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18.November - European Day on the Protection of Children againts Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse : Prevention of risky behavior of children: photos or videos created by children with a sexual undertone


This year's theme of the European Day on the Protection of Children againts Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, 18 November 2020, is Prevention of Risky Behavior of Children: Photos or Videos created by children with a sexual undertone.

Children are increasingly exploring and expressing their sexuality through information and communication technologies, in particular social media and messaging applications. This includes creating and sharing sexually suggestive or explicit photos or videos that are part of them. However, they often underestimate the risks associated with this behavior, are under peer pressure to share such images or videos, or are tempted to engage in risky behaviors. It is therefore necessary to address prevention in this area in order to prevent such behavior, as photographs or videos of this nature may end up on the internet and may lead to children being subjected to sexual coercion and / or extortion.

Preventing and combating the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children is the purpose of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention). The Lanzarote Committee is currently preparing an implementation report focusing on recommendations to states that have ratified the Convention (including the Slovak Republic) in the field of child protection in the use of information and communication technologies, especially in relation to sexually explicit photographs and videos. (You can find the answers of the Slovak Republic on several topics in this context here.)


On the occasion of 18 November, the National Coordination Centre for Resolving the Issues of Violence against Children, decided in one of the main tasks of the National Strategy on the Protection of Children against Violence and the National Strategy on the Protection of Children in the Digital Enviroment, in raising awareness of the issue violence against children, to create, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, a Slovak version of a brochure aimed at preventing online sexual exploitation and abuse of children, "So this is sexual abuse?". The brochure was created in collaboration with children, so that we can introduce this topic to them in children's tonque.

The material covers the topics of sexuality and sexual abuse and uses several scenarios tailored to children and the teenage world to convey an important message. The main message is to keep children and adolescents from feeling lonely in situations where they have problems, questions or need advice. They should turn to people they trust, including parents, family members, teachers, psychologists, lawyers, and use possible alternatives such as online chat or a child helpline that can help them with a variety of problems. It also aims to provide useful advice and information to children or adults, whether they are concerned about a particular behavior, have questions about their right to refuse, or what to do when sexually explicit photos are shared and how to access support to address them.

The brochure provides insight into the stories of several young people and, through appropriate terminology, raises awareness of the substantive and procedural provisions of the Lanzarote Convention, the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

VIDEO: Beware of content you share

In July 2020, the National Coordination Centre for Resolving the Issues of Violence against Children, launched a nationwide campaign to protect children in the digital enviroment, which includes 5 videos, each focusing on a different risk situation that may occur in the online environment.

It is the video „Beware of the content you share“, that points to the risks associated with distributing inappropriate content on the Internet. We live in a time when we know almost everything about a person through his account on Facebook, Instagram or other social networks. We share where we eat, what we do, where we are, who we are with. We communicate through photos, videos and audio recordings. we often create such content for a seemingly harmless purpose. Whether it's a joke or we want to send content to a person we fully trust, we need to keep in mind that once we send something through social networks to another person, or allow another person to create such content, it can be made public. Before you create, post, or post such content on the Internet, it's important to always think about whether you really want other people to see it. Do you want your friends, family, parents to see the photo or video, for example? Can your professor, employer, colleague see the video?

The effects of such actions may have consequences that we are not aware of at the time. It is natural that you trust your family, friends or partners, but keep in mind that their account can also be attacked by someone and the content on it can be misused. This can have particularly serious consequences if you have created sexually explicit videos or photos.

We usually think that can't happen to us. Until it happens to us. We should think more about what photos / videos we take, where we store them, who has access to them and also to whom we send them. As well as what we do with photos or videos that we received from someone else or that show someone else. You can also find more on this topic in our Backstage video "Beware of the content you share".

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