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How the voice of young people can tackle child sexual exploitation

Wed 8th March, 2017

Child sexual exploitation can be a complex crime that is devastating to those who are victims of it. A team of dedicated academics at the University of Bedfordshire are working to stop it.

The team work in the University’s International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking to increase the understanding of, and improve responses to, child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking in local, national and international contexts.

The team put children and young people at the centre of their work, taking them seriously when in the past they may not have been.

The International Centre was founded in 2006 by Prof Jenny Pearce OBE, who was centre director until 2016. Dr Helen Beckett is the new and current director.

“Our research with partner agencies and with young people focuses on factors surrounding child exploitation and aims to prioritise the voice of the child and raise awareness of their experiences,” said Prof Pearce.

“Progress in this field has been made through working with young people and colleagues in academia, government and supporting agencies to advance theory, policy and practice. But much more work needs to be done to continue developing strategies to safeguard children and young people.”

It was thanks to the work of the International Centre that led to the University being awarded the Queen’s Anniversary prize in 2013. The award was for the Centre’s pioneering applied research into child sexual exploitation, influencing new safeguarding policy and practice. Prof Pearce was also awarded an OBE for her work.

Follow the work of the International Centre on Twitter: @uniofbedsCSE

Bedfordshire University Research

Research - REF» Research News» 2017» How the voice of young people can tackle child sexual exploitation