In March 2015, the Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse (LINEA) held its first meeting with experts in preventing and responding to the sexual exploitation of children (SEC). Hailing from 16 different countries, 42 researchers, practitioners and funders met at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor, UK. The meeting brought together the diverse group of experts in order to:
- foster a sense of community among those working on SEC
- create an opportunity for members to network
- provide a forum for sharing insights on preventing SEC
- build momentum, skills and enthusiasm around primary prevention strategies
For someone like me, who hasn’t worked a lot on social norms, it was an eye opener. We had a lot of great discussions, so I was able to get a good understanding of social norms, and we talked a lot about sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It was healthy dialogue; I definitely learned a lot.
– LINEA Meeting participant Hanan Nourhussein, Program Officer at Population Council (Ethiopia)
Read the full LINEA Meeting report here.
Drawing on insights from research and practice, presenters addressed questions such as:
- What are social norms and how can they inform interventions?
- What is the state of the evidence on preventing and responding to SEC?
- What is transactional sex and how is it related to SEC?
- What can we learn from young people about SEC prevention?
- How can we measure and track social norms?
Small group discussions during the gathering allowed space for the experts to share their perspectives. Participants collectively agreed on several challenges in SEC prevention:
- Conflicting definitions of SEC internationally.
- The need for theory-driven programming.
- Translating research to practice.
We had a discussion about the theoretical frames and the definitions, which we usually do not have in the events organised by practitioners. But we also had practitioners, who presented their evidence-based programmes, initiatives and prevention programmes, which really fit the idea of the conference. We also had time to discuss.
– LINEA Meeting participant Dr Maia Rusakova, Founder and Director of Stellit (Russia)
Participants agreed that the meeting was a unique opportunity to connect researchers and practitioners, who can support each other’s work to protect young people from harm. See participants discuss what they learned, what surprised them and what they took away from the meeting in this short video.
Join the network
The LINEA Network is made up of partners who address the sexual exploitation of children and investigate the social norms and structural factors driving vulnerability. To join the LINEA Network and receive information about its activities, including announcements of bi-monthly webinars, sign up here. For more information about LINEA, email Rebecca Meiksin at email@example.com.
Catch up on all the LINEA webinars on the LINEA YouTube channel.