Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur Groups
Rapporteur Group for Social and Health Questions
GR-SOC(2007)10 30 August 20071
“Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse” –
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1778 (2007)
Comments received from relevant committees
For consideration by the GR-SOC at its meeting on 20 September 2007
European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ)
1. Following the adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of Recommendation 1778 (2007) “Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse”, the Committee of Ministers decided to communicate it to the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), for information and possible comments by 30 April 2007. The CDCJ examined the recommendation and decided to submit to the Committee of Ministers its comments relating to those provisions, which in its view are of concern to the CDCJ.
2. The CDCJ welcomes the call of the Parliamentary Assembly and of the Committee of Ministers to member states to sign and ratify international and European legal instruments relating to the protection of children and in particular supports doing so in respect of the Council of Europe Convention on Contact concerning Children (ETS No.192) which is currently signed by 13 Council of Europe member states without ratification, and is in force since 1 September 2005 in respect of 4 member states.
3. The CDCJ welcomes the importance attached by the Parliamentary Assembly to the fight against all forms of violence, exploitation or abuse of children and draws the attention of the Committee of Ministers to a number of legal instruments adopted by the Council of Europe, in particular the European Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights (ETS No.160). This convention aims at protecting the best interests of children by providing a number of procedural measures to allow children to exercise their rights, and to protect them from cruel or degrading treatment.
4. The latter convention also facilitates the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. At present 11 Council of Europe member states are parties to the European Convention, while another 13 affixed their signatures, not followed by ratifications. The CDCJ would like to stress the need for inviting member states to sign and ratify this convention as well, if they have not already done so.
5. The CDCJ notes that at their 27th Conference the European Ministers of Justice adopted Resolution No.1 on victims of crime, whereby they “invite the Committee of Ministers to entrust the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), in co-operation with other competent bodies of the Council of Europe, to study the question of civil, administrative and other remedies to be made available to victims of crime with a view to reducing the risk of secondary victimisation and contributing to their rehabilitation from crime suffered and adequate compensation for damage sustained”. In this Resolution, particular attention is paid to the needs of categories of particularly vulnerable victims, including children, when seeking for civil, administrative or other remedies designed to protect their interests, in particular provision of information on procedures, simplified procedures, legal aid and advice before, during and after completion of civil, administrative or other procedures.
6. In compliance with this Resolution the CDCJ, through the Group of specialists on remedies for crime victims (CJ-S-VICT), is planning to analyse legislation and practices of member states concerning civil, administrative and other remedies available to victims of crime and identify good practices inter alia which meet the specific needs of vulnerable victims such as children with a view to making proposals to the Committee of Ministers for possible follow-up action.
7. In the view of the CDCJ, note should also be taken of the ongoing work within the Council of Europe as regards preparation of the Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Completion of this work should significantly contribute to the regional and international fight against violence, exploitation and abuse of children.
8. Despite the fact that the CDCJ fully supports the objectives put forward by the Parliamentary Assembly in its Recommendation 1778 (2007), and considering the ongoing work in this field within the Council of Europe, it takes the view that it is premature at this stage to initiate drafting a new, legally binding instrument in this field.
9. However, the feasibility of elaborating an appropriate instrument, containing specific measures to facilitate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child could be examined.
10. The CDCJ would like to bring to the attention of the Committee of Ministers that the theme of the 28th Conference of the European Ministers of Justice (planned on 25-26 October in Lanzarote, Spain) will cover the issue of access to justice for vulnerable groups, including children, which could lead to future work in this field by the CDCJ and could take into account the proposal in paragraph 9 above.
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Bureau of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC)
1. Following the adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of Recommendation 1778 (2007) “Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse”, the Committee of Ministers decided to communicate it to the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), for information and possible comments by 30 April 2007. In view of the fact that the CDPC would not meet in plenary until this date, the Bureau of the CDPC (the Bureau) examined the Recommendation and decided to submit to the Committee of Ministers its comments relating to those provisions, which in its view were of concern to the CDPC.
2. The Bureau welcomed the call of the Parliamentary Assembly and of the Committee of Ministers to member states to sign and ratify international and European legal instruments relating to the protection of children and in particular supports doing so in respect of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No.185)2 and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (ETS No. 197),3 which lacks 5 ratifications to enter into force.
3. The Bureau fully shares the importance attached by the Parliamentary Assembly to the fight against all forms of violence, exploitation or abuse of children and draws the attention of the Committee of Ministers to the preparation by the Committee of Experts on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse (PC-ES) of new Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation.
