Moray House School of Education and Sport

New Global data institute for child safety

On November 18th, University of Edinburgh announced a new global data institute aiming to safeguard children from sexual exploitation and abuse by using current, reliable and evidence-based data to inform policy and drive sustainable, coordinated action.

Established by the Human Dignity Foundation, the institute will be supported by the University of Edinburgh’s scientific expertise, including: the End Violence Lab, Moray House School of Education and Sport, Edinburgh Futures Institute, the Data-Driven Innovation Programme and the Global Health Academy. Their experts will also work closely with colleagues at the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health).

Paul Stanfield, Executive Director elect, will lead the institute. His experience includes an extensive international career as a senior law enforcement officer, serving at INTERPOL and the UK National Crime Agency.

The institute will have three main goals:  

  • Improving and standardising the collection of data relating to child sexual exploitation and abuse - developing new, replicable, gold-standard methods of collecting data on this issue, and encouraging governments, NGOs and other partners to use these methods. This will include incorporating new questions into existing and large-scale surveys focused on violence against children. 
  • Making data user-friendly and accessible to suitably accredited users who need it. The institute will develop a new global index, giving tangible scale to the issue of child sexual exploitation and abuse. The institute will also develop an interactive dashboard and a range of other tools to enable use of this data. Careful, privacy respecting, ethical use of the data will be paramount.
  • Using data to drive change. The institute will work with partners to use our findings to inform policy. We will also engage in learning and development work with governments to help civil servants make better use of the data.  


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