On May 17, 2013, CARDET held the first national consultative workshop within the framework of the project Improving and Monitoring Protection systems Against Child Trafficking and exploitation (IMPACT). IMPACT, is an 18-month project executed by a partnership of four non-governmental organisations in Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Portugal. The implementing organisations are the Centre for the Advancement of Research & Development in Educational Technology (CARDET) in Cyprus, Family and Childcare Centre (KMOP) in Greece, Defence for Children International (DCI) in Italy and the Centre for Social Intervention Studies (CESIS) in Portugal. The project is funded with the support of the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme of the European Commission.

The main objective of the project is to closely examine and strengthen the systems of monitoring and protection against child trafficking and exploitation in the four countries. The partnership aims to identify strategies and elements in law, policy and practice that have the potential to help strengthening child protection and social welfare systems so as to prevent child trafficking and exploitation in a more effective manner.

The first IMPACT consultative workshop was attended by relevant stakeholders, including representatives of the Ministry of Education, Civil Society representatives, academics, and social workers.

The main objective of the workshop was to instigate critical as well constructive reflections, but also to capture the opinions as well as the information that participants were able to offer so as to potentially supplement the IMPACT research.

During the workshops, there was a presentation of the preliminary findings of the research conducted in relation to Cyprus, together with the presentation of the IMPACT model and assumptions. The facilitator generated a very vivid discussion amongst the participants, who were able to express their views and recommendations based on their experiences and expertise and reflect on the findings of the research conducted by CARDET.

There was also a working group session, where the participants had the chance to offer their views, suggestions, and recommendations in relation to sources of protection and empowerment, and sources of risk and disempowerment. The outcomes of this session will inform and complement the Cypriot desk review.

A second consultative workshop for the IMPACT project is planned for June, 2013. More info will be available soon on CARDET’s website.