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The Unesco Chair in Childhood maltreatment was created in July 2022. It was launched and is coordinated by Catherine Belzung (University of Tours).

The aim of the Chair is to propose new approaches concerning the prevention of child matreatment, promote resilience in child victims, set up new therapeutic interventions and support interventions to accompagn the perpetrators of such abuse. The Chair brings together experts from different cultural areas (North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe) and disciplinary fields, including the humanities and social sciences (psychology, sociology, education sciences, philosophy), law, medicine (psychiatry, pediatrics, forensic medicine) and life sciences (neuroscience).

What is a Unesco Chair?

A Unesco Chair is an initiative created by Unesco in 1992 to promote international cooperation on major issues that are a priority for Unesco (education, culture, natural sciences, social sciences, communication, ethics, etc.). It enables people from academic research, civil society and political leaders to work together to solve a given problem.

How did the Unesco Chair in Childhood Maltreatment come about?

The idea took shape at the time of the second lockdown, when numerous cases of sexual violence against children were making headlines. Catherine Belzung then contacted potential partners on different continents, which enabled her to bring together a community of some fifteen universities (Chile, Canada, Haiti, Italy, Slovakia, Romania, Lebanon, Benin, Ivory Coast, India...) as well as players from civil society (France Victimes, a children's hospital, experts on the issue of child abuse). She then contacted the French Unesco Commission, which led to the creation of the Chair.

What initiatives has the Unesco Chair in Child Abuse launched?

The Chair has launched a number of initiatives, including the creation of a YouTube channel on which videos produced by the Chair are posted (see videos in the "Videos" section), the production of articles, scientific days, congresses and summer schools. Other initiatives are in the pipeline, such as the production of guidelines for the prevention of child abuse.