137. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he has taken to ratify the Lanzarote Convention; the timeline for the ratification of the convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11087/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Significant progress has been made towards ensuring that Ireland is in a position to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (known as the "Lanzarote Convention") .
The Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 has been enacted, Part 2 of which strengthens the law relating to the sexual exploitation of children, including child pornography, and criminalises the use of information and communication technology to facilitate such exploitation. This legislation ensures the State’s compliance with criminal law provisions in the convention.
My Department has carried out a detailed review of compliance with regard to other elements of the convention, in consultation with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and other stakeholders such as An Garda Síochána and the HSE. Information was sought regarding the child protection, prevention and victim support aspects of the convention.
While the Department now has most of the information required for ratification, some stakeholder work is still required to ensure that Ireland is fully compliant in all areas of the convention. Once that work has been completed, and the Office of the Attorney General has been consulted, steps towards formal ratification can be taken. It is hoped this can be completed in the coming months.