ArmInfo. The Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia, Araik Harutyunyan, clarified some of the provisions of the Lanzarote Convention.
During a live broadcast on Facebook, the Minister informed that 49 of the 50 articles of the Convention are aimed at combating pedophilia and protecting children from a criminal phenomenon. Only one article - the 6th - deals with the field of education, and many, as was noted, intentionally or out of ignorance, distort its meaning. Harutyunyan noted that all statements about the new methodology and sexuality education textbooks allegedly being developed for Armenian schools are false. According to the article, each party to the Convention must take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that children receive information about the risks of sexual exploitation, violence and necessary means of self-defense during primary and secondary education. This information, provided in collaboration with parents, should also cover the risks that arise in situations involving the use of telecommunication technologies. Therefore, the parents themselves should be directly involved in this process.
Among the risks that children should be informed about are, for example, the potential danger of communicating with a stranger who offers to go with him to a certain place. In addition, the risks are contained in the communication of children on social networks, as well as due to receiving suspicious calls and messages on a mobile number. Harutyunyan noted that raising the level of students' awareness of these risks is also aimed at understanding the importance of reporting these dubious incidents to parents and teachers.
The Minister also emphasized that the above information, according to the Convention, should be provided in accordance with their age.
The CE Convention was adopted on October 25, 2007, and entered into force on July 1, 2010. It is signed by 47 countries and has entered into force in 45 states. The Republic of Armenia signed the Convention on September 29, 2010, the parliament approved in May of this year, and the president signed at the end of last week. The Convention, setting common standards and definitions applicable in all European countries, is designed to protect children from sexual exploitation and use. The objectives of the convention are the prevention and combating of sexual exploitation of children and sexual violence, the protection of the rights of children affected by sexual crimes, and the promotion of domestic and international cooperation in combating sexual exploitation and sexual violence against children. By ratifying this Convention, the Republic of Armenia undertakes to take the necessary legislative or other measures to prevent all forms of sexual exploitation and use of children, as well as protect children, including the development and implementation of appropriate mechanisms, especially in the fields of education, health care, social services, as well as in law enforcement and judicial authorities. Cooperation between the States Parties to the Convention will be carried out with the aim of preventing and combating the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, protecting and assisting victims of violence, conducting investigations and proceedings provided for in the Convention. Thus, ratification of the Convention will create an opportunity to introduce relevant legislative amendments to the Republic of Armenia aimed at combating the sexual exploitation of children and sexual violence, protecting the rights of children affected by sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Moreover, the ratification of the Convention will promote priority attention to ensuring the best interests of the child in all actions regarding children, and stimulate international cooperation between the parties to the Convention.