Sexual Violence Against Juveniles: Rights Defenders Urge Prioritization of Child’s Best Interests

The Defenders of Rights, Claire Hayden, and her deputy, Defenders of Children, Eric Delemer, held a May 9 hearing at the Independent Commission on Child Abuse and Sexual Violence (CIIVISE).

Rights defenders, whose mission is to protect the rights of all children and to ensure respect for the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CIDE), welcome the necessary work of CIIVISE in the fight against violence against minors. This fight must be the priority objective of the people’s policy.

In situations of sexual violence against minors submitted to the Defender of Rights, a number of difficulties are repeatedly identified.

Constant difficulty in legal treatment

Defenders of Rights often observe, in the case of condemnation of sexual offenses against minors mentioned in the organization, Very brief judicial investigation Where daily contact professionals with minors are not requested or listened to – such as teachers, educators, or medico-social professionals, nor other members of the minor’s family, neighbors or groups. The Deadline for investigation Observing specific files often does not allow appropriate feedback. The Defender of Rights Note, for example, Absence of investigative work for several months combined with an extremely long procedural period until the case is decided. However, the results of the criminal investigation are crucial to the decisions made in the child’s life.

Lack of communication and information exchange between different services

Defenders of rights have also underlined, in various situations, a Inadequate child care by institutions that violate the right to protection from all forms of violence : Lack of constant monitoring, failure to consider underlying hazards, lack of prudence in managing the situation … Lack of proper care The risk of this lack is doubled when children are hospitalized in an adult psychiatric unit.

These situations are often the result of a lack of information exchange between professionals who intervene in the best interests of the child and a split of interventions in which we still see effectiveness in the “silo” without overall coordination.

Improper collection of baby speech

It is essential to train all professionals working with children in raising awareness and collecting baby voices. Rights Defenders Annual Report for 2019 “Children and Violence: Government Institutions” and for 2020 Considering the voice of the child: a right for the child, a duty for adults A Make recommendations to protect the child by allowing him or her to be listened to and considered in satisfactory situations.

Effective prevention of sex education for the youngest should be allowed

Defender of Rights has been insisting for years[1] There is a need to develop a global approach to sex education, integrating its emotional, psychological or social aspects in the same way as its reproductive aspects. He regrets the inadequate implementation of the 2001 law in schools, where sex education can contribute to helping a child or adolescent speak out and condemn an ​​adult’s deviant behavior.

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The Defender of Rights calls for a radical change in culture.

It is important to end this cycle of violence by integrating and strengthening the training of professionals dealing with children, including physicians. It is also important to create the right conditions for the collection of receptions and speeches, especially in police stations and gendarmes, but also in the courts, and to promote the development of practice and law.

The work of CIASE and CIIVISE, with the expected impact on the judicial treatment of these situations, should lead to a radical change in culture, with the voices of child victims being heard, so that their best interests take precedence over any other consideration. The first suspicion of violence.


[1] Rights Defender’s Opinion n ° 19-03

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