Terminology guidelines will contribute to a more effective protection of children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse
Luxembourg Guidelines can help protect children
A global Interagency Working Group in Geneva has released the ‘Terminology Guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse’.
The ‘Luxembourg Guidelines’, as they were dubbed after their adoption in the Grand Duchy earlier this year, will provide guidance in navigating the complex lexicon of terms commonly used relating to sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children. Coordinated by ECPAT, the Interagency Working Group deliberated over the course of 18 months to forge consensus on the terminology used in child protection on sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It had long been recognised that the absence of common language to describe conduct amounting to sexual exploitation and sexual abuse affects was undermining global efforts to protect children. “Even where the same terms are used, there is often disagreement concerning their actual meaning, resulting in confusion and challenges for law-makers, child protection agencies, media and civil society groups” explained Dorothy Rozga, executive director of ECPAT International.
The guidelines are being made available to all major child protection agencies and organisations around the world, as well as to law-makers and the media. “In these important guidelines, policy makers, professional associations and child rights defenders find a crucial resource to provide precision in terminology, enhance accuracy in the development of monitoring tools, and gain conceptual clarity to mobilise efforts for the safeguard of children's freedom from sexual violence across regions,” said Marta Santos Pais, the special representative to the UN Secretary General on violence against children, and core member of the Interagency Working Group.
“In the fight against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, terminology is not just a matter of semantics: it determines the effectivity of responses,” said UN special rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio. “The Luxembourg Guidelines will contribute not only to protecting children, but also in ending the impunity for these heinous crimes,” she added.