Sexual exploitation of children in the context of children’s rights and child protection – A European perspective

January 1, 1998


This report is based on a research proposal developed in partnership by CWASU (lead partner), Dublin Women’s Aid, Ireland and ROKS, Sweden. The trans-European Project collected detailed data from justice departments, state agencies and NGOs concerning a broad range of issues related to the sexual exploitation of children, including:

  • the definition and understanding of child sexual exploitation;
  • the severe lack of data on this issue in many countries;
  • prostitution and trafficking of children;
  • child pornography;
    sexual exploitation of children (trafficking) in and from other countries;
  • sexual abuse rings and other forms of organised networks.

Main Findings:

  1. There has been much rhetoric about sexual exploitation of children in the last decade, but limited progress and action in transforming the realities of those whose lives have been marked by it.
  2. Despite commitments made by most European governments at the World Conference in Stockholm in 1996, hardly any have produced the promised Action Plans.
  3. Law enforcement and prevention efforts with regard to the sexual exploitation of children are still uncoordinated and variable both within and between States.
  4. The single area where progress has been made is legislation: most European States have reformed or developed new laws with respect to the sexual exploitation of children.
  5. However, minimal efforts at monitoring implementation are being made.

See Research Report: Rhetorics and Realities: Sexual Exploitation of Children in Europe

Grant Holder: CWASU

Sponsor: The European Union STOP Programme

  • Project Team:
    Linda Regan, Liz Kelly