ISPCAN – venerable and contemporary


I first got involved with online child protection in 1996 when I started working as a consultant for one of the UK’s largest, professional child protection and child welfare organizations. I came from a technical background so the whole child protection world was then completely new to me. However, I quickly started hearing about an outfit called “ISPCAN” