The Child Protection Development Trust (CPDT) is bringing the benefits, now available to all child victims and witnesses of sexual abuse in the UK, to children in developing countries. These procedures have already been introduced in Malaysia, Jordan, Chile, Cuba and Costa Rica. Funding for this work has been from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, national governments and charitable donations.
In 2008, the CPDT started a programme of cooperation with the Argentinian civil rights NGO based in Buenos Aires. The Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) has had financial support from the Argentina office of UNICEF and together we have been implementing changes to the way in which child sexual abuse cases are reported, investigated and prosecuted.
The CPDT was established as a charity to continue this work by raising money to purchase the video equipment, install it to UK standards, and undertake the training of police officers and prosecutors. Although the pattern of sexual abuse in developing countries is very similar to that in the developed world, including the additional threat to vulnerable children because of organised gangs sexually exploiting children for commercial gain.
The CPDT is working to reduce the trauma experienced by child abuse victims by improving their experience in the criminal justice system. This is being achieved by:
- Working with all the authorities in the process – police, prosecutors, forensic doctors, social workers, judges.
- Introducing the video recording of evidential child witness interviews in specially designed child friendly protection centres.
- Using the video recorded interviews to develop more child friendly procedures including the use of the recording in court proceedings.
- Providing training not only to people involved in the interview process, but also to all participants in the criminal justice system.
To achieve these objective there needs to be the highest level of commitment from policy makers within the host country so that the necessary legal and administrative changes can be implemented to support this work. The trustees ensure that this commitment is in place before funding is agreed. The project is supported by the trustees’ representative in each country ensuring high levels of quality control and accountability by the recipient organisations.
We also receive continuing support from UK police forces who provide trainers free of charge and host study visits by childcare professionals from the project countries.
Please read more about our projects in the Republic of Cuba.