Council of Europe Strasbourg starts promoting children's rights and protecting kids against all forms of violence

This year, the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, launches "Building a Europe for and with Children (2006-2008)", a program for the promotion of children's rights and the protection of children against all forms of violence. The program aims at enhancing existing policies on children's rights as well as combating all kinds of violence against children through the implementation of new preventive policies.

The Council of Europe is a European oldest political organization, founded in 1949. The organization has its headquarters in Strasbourg, in northeastern France. It groups together forty six countries, including twenty one countries from Central and Eastern Europe and, in fact, the Council of Europe, Strasburg, is an initial stage of joining the European Union (no country has ever joined the EU without first belonging to the Council of Europe)

"The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members...", though through the years of its existence, the organization has broaden its objectives and goals. Initially, the Council of Europe, Strasburg, was created to: defend human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law; develop continent-wide agreements to standardize member countries' social and legal practices; promote awareness of a European identity, based on shared values and cutting across different cultures.

Having acted as "a political anchor and human rights watchdog" and supporting the countries in carrying out political reforms, in 1993, the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, defined its new political aims. The Heads of State and Government cast the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, as a guardian of democratic security - founded on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The organization started acting in accordance to the slogan, "Democratic security is an essential complement to military security, and is a pre-requisite for the continent's stability and peace."

Today, the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, continues to grow and increase its effectiveness and efficiency in the areas of human rights, law, democracy and European cultural identity. Its achievements and contributions to the development of the sound European society are numerous, while some activities are of a special value and importance.

Since the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, May 2005), the Council of Europe has started to work on "Building a Europe for and with Children (2006-2008)", a program for the promotion of children's rights and the protection of children against all forms of violence. The program consists of two closely connected strands: the promotion of children's rights and the action program "Children and violence".

For the aim of promoting children's rights, the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, has adopted a wide range of conventions and recommendations, directly or indirectly relevant to children. The Council of Europe, Strasbourg, intends effectively to help the states in devising integrated children's policies, establishing the requisite structures, developing working and networking methods as well as offering resources for informing, training and raising the awareness of the general public and the players directly concerned. The participation and consultation of children and their access to information is specially focused in this part of program.

The second aspect, the action program on "Children and violence", will include combating violence against children through implementing integrated prevention policies and informing people and professional circles to the problem. The program will pay particular attention to very specific types of violence against children, namely violence that remains concealed behind a wall of silence or taboos (notably a sexual abuse and a corporal punishment) and the new forms of violence stemming from the use of the new information technologies (pornography in the Internet and harassment via mobile phones).

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