The IARS International Institute is pleased to announce a new 2-year project on violence against children co-funded by the European Commission under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020.



Project Background

Child abuse affects all social classes and ethnicities, and it features a variety of characteristics, such as the age of the victim, violence type and severity, the context where it takes place and relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. This phenomenon is difficult to identify and monitor due to the cultural mechanisms of minimisation and denial, and as it mainly occurs within the family (WHO, 2002).

Child abuse is often repeated and victims get protection and rehabilitative, social and psychoemotional treatment at a later stage. Traumatic experiences are often denied, unexpressed or unprocessed. Clinical evidence and research have shown short, medium, long-term consequences of violence on health highlighting how physical and psychological damage require early, integrated and specialist treatment (see “ACE – Adverse Childhood Experience Study” – one of the first epidemiological studies leading to interesting research data on the connections between traumatic experiences in childhood and physical  and mental health in adulthood).

There is a need within the services focusing on the protection of children and adolescents for an improved integration of healthcare services (both institutional and outside), social services, schools and early-childhood education and care, Judicial Authorities and police forces. Currently, a number of obstacles are hindering an integrated treatment mechanism from the assessment and reporting of violence throughout the adoption of protection/treatment measures and judicial trials involving child victims.


About the Project 

PROCHILD project seeks to create a multi-professional, integrated model of cooperation with stakeholders involved in response to violence against children. The project will tackle underreporting and fragmentation of services and implement a joint approach based on complementary competences and the child’s best interest.


PROCHILD is a transnational project involving 6 organisations from 6 EU countries:

Alma Mater Studiorum - Universita Di Bologna (UNIBO), Italy

Terveyden Ja Hyvinvoinnin Laitos (THL), Finland

La Voix De L'enfant (LVDE), France

Independent Academic Research Studies International Institute (IARS), United Kingdom

Katholische Fachhochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen (KatHO NRW), Germany

Institouton Ygeias Tou Paidiou (ICH), Greece


PROCHILD aims to improve the multidisciplinary intervention models based on WHO’s recommendations of adopting an ecological and integrated vision to reduce risks of fragmented and partial operations. The development of understanding between Social Services, Health Services, Educational Agencies, Police and Judicial Authorities will allow an integrated intervention starting from the detection of abuse/mistreatment to the adoption of protection and support measures. The project aims to achieve a better integration of assistance along with the obligation of protection and prosecution of perpetrators in order to prevent any "iatrogenic" damage caused by improper or omitted reports or any risk of secondary victimisation due to inappropriate or conflicting institutional measures.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

a)     Protect fundamental rights of children (art. 19, paragraph 1 - UNCRC) in line with General Comment No.13 (2011) of the UN Committee and the implementation of the 2012/29/EU Directive;

b)    Promote early detection and reporting of abuse/mistreatment cases;

c)     Adopt a multi-professional model of protection & care of child victims (Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model);

d)    Develop integrated and shared protocols among Social and Health Services, Educational Agencies, Police, Judicial Authorities to facilitate cooperation to protect children and define criteria and priorities of the cases that need reporting;

e)     Increase the skills of professionals for an early identification of the phenomenon and make them get acquainted with a collaborative and integrated approach to the phenomenon of violence against children;

f)     Search for viable and appropriate ways to make victims of violence and their families/caregivers an active part of the assessment and improvement of protection and support services.


Project Updates

The PROCHILD Kick Off Meeting took place in Bologna, Italy between 14.-15. November 2018. During the two day conference, the partnership discussed the project overview, management and coordination, communication and dissemination activities and the mapping of needs and good practices for an early and integrated detection and treatment of abused minors. We also got to take part in social activities including a guided tour to the beautiful city centre of Bologna, and a delicious dinner in a traditional Italian restaurant.  


Get Involved

If you would like to get involved in the project  please contact