith, the undersigned, duly authorized to do so, have signed this Convention.
Done in Lanzarote, on 25 October 2007, in French and English, both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy which will be deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall transmit certified copies thereof to each member State of the Council of Europe, to the non-member States that have participated in the elaboration of this Convention, to the European Community and to any other State invited to accede to this Convention.

Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children
against sexual exploitation and abuse, made in Lanzarote on October 25, 2007

Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, made in Lanzarote on 25 October 2007
BELGIUM ROYAUME
Declaration
In accordance with Article 37, paragraph 2, of the Convention, Belgium shall designate as the only national authority responsible for the purposes of Article 37, paragraph 1erof the Convention, the following authority:
Institut National de Criminalistique et de Criminologie
GENERAL DIRECTION and Operational Directorate
Hot Vilvorde 100
B-1120 Brussels
Tel: +32 2-240 05 00
Fax: + 32 2-241 61 05
nicc-incc@just.fgov.be
Reserve
In accordance with Article 24, paragraph 3, of the Convention, Belgium reserves the right not to apply Article 24, paragraph 2, on the suppression of the attempted offences established by the Convention, to offences established in accordance with Article 20, paragraph 1er(e) and (f), article 21, paragraph 1er, c) and section 23.
Brussels, 20 February 2013.
Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
D. REYNDERS