Enhancing the understanding of the process of grooming, and more particularly how it is facilitated by technology and how it can lead to child sexual abuse and missing.
Child sexual abuse online is a growing phenomenon. The British National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children reported a 70% increase in the number of sexual communications with child offences in the last three years. The hotlines for missing children have reported concerns that grooming is an increasing factor in disappearances, particularly in cases of children who run away. CESAGRAM aims to address the needs by advancing knowledge and understanding on the link between children who go missing and online grooming for sexual purposes, to close the existing gap in the research, and to ensure that situations of online grooming and children sexual abuse which can lead to missing are prevented in so far possible. The project will also conduct a thorough study of the legislation and pinpoint good practices and potential barriers in the current regulatory framework governing the complex children sexual abuse domain to evaluate the efficacy of EU laws in enabling effective responses to online grooming and missing.
- Research the links between missing and grooming for sexual purposes to advance existing knowledge on prevention and responses.
- Identify key risk indicators of grooming before, during and after a child has experienced sexual abuse and/or has gone missing for better victim identification and identification of those at risk.
- Develop tools and material to increase understanding and awareness of the grooming process for young people and their carers.
- Train frontline workers to increase their skills and knowledge to better identify and respond to victims of grooming.
- Design, pilot and evaluate an AI-based tools that will facilitate the prevention and detection of grooming content online aimed to enhance the operational prevention and detection capabilities of the relevant end users.
- Create knowledge hub to share knowledge on grooming and missing children with professionals and experts to further develop and build on existing expertise and resources.
- Develop recommendations to advise the improvement of the legal and regulatory environment to support protection systems.
- Interviews with young people.
- Development of list of criteria for risk assessment to prevent tech-facilitated grooming leading to missing.
- Analysis of police case files linked to grooming and missing.
- Development of recommendations for legislation, policy and practice, and work plan on offenders of tech facilitated grooming leading to missing.
- Analysis of EU legal framework and summarising findings and recommendations into a Model framework for a comprehensive approach in legislation and policies against tech-facilitated grooming.
- Identification of the socio-technical requirements regarding new technologies, services and innovations for preventing child sexual exploitation.
- Development of the curriculum for training for young people around grooming.
- Development of the online gamified educational platform for supporting training activities.
- Piloting of the training materials and educational platform with young people.
- Adaption of training model for frontline and law enforcement professionals in improving responses to victims of child sexual abuse.
- Design and piloting of a set of AI tools that will facilitate the prevention and detection of grooming content online.
- Development and curation of an online anti-grooming knowledge hub and an expert network.
- Research report reconstructing victim’s journey including risk assessment and victim identification criteria and including recommendations for complementary work on perpetrators.
- Research report on legislation including Model Framework and 4 country factsheets.
- Online gamified educational platform.
- Training curriculum for young people around grooming.
- Training programme for frontline professionals in improving responses to victims of child sexual abuse.
- CESAGRAM knowledge Hub.
- Policy recommendations to close gaps in current child protection systems and prevent child sexual abuse.
- More victims identified and assisted who have gone missing as a result of grooming.
- Increased awareness, co-operation and referral amongst frontline professionals, including law enforcement, to quickly identify and respond to grooming victims at all stages of the process.
- Better informed young people on the issue of grooming, risks and avenues of support.
- Increased availability of technical tools for law enforcement to detect grooming as a factor in missing cases and preventively when there is an indication of risk.
- Better knowledge and understanding on missing and grooming amongst professionals.
- Improved policies and legislation to protect children from grooming.
- EUROPEAN FEDERATION FOR MISSING AND SEXUALLY EXPLOITED CHILDREN AISBL (Belgium, coordinator)
- KENTRO MELETON ASFALEIAS (Greece)
- CESIE (Italy)
- FONDAZIONE BRUNO KESSLER (Italy)
- KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN (Belgium)
- TO HAMOGELO TOU PAIDIOU (Greece)
- MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, TRANSPARENCY AND HUMAN RIGHTS (Greece)
- ETHNIKO KENTRO EREVNAS KAI TECHNOLOGIKIS ANAPTYXIS – CERTH (Greece)
- Marie Collins Foundation (United Kingdom)
- Missing persons’ families support centre (Lituania)
- HELLENIC POLICE (Greece)