Project Overview

CESAGRAM will work towards a Comprehensive European Strategy against Grooming and Missing children by conducting a range of separate yet interconnected activities: Research, Training and Awareness Raising, the creation of an AI Tool, and Advocacy. The project will be delivered through a partnership consisting of 11 expert organisations and is funded by the European Commission.

1. Research

Legal analysis: CESAGRAM will conduct a mapping of the existing research and legislation and policy frameworks on tech-facilitated grooming in the four target countries and on the EU level.         

Survivor experiences: By speaking to up to 20 survivors of tech-facilitated grooming and missing, the understanding of these experiences will be deepened. The aim is to gain knowledge about risk factors, develop criteria for assessing whether a missing person under 18 may have been groomed because of better victim identification, and understand victims’ experiences while being groomed.

Police Case File Analysis: We aim to analyse police case files from national police forces on tech-facilitated grooming, particularly those with an element of missing. This analysis is meant to complement the survivor experiences interviews on risk factors and victim identification assessment criteria, as well as complement existing sets of criteria for automated detection of grooming conversations online. Additionally, the police case files will be used to develop an annotated corpus of grooming conversations.

2. Training and Awareness RAISING

The overall objective is to develop training for better exchange of knowledge, experience and good practice for professionals and develop tools for young people to recognise grooming and better protect themselves.

Professionals Training: Throughout the project will provide training frontline professionals and law enforcement to improve their responses to victims of child sexual abuse. A country-specific approach will be taken to sensitise frontline providers to the issues of grooming and missing and improve the response to this issue. Trainings will be delivered as ‘Train the Trainer’ courses to ensure the sustainability of this activity.

Training Tools for young people: The project will develop a curriculum for training young people to open conversations around grooming and raise awareness on grooming patterns, warning signs and how to identify and react to these. This will be further built on by creating a gamified educational platform targeted at 11–14-year-olds.

3. AI Tool

CESAGRAM will produce a set of AI-based tools which aim to facilitate the detection and prevention of grooming content online. They will draw on realistic use case scenarios which consider the operational needs of law enforcement agencies.

In particular, they will

(a) monitor public online spaces to gather relevant material,

(b) employ linguistic analytic methods on the collected material for the detection of grooming activities, and

(c) perform risk assessment for decision support and early warning generation.

4. Advocacy

Throughout the course of the project, a deposit of knowledge will be built and accumulated from a range of experts, related projects, and stakeholders. This knowledge will be localised in a Knowledge Hub to inform on the CESAGRAM Project and its outputs but also showcase and highlight other existing work on grooming and missing.

CESAGRAM will produce actionable advocacy materials to inform discussions with EU stakeholders and national Governments about further action to prevent grooming and missing.

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