Targeted and robust prevention plays a key role in protecting children against child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. The Network for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse serves as a point of intersection between practitioners and academics, to inform and fuel research on prevention, and facilitates cooperation with partners globally, so that children across the EU and those protecting them can benefit from global expertise and avoid duplication of efforts.
The network’s website offers a practical tool that centralizes existing resources for front-line practitioners and policy makers in the area of prevention, particularly awareness-raising campaign materials and literature, as well as information about prevention programmes for offenders and persons who fear committing child sexual abuse related crimes.
About the network
Who are we?
The network is a platform that brings together researchers, frontline practitioners and other stakeholders working in the field of prevention of child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It provides a common space to share experiences, expertise, lessons learnt and best practices in the field of prevention through structured and open communication.
The Network’s primary focus is to enhance prevention efforts in the area of prevention programmes for offenders and for persons who fear that they might offend, and to become one of the main reference points in the prevention of child sexual abuse.
What do we do?
The primary aim of the network is to help EU Member States to put in place usable, rigorously evaluated and effective prevention measures and facilitate the exchange of best practices to help decrease the prevalence of child sexual abuse in the EU.
The network seeks to establish a virtuous cycle of practice to research and research to practice. Researchers are encouraged to share scientifically tested initiatives, which practitioners can use in their work and provide researchers with feedback to help identify further research needs to strengthen the evidence base of the practice.
In practical terms, the network is organized into thematic working groups on the basis of practice groups (i.e. professional background of participants) and programmes (type of target group of the prevention programme).
The network will help strengthen the capacity in the EU on prevention of child sexual abuse, yet it will not focus on the EU alone but have a global reach to draw on the expertise of all relevant experts within and outside the EU.
Why do we do it?
Improving the prevention of child sexual abuse is essential. The exponential increase of child sexual abuse reports is evidence of a growing problem. Child sexual abuse can scar victims for life. We need to do better in protecting children. In addition, the consensus among practitioners (including law enforcement) is that this problem is impossible to solve through law enforcement action alone, and requires multi-agent coordination to tackle it at its root.
The difficulties to prove the results of investments in prevention, together with political sensitivities have made it challenging to put in place prevention programmes that comply with the requirements of the child sexual abuse directive . The prevention network will offer the necessary support to Member States to implement the prevention articles of the directive.
The programmes that do exist are rarely evaluated, and when they are and it is clear that they work, the lack of coordination and cooperation among stakeholders hinders an efficient use of the limited resources invested. The network will fill the acute need across the EU to rigorously peer-evaluate existing solutions, enable the exchange of best practices among different stakeholders (e.g. public authorities such as those in charge of prisons, academics, NGOs…), and research new solutions for existing gaps.
How are we managed and funded?
The network is currently managed by the European Commission who takes care of all the logistics, coordination, and technical and administrative support. Funding to help achieve practical goals will be sought.
Topics and working groups
The Network for the prevention of child sexual abuse is intended to be an umbrella network that connects people involved in the prevention of child sexual abuse throughout Europe and globally. Within the network, first-line practitioners, researchers and academics from European and third countries can meet other experts in their area of expertise, exchange ideas, knowledge, experiences and work together to produce concrete deliverables, to strengthen the prevention of child sexual abuse in EU Member States and globally.
Publications and information
- Europol’s iOCTA
- The Strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse
- Possibly the Interim Regulation
- Launch of the Technology coalition
- The CSA Directive
As part of its efforts relating to the fight against child sexual abuse, the Commission supports the development of projects and other concrete initiatives through a number of funding avenues. These include the Internal Security Fund-Police both at the level of national actions (implemented by the Member States) and as Union Actions (through specific calls for projects) and the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe Fund. These funding opportunities may also be exploited to take forward prevention-related initiatives.
Below find a list of upcoming and past calls.
- Open calls
- Past calls:
Set up by the European Commission, the Network for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse is an umbrella network that connect people involved in the prevention of child sexual abuse throughout Europe and more globally.
If you wish to join the network or have any other inquiries, please contact: HOME-FIGHT-AGAINST-CSA@ec.europa.eu