Tunisia announced yesterday its accession to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, to become the 45th country to sign the Convention and the first from outside the Council of Europe.
According to a statement issued by the Tunisian Ministry of Women, Family, Children and the Elderly Affairs the agreement will enter into force on 1 February 2020.
“The Minister of Women, Family, Children and the Elderly Affairs, Naziha Laabidi, deposited the document of accession of the Republic of Tunisia to the Convention on Tuesday morning, in the presence of Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary-General of the Council.”
The statement quoted the minister saying: “The Convention reflects Tunisia’s principled commitment to the international community to ratify all international and regional conventions on children’s rights.”
Laabidi also considered that Tunisia’s accession to this Convention would “contribute to the development of bilateral cooperation with the Council of Europe member countries, underscoring the possibilities and means that this cooperation can provide for the follow-up and support of children affected by the phenomenon of sexual abuse.”
“Tunisia is keen to provide better protection for children who have been victims of sexual exploitation and abuse and to raise awareness of this form of abuse against children.”
In this context, she highlighted “Tunisia’s political will to support children’s rights as a strategic priority of our country’s development policy.”
On Monday, newly elected minister Zouheir Makhlouf appeared in court over a video filmed by a woman that allegedly shows him performing a lewd act in front of a school.