The RISE Learning Network aims to promote and facilitate learning on Recovery and Reintegration (R&R) approaches that improve outcomes for children and adolescents affected by sexual exploitation (CSE). It is a project implemented by Family for Every Child, a global alliance of national civil society organisations, Retrak, an international NGO working with street-connected children, and the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking, University of Bedfordshire. The project is supported by a grant from Oak Foundation for 2015 – 2018.
The sexual exploitation of children is a global yet still largely hidden problem. It has devastating long-term impacts on children’s physical, mental and reproductive health and social wellbeing, as well as their education and ability later to find work and safe relationships in supportive communities. It can leave them stigmatised, ostracised, without support or choices and vulnerable to further exploitation. Improving outcomes for children affected by CSE requires a holistic, flexible and individualised response.
The RISE Learning Network aims to increase knowledge and strengthen practice and policy by developing an open, vibrant, locally accessible global learning network. This will enable children affected by CSE to have the opportunity to benefit from and engage in the improvement of sensitive, appropriate and individualised services that support successful family and community-based R&R. Services will improve as a result of practitioners’ increased capacity to provide quality interventions and responses to CSE. The project will connect with practitioners and policy makers working on R&R from other forms of abuse, exploitation and violence against children, and other initiatives advancing learning, practice and policy on children’s reintegration.
The unique value of this project, which builds on an earlier project supported by Oak Foundation, www.childrecovery.info, is in bringing together a diverse group of previously unconnected organisations, some of whose work in R&R may be advanced or innovative, but so far only implemented at a local level or focused on one area of vulnerability. Highlighting and examining the policy and practice issues in R&R from CSE, will also enable advocacy on these issues to policy and decision makers.
The project is advised by a Global Reference Group, and built on three regional learning hubs, each with its own Regional Working Group, in: Latin America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa and South & Central Asia. The project overall will develop in line with three specific objectives:
- To establish and manage a locally accessible global network, utilising global and regional online learning hubs, to support leaning on R&R for children affected by CSE.
- To develop and implement three learning projects that capture local learning in order to positively influence policy and practice on R&R for children affected by CSE.
- To improve, regionally and globally, policy and practice on R&R for children affected by CSE, by collecting and disseminating the learning from this project.