‘Luxembourg Guidelines’ on Terminology a Step Forward in the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children

On June 14th, an Interagency Working Group released the ‘ Terminology Guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse’ in Geneva Switzerland taking an important step in strengthening collaboration to address sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.

The Terminology Guidelines, dubbed the ‘Luxembourg Guidelines’ after their adoption in the small country earlier this year, offer guidance on how to navigate the complex lexicon of terms commonly used relating to sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children. They aim to build consensus on key concepts in order to strengthen data collection and cooperation across agencies, sectors and countries. The Guidelines have been made available to all major child protection agencies and organisations around the world, as well as to law-makers and the media. They are available at: http://luxembourgguidelines.org/

The Guidelines were developed under the guidance of an Interagency Working Group, composed of representatives from the following organisations:
• African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
• Child Rights Connect
• Council of Europe Secretariat
• Europol
• INHOPE – The International Association of Internet Hotlines
• Instituto Interamericano del niño, la niña y adolescentes (OEA)
• International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children
• International Labour Office
• International Telecommunication Union
• Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
• Plan International
• Save the Children International
• United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
• United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
• United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children
• United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

The IWG also counted with two academic institutions, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Bedfordshire, The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking, as well as the Oak Foundation as observers to the project.

Initiated by ECPAT in September 2014, the Interagency Working Group deliberated over the course of 18 months, bringing together experts and international actors in child protection to forge consensus on the terminology used in child protection on sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.