Practices of Human Rights Education with and by young people

The project titled ‘ELSA Ukraine for Children’ was part of the campaign ‘One in Five’ run by the Council of Europe and ELSA. The main activity was the coming together of a legal research group, which wrote a report about legislative protection of children from sexual violence in Ukraine.

The target groups of this project were students, young professionals, academics, and state officials. The need arose from the lack of awareness among the target groups of protection from sexual violence against children. It was also developed because of a general lack of awareness of legislation regarding child abuse.

The aims of the project:

  • To research the legislative norms protecting children against sexual violence and exploitation and their compliance with the Lanzarote Convention.
  • To collect and analyse the information
  • To get the support of state officials, educate students, young professionals and academics about the issue in Ukrainian legislation which impairs the full protection of children against sexual violence and exploitation
  • The National Legal Research Group ‘ELSA Ukraine for Children’ was part of a project launched together with the Council of Europe’s campaign ‘One in Five’ on the protection of children against sexual abuse and exploitation. Nine people researched Ukrainian legislation in that regard and its compliance with the Lanzarote Convention.

    During a period of several months in 2012 a legal research group of nine researchers investigated Ukrainian legislation as regards to protection of children from sexual violence and exploitation. This group analysed the legislation and produced a report which was published on the Council of Europe’s website. The project reached many people as it was supported by side events. The concept here was to engage the different target groups in the topic of sexual abuse of children and legislative problems that relate to it. A number of events were organised to support this process: a press conference, essay competition, charity campaign, radio interviews, movie weeks, and a national conference.

  • The project and related activities touched upon a very controversial and even taboo topic for Ukrainian society – sexual abuse against children. It is directly related to the issue of the Rights of the Child, which is a rather new concept for many in Ukraine. There are people (mostly conservatively religious) that oppose this concept because they deny that sexual abuse of children happens and therefore oppose its investigation. This project was vitally important in order to spread awareness about these issues, in order to overcome all sorts of propaganda and shed light on the legislation or lack of it that should be protecting children.

    The participants and researchers of the project proposed changes to legislation which were sent to the Ukrainian Parliament and Ombudsman.