4. This new Convention will provide for a comprehensive protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, consolidating existing standards in this field by covering the issues of preventive and protective measures, substantive criminal law, investigation, prosecution and procedural law (including child-friendly procedures), exchange of information between states parties and international co-operation. It also aims at filling gaps and ensuring coherent and equal protection for all children by establishing clear common standards and definitions in this field which must be applicable in all states parties to it, in particular by harmonising criminal law and other relevant measures. The Convention is expected to be adopted in 2007.
5. The Bureau further noted that at their 27th Conference (12-13 October, Yerevan, Armenia) the European Ministers of Justice adopted Resolution No.1 on victims of crime, whereby particular attention was paid to the needs of categories of particularly vulnerable victims, including children. The Bureau also referred to the fact that at their 28th Conference (planned on 25-26 October 2007 in Lanzarote, Spain) the European Ministers of Justice will cover issues of access to justice for vulnerable groups, including children, which could lead to future work of the Council of Europe in the field of protection of children.
6. Therefore, the Bureau of the CDPC fully supports the objectives put forward by the Parliamentary Assembly in its Recommendation 1778 (2007), which are taken into account in the draft Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
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Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)
1. The CDDH welcomes Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1778 (2007) and Resolution 1530 (2007) – Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse, adopted on 23 January 2007, which deals with a very serious problem in the various countries which involves an increasing number of victims.
2. In paragraph 4 of the Recommendation, the Assembly asks the Committee of Ministers to instruct the relevant governmental committees to propose measures to facilitate and optimise children’s access to the appeals and complaints procedures for upholding the rights guaranteed to them by the Council of Europe’s existing legal instruments, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Revised European Social Charter (ESC).
3. The ECHR enshrines basic human rights and fundamental freedoms for everyone within the jurisdiction of any Council of Europe member State. The Convention does not expressly contain provisions specifically aimed at protecting the rights of the child with the exception of Article 5 (1) d), which, under certain circumstances, expressly authorises lawful detention of minors. However, many cases have been brought before the European Court of Human Rights concerning children’s rights and in particular the right of children to be protected against violence. This case-law is relevant where violence against children, including sexual exploitation, is concerned.
4. It must be pointed out that in cases concerning grave violations, such as those covered by under Article 3 (interdiction of torture), the Court shows equal diligence regarding all victims. This being said, it has held that in assessing the severity of the punishment or treatment endured by a person, regard should be had to the victim’s personal characteristics, notably his/her age4.
5. Other judgments5 in the same line of thought illustrate that the positive obligation to protect children under Article 3 extends beyond imposing criminal sanctions for such ill-treatment6 and requires States to take reasonable steps to ensure children effective protection and to take reasonable measures to prevent ill treatment of which the authorities had or ought to have had knowledge.7 Moreover, the Court has recently held that a State violated its positive obligations to take requisite measures and precautions to protect a child by deporting a young applicant who was unaccompanied by her parents and had no one to look after her, which caused her “extreme anxiety and demonstrated such a total lack of humanity towards someone of her age and in her situation”8. In the same case, the Court also concluded that there had been a violation of Article 3 as a result of the applicant’s detention, during two months, in a closed centre intended for illegal immigrants that was not adapted to her young age.
6. With regard to Article 4 of the Convention, it is also interesting to note that the Court found a violation in a case concerning a foreign minor, who was obliged by a couple to work as a non remunerated domestic worker for several years.9
7. It has also to be recalled that the meaning of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) has been given a broad interpretation in order to protect the physical and psychological integrity of the child. Thus, in one judgment10 the Court established the principle that physical integrity is a component of respect for private life under Article 8. The Court stated that there is a positive obligation of respect for private life, the nature of which depends on the particular aspect of the private life in question. In the context of sexual abuse, a criminal system leading to the punishment of the perpetrator was requested. In another judgment11, the Court stated that it attaches particular importance to the best interests of the child and considered that the parent cannot, under Article 8, be entitled to allow measures to be taken that would harm the child’s health and development.
8. It is to be noted that a positive obligation for States to undertake effective inquiries also ensues from Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention in the event of an alleged breach of physical integrity or ill-treatment inflicted on children. This obligation, moreover, also ensues from Article 13 of the Convention.
9. The CDDH recalls the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, opened for signature in Warsaw on 16 May 2005. This instrument recognises that all forms of trafficking in human beings constitute a violation of human rights and calls upon member States to fight against it and to protect its victims, women, men or children, whatever form of exploitation they are submitted to, be it sexual exploitation, forced labour or servitude.
