Save the Children (Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund)

Protecting children from online grooming: Cross-cultural, qualitative and child-centred data to guide grooming prevention and response

The experiences and perspectives of children are at the heart of understanding efforts to keep them safe online. ​​Save the Children, in partnership with the Young and Resilient Research Centre (YRRC),  will conduct novel, cross-cultural research to understand how diverse children recognise, experience, and respond to grooming and solicitation. This project will explore children’s perceptions of online grooming, as well as their help-seeking and protective behaviour – how children think about interactions with strangers online, and how these relate to the practices, pressures and enjoyment associated with the online relationships, how they know when an online relationship is unfolding in inappropriate ways, and what they do to manage this.

Hundreds of children aged 9-16 from Colombia, South Africa, Kenya, the Philippines, Cambodia and Finland will participate in the research and share their views about online child sexual exploitation and abuse. This will aim to support technology platforms to develop the most effective mechanisms possible for preventing, responding to, and reporting OCSEA. It will also guide developers of online safety training programs towards more effective methods to teach children and youth to recognise, respond to and report attempted OCSEA, to better protect and empower children against online harm and support healthy use of technology.

Save the Children quote