Any research requires careful thought to ensure that the best ethical practices are being used. When research involves children, we have added responsibilities to do the absolute best by them. Here Andrea Varrella, Project Coordinator of Amplifying the Voices of Survivors, a joint project between WePROTECT Global Alliance and ECPAT International, shares some of the learning from the ethical review of the project methodology.
When research seeks to generate knowledge and evidence about sexual abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and similar issues involving children, there are a unique set of sensitivities at play. It is important that research on sexual exploitation and abuse is done to really understand the ways that children are impacted. Strong evidence allows us to provide better support to survivors. Strong evidence allows for stronger prevention approaches to sexual exploitation.
A thought-provoking piece about the ethical design, conduct and reporting of ethical research about sexual exploitation involving children.
Children have the right to be heard…
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child dictates that children have the right to be heard. When it comes to research, that means they have the right to be involved, and to shape research that could have positive impacts on them and their peers. We as adults also have a genuine responsibility to ensure their perspectives are part of the evidence framing proposed solutions.