10. Finally, the CDDH wishes to recall the work, which is nearly concluded by the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) relating to a future Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse. This instrument aims at tackling issues related to prevention, protection and penal law relating to fighting all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse concerning children. It therefore, for the most part replies to the request made by the Parliamentary Assembly in paragraph 3 of its recommendation.
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European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS)
The European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS) welcomes Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1778 (2007) “Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse”. It expresses concern for point 2.3 which needs further clarification. Though partnership and cooperation should be encouraged for the implementation of effective methods/systems to protect children, to record information in a central file about ´the victims thereof´ to which all interested parties would have access is considered inappropriate and even dangerous, unless the information is such that the victim’s identity is protected.
Through its Strategy for Social Cohesion, the CDCS asserts its commitment to protecting children and ensuring that all children develop to their full potential. This Strategy calls on the joint responsibility of the various players (public authorities, the corporate sector, citizens, families and children themselves).
Within its field of responsibility, the European Committee for Social Cohesion regards children as fully fledged human beings with individual rights enshrined in major legal instruments, such as the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the European Social Charter and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The CDCS wishes to underline that the image of children and their status are constantly evolving and a greater respect, protection and attention for children is expected.
The CDCS, through its subordinate committees, puts focus on how to fight violence against children, particularly from a preventive point of view. This includes considering difficult situations which facilitate violence, such as in the case of children without parental care (including children living in institutions, social orphans and street children), children living in suburban areas, children and families at risk of social exclusion and the marginalisation of migrant families and children.
A core element of CDCS work - with contributions from children and parents – aims to eliminate corporal punishment and violent upbringing that all too many children suffer throughout Europe and to raise awareness on the issue. This work led to Recommendation (2006) 19 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on “Policy to support positive parenting” which aims to create the necessary conditions for positive parenting in the best interest of the child, meaning a positive and non violent form of child upbringing, beneficial not only to children and parents but to the society as a whole.
Through its new subordinate Committee on Social Policy for Families and Children (Terms of Reference of which are in the process of submission to the Committee of Ministers), the CDCS would follow up with significant work in this field - particularly to the above-mentioned Recommendation (2006) 19 - with the involvement of children and parents. The CDCS will make sure that its activities aim at the protection of children against all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse, taking into account the Assembly’s concerns and that they contribute to the programme “Building a Europe for and with children”.
The remarkable work accomplished by the NGOs in helping these children – often in a state of emergency – as well as the establishment of many centres which take in children who are victims of violence should be emphasised. In this field, the partnership with NGOs should be strengthened.
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Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter
1. At the request of the Committee of Ministers (985th meeting, 31 January 2007), the Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter examined the Recommendation 1778 (2007) of the Parliamentary Assembly, and adopted the following opinion.
2. The Governmental Committee notes the interest shown by the Parliamentary Assembly in the European Social Charter. It takes note of Recommendation 1778 (2007) of the Parliamentary Assembly, and has carefully examined it.
3. The fundamental values of our societies, such as the respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, are part of our common European heritage.
4. The respect for the fundamental rights of children should be guaranteed in all societies in Europe.
5. The Governmental Committee recalls the indivisible nature of human rights – civil, political, social, economic and cultural.
6. The Governmental Committee subscribes in principle to the Council of Europe’s three-year programme for promoting children’s rights and protecting children against violence, “Building a Europe for and with Children”.
7. The Governmental Committee recalls the provisions of Article 7 of the Social Charter on the right of children and young persons to protection, and of Article 17 on the rights of children and young persons to social, legal and economic protection.
8. In addition, the Governmental Committee recalls the 1995 Additional Protocol providing for a system of collective complaints which allows international non-governmental organisations to defend the rights of children in an effective manner.
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Steering Committee for Education (CDED)
The Steering Committee for Education (CDED):
Having examined with great interest Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1778 (2007) "Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse", shares the Assembly's concerns relating to the effective implementation of the provisions of international and European legal instruments on child protection;
Recalls its previous opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1666 (2004) "Europe-wide ban on corporal punishment of children";
Welcomes the recommendations in paragraphs 2 and 3 and would point out on this occasion that, at the 22nd session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education (4 and 5 May 2007), the theme "Children's rights in an educational perspective" will be discussed in order to promote children's rights generally, as effectively as possible, and will cover school organisation and curricula, as well as teacher training;
Shares the Assembly's opinion, as expressed in paragraph 2.2, concerning the need to enhance specialist training for professionals dealing with children. Teachers need to be adequately trained so that they can not only teach children's rights but also ensure that these rights are respected at school, and avoid discrimination and all other breaches of these rights. The committee will suggest that this subject be included among the priority themes of the "Pestalozzi" training programme for education professionals;
Endorses the Assembly's request, in paragraph 4, that measures be introduced to facilitate and optimise children's access to appeals and complaints procedures and notes that this issue could be discussed in the context of its project "Education for democratic citizenship and human rights".
