Context in France

In France, sexual abuse against children is just as taboo and
present than anywhere else.  To overcome this situation, 
CAMELEON develops its actions on the national territory.

Sexual abuse against children

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual abuse as follows: “Any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic or otherwise directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work”. Sexual violence therefore covers acts ranging from verbal harassment to rape, as well as a wide range of forms of coercion ranging from social pressure and intimidation to physical force.

Incest cases

Incest has only been recognized as a crime since March 14, 2016 with the law on children’s protection.

This law defines incest as: “Rape and sexual assault are qualified incestuous when committed against a minor by: 1° A parent ; 2° A brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece; 3° The spouse or the partner of one of the persons aforementioned in 1° and 2° or the partner bound by a civil pact of solidarity (PACS) with one of the persons aforementioned in the same 1° and 2°, if he has legal or de facto control over the minor. »

4 million of French people, or 2 children per class on average, were victims of incest. Only 10% decide to file a complaint against the parent who abused them and only 2% of them get compensation through a conviction.

  • Incest accounts for three-quarters of sexual abuse against minors
  • 4 million of people are victims of incest in France, according to a 2015 Harris/AIVI survey. The Council of Europe estimates that one in five children in Europe is a victim of sexual violence, saying that this figure “may be underestimated.”
  • 84% of victims who disclose incest to their families are not protected and even forced to live with their abuser (AIVI survey of 131 survivors in March 2014).

A general lack of awareness of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

On November 20, 1989, the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since then, November 20 has been chosen as the anniversary date.

30 years after that, how many people know of the existence of the UNCRC?


44% of adults and 62% of children are unaware of the existence of this convention. 

Child’s age and consent to sexual relations

The law of August 3, 2018, strengthens the fight against sexual abuse against minors. However, some flaws persist:

The bill sought to establish an age below which children would automatically be considered unable to consent to sexual relationships with adults. But this device has been abandoned. Another inconsistency lays in extending the limitation period for rapes on minors from 20 to 30 years, when the limitation period for sexual assaults remains 20 years after the victim turns 18 (French legal age of majority).