MOSCOW, April 26 (RAPSI) - The State Duma approved Russia's accession to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Convention) during its meeting on Friday.

The Convention, which establishes international standards for the protection of children from sexual exploitation and abuse, was opened for signatures in 2007. Russia signed it in 2012.

To date, 46 states have signed the Convention and 26 states have ratified it.

The State Duma also ratified the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (Protocol). It was adopted by the UN General Assembly on May 25, 2000.  Russia signed the Protocol in 2012.

In accordance with the protocol, the signatory countries are required to stipulate criminal, civil, or administrative punishment for selling children for sexual exploitation, organ transfers for profit, or forced labor, as well as for improperly inducing consent, as an intermediary, of a child's adoption in violation of the applicable international legal instruments on adoption.

These offenses include offering, obtaining, procuring, or providing a child for child prostitution and producing, distributing, disseminating, importing, exporting, offering, selling, or possessing child pornography.