Child abuse is a considerable problem and its multidimensional nature is widely underestimated in almost all the EU Member States: an estimate from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 40 million children aged 0 to 14 around the world suffer from maltreatment and require health and social care. Evidence shows that children who have been maltreated suffer many short and long-term consequences and that adults who were maltreated suffer from illnesses that are the indirect consequence of their childhood injuries and suffering.
ChildONEurope has therefore decided to dedicate a specific research activity to this issue.
The first work carried out by the Secretariat was a comparative survey on child abuse, aimed at finding common instruments to compare experiences and approaches to the collection of data in this area in all the States that are part of the Network (2007). Drawing on the results of this review and on the conclusions of the related European Seminar on "Child abuse: which kind of data for monitoring?" (Florence, January 2007), the ChildONEurope Assembly decided to continue to work on this issue, in particular on the identification of approaches and methodologies to improve the collection of data on child abuse, to monitor trends and changes in the phenomenon and to evaluate child abuse programmes and policies. Aiming to address those points, the ChildONEurope group of experts worked, between 2008 and 2009, on the "Guidelines on Data Collection and Monitoring Systems on Child Abuse", published in June 2009. This document presents standards, definitions, criteria and experiences that can help to develop child abuse data collection and monitoring systems and create operational instruments.