One of the greatest professional challenges confronting youth workers, those that work with young people and the organisations that employ them is how to support children and young people so that they can identify, tackle and support one another against sexual abuse.
In the UK, the Local Government Association’s ‘Tackling the sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18’ strategy and resource pack recognises the importance of youth workers in supporting young people, while noting the need for training and resources.
Internationally, this is echoed by the UN and the Council of Europe, which calls for all those working with young people to be better equipped to protect children and young people against sexual exploitation.
The Council of Europe (2014) estimates that between 10% and 25% of young people experience sexual abuse, stating that ‘available data suggest that 1 in 5 children in Europe are victims of some form of sexual violence’.
Therefore at Rinova we took the initiative, in partnership with a consortium of European organisations, to design ‘Keep Me Safe’ – a new and innovative initiative which addresses these challenges.
Keep Me Safe is a new Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership in the field of Youth. It is coordinated by Rinova and we were delighted to welcome our partners to launch the project in London on the 13th and 14th May. The partnership includes Hope for Children CRC Policy Centre (Cyprus), ZRS (Slovenia) SoSu East Jutland (Denmark), Know and Can (Bulgaria), London Youth (UK) and Eurocircle (France).
Pictured left: Delegates from the Keep Me Safe partnership have a group photograph after their successful project launch meeting.
Over the next two years, Keep Me Safe will develop and test three new and innovative results. These are a curriculum programme for youth workers; a new approach to developing ‘youth peers’ whereby young people are empowered together to tackle the issues addressed by the project, and a digital learning app that will enhance these initiatives through a new interface.
You will be able to keep in touch with the project through the regular newsletters and bulletins that each of the partners will publish through their social media and PR channels – you can access ours via the homepage of this website We will also shortly be setting up a website for the project on the URL www.keepmesafe.EU
There will be opportunities to get involved in the training we will develop later in the year and we will also host a conference together with London Youth towards the end of the project in London in February 2021, at which we will be able to showcase the results. So if you would like to stay in touch directly or if you are interested in getting involved in the project, contact Laura Pescod at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured right: Keep Me Safe partners working together at the launch meeting held in London.
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