The Disrupting Child Sexual Exploitation project, led by Professor Cathy Humphreys from the University of Melbourne, has been announced as an Australian Research Council Linkage project. Professor Ben Mathews (pictured) from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR) is a Chief Investigator for the project.
Child sexual exploitation is an insidious social problem, and one group of children and young people who are particularly affected are those in residential care.
Previous interventions have prioritised protecting and controlling young people in these forms of statutory care, with limited success. This project brings together researchers, practitioners from multiple agencies, and police, to develop a multi-agency response which pivots the focus of intervention to those who sexually exploit these children and young people. Through a trauma-informed multidisciplinary approach which supports and learns from young people, combined with disruptive police strategies targeting perpetrators of abuse, and co-ordinated multi-agency operation, the project aims to enhance policy approaches and protection for these young people.
Partner organisations collaborating on the project include:
- Mackillop Family Services Limited
- Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Home
- Department of Communities and Justice (New South Wales)
- Victoria Police
- NSW Police
- Department of Social Services
- Uniting Care (Victoria and Tasmania)
- Australian Federal Police
- Allambi Care Limited
- IFYS Limited
- Bravehearts Foundation Limited
About Professor Ben Mathews
Ben Mathews is a Research Professor in the School of Law at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Member of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, and Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Professor Mathews has published 3 books, 20 government reports, 90 refereed scholarly articles and book chapters, and 40 law reform submissions on issues concerning children and the law, and over 80 national and international conference presentations, with a focus on multidisciplinary research at the interface of child maltreatment and law.
You can find out more about Ben and his research on his staff profile.