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Committee on the Rehabilitation and Integration of People with disabilities (CD-P-RR)
1. Recommendation 1778 (2007) – Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 23 January 2007. It was subsequently examined by the Ministers’ Deputies at their 985th meeting (31 January 2007), who agreed to communicate it to the Committee on the Rehabilitation and Integration of People with disabilities (Partial Agreement) (CD-P-RR) for information and possible comments by 30 April 2007 (Decision CM/Del/Dec(2007)985 3.1b).
2. The Committee on the Rehabilitation and Integration of People with disabilities (Partial Agreement) (CD-P-RR) has read with great interest Recommendation 1778 (2007) of the Parliamentary Assembly – Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse. The CD-P-RR has taken note of the invitation extended by the Parliamentary Assembly towards the Committee of Ministers “to produce a draft Convention aimed at affording children comprehensive effective protection against all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse”.
3. The CD-P-RR took note of the Parliamentary Assembly’s invitation, in its Recommendation 1778 (2007), …”to encourage the competent national authorities to ensure wide circulation both to children and to adults of information and advice on prevention, detection and prosecution of abuses committed against a child”, and recalls the need to make sure that such information and advice is also made available in various formats to children with disabilities, especially to those living in institutions. Moreover, children with disabilities must have access to a system in which they can have sufficient confidence to report abuse and expect follow-up action, including individual support. It is important inter alia to ensure physical accessibility of buildings, where public authorities engaged in the protection of children’s rights, and all other relevant bodies are located. It is also important to make sure that comprehensible information for children with disabilities (easy to read, easy to understand language) is available and accessible on a permanent basis.
4. The CD-P-RR equally welcomes the Parliamentary Assembly’s proposals concerning children in institutions, as referred to in the Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1530 (2007) on “child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse”, namely, the invitation to member states to consolidate their child welfare policy” by implementing “action plans… to eliminate violence, exploitation and abuses concerning children, in particular, … in care institutions…”. To this extent the CD-P-RR wishes to recall the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the Recommendation Rec(2005)5 on the rights of children living in residential institutions, as well as the Committee of Ministers’ reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1698(2005) on the rights of children in institutions (CM(AS(2006)Rec1698 final). Behind closed doors of orphanages or other institutions (e.g. psychiatric facilities, social care homes, etc.), children with disabilities will always be at a high risk of being exposed to violence and degrading treatment, and therefore need appropriate safeguards.
5. Reference should also be made to Resolution ResAP(2005)1 on safeguarding adults and children with disabilities against abuse, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 2 February 2005. This Resolution defines various types and forms of abuse and suggests ways of providing proportional response and adequate protection mechanisms. It urges member states of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field to draw up and implement national action plans on safeguarding adults and children with disabilities against abuse applying in their policy, legislation and practice the principles set out therein. These action plans could cover children in institutions, as well as those living in smaller community-based alternatives or within the family against any form of neglect, harm, violence or abuse, including sexual abuse with special attention to disabled girls. The resolution is complemented by a report entitled “Safeguarding adults and children with disabilities against abuse” (ISBN 92-871-4919-4), which provides a practical tool to professionals by helping them to appropriately respond to the issue. The report aims to make visible the extent and nature of abuse and mistreatment committed against children and adults with disabilities. It aims to ensure that people with disabilities are safeguarded against deliberate and/or avoidable harm at least to the same extent as other citizens, and that, when they are especially vulnerable, additional measures are put in place to assure their safety. The report sets out an overview of case studies, research and sources of
information, a brief account of how such issues are being addressed by member countries, examples of good practice in policy and service development, an outline of the role of public and non-governmental organisations in response to issues of abuse and, finally, some specific recommendations. The recommendations include measures to prevent abuse from happening at all, to encourage prompt recognition, referral and investigation, to prevent recurrence of abuse, and to provide treatment for those who have been abused.
6. The CD-P-RR draws the attention of the Parliamentary Assembly to the adoption by the Committee of Ministers on 5 April 2006 of the Recommendation Rec(2006)5 on the Council of Europe Action Plan to promote the rights and full participation of people with disabilities in society: improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in Europe (2006-2015) politically supported by the Council of Europe Action Plan adopted at the Warsaw Summit, 17 May 2005 (chapter III, section 1). The Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 will contribute to consolidating the work on disability issues with the view to making decisive progress across a wide spectrum of policy areas, including the protection against violence and abuse. In the action line 13 the objectives of working within anti-discriminatory and human rights frameworks towards safeguarding people with disabilities against all forms of violence and abuse, and of ensuring access for people with disabilities to services and support systems for victims of violence and abuse, are clearly defined, followed by a range of recommended specific actions by member states. The specific problems faced by children and young people with disabilities and their families are addressed as cross-cutting aspects, pointing at the need to protect those groups of people with disabilities, which are particularly vulnerable or at risk.
7. The CD-P-RR expresses its deep concern with the issues raised in the Parliamentary Assembly’s report on “Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse”. However, it would have welcomed a reference to the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 in the Parliamentary Assembly’s report on “Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse”, and subsequent Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1530 (2007) and Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1778 (2007), especially, since the report makes proposals for measures to counter abuse of children’s rights, and some specific measures were proposed already in the Disability Action Plan. The CD-P-RR, therefore, suggests including direct references to action line 13 on protection against violence and abuse, and, possibly, to action line 12 on legal protection, of the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 in the respective Parliamentary Assembly texts. This is important with the view to ensuring follow-up at the level of Council of Europe member states, where provision of relevant information, including national government reports to parliament, is envisaged (item 5.3, Recommendation Rec(2006)5).
8. The CD-P-RR would suggest strengthening participation of children with disabilities in decision-making processes that may influence child protection against violence, exploitation and abuse. One of the fundamental principles which govern the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 is the idea that people with disabilities and their representatives need to be consulted as stakeholders in decision-making processes which affect their lives, both at individual level and at society level through their representative organisations. This participation has to be assured in all areas, from national policy design to more individual subjects.
9. If a clear mandate is given and adequate financial and human resources were made available, assistance could be provided to Council of Europe member states, upon request, to develop the measures outlined in the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 to safeguard people with disabilities, including children with disabilities, against all forms of violence and abuse. The CD-P-RR would offer its longstanding multidisciplinary expertise in disability standard-setting and policy development to oversee such a possible assistance programme and ensure necessary exchange of information, as well as identifying opportunities for co-ordination with other Council of Europe bodies.
10. Finally, the CD-P-RR hopes that the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers will encourage member states to take an active part in Council of Europe activities devoted to children with disabilities.
Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 2 According to the chart of signatures and ratifications by 16 March 2007 the Cybercrime Convention is signed by 24 Council of Europe member states without ratification, and is in force since 1 July 2004 in respect of 18 member states and 1 non-member state.
Note 3 According to the chart of signatures and ratifications by 16 March 2007, 29 Council of Europe member states affixed their signatures to Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, without subsequent ratification, while another 5 member states have ratified it. In order to enter into force, the Convention requires 10 ratifications, of which at least 8 should be those of the Council of Europe member states.
Note 4 Bati and Others v. Turkey, judgment of 3 June 2004 and Rivas v. France, judgment of 1 April 2004. In this case, the Court found that there had been a violation of Article 3, emphasising that the age of the victims and their corresponding vulnerability were important factors when assessing whether the treatment complained of reached the threshold required for the application of Article 3.
Note 5 E and Others v. UK, judgment of 26 November 2002. In this case, the Court found a violation of Articles 3 and 13 concerning children who had suffered sexual and/or physical abuse over a considerable period of time at the hands of their mother's partner, despite being referred to and monitored by social services. Also see M.C v. Bulgaria , judgment of 4 December 2003. In this case, the Court found a violation of Articles 3 and 13 reproaching the authorities for having attached too little weight to the particular vulnerability of young persons and the particular psychological factors involved in cases concerning the rape of minors.
Note 6 See, in particular, A v. United Kingdom, judgment of 23 September 1998, concerning the regular beating of a child by his stepfather with a garden cane. In this case, the Court held that the absence of an adequately protective and effective law on the subject breached the Convention.
Note 7 See, in particular, Z and others v. the United Kingdom, Grand Chamber judgment of 10 May 2001, concerning the degrading living conditions constituting ill-treatment, according to the Court. In this case, the Court held that the social services’ breached the positive obligation to protect children from any treatment contrary to Article 3.
Note 8 Mubilanzila Mayeka and Kaniki Mitunga v. Belgium, judgment 12 October 2006.
Note 9 Siliadin v. France, judgment of 26 July 2005.
Note 10 X and Y v. Netherlands, judgment of 26 March 1985. This case concerned the impossibility of criminal proceedings against the perpetrator of a sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl with mental disabilities, because of the legal requirement that the victim make the complaint herself.
Note 11 Scozzari and Giunta v. Italy, judgment of 13 July 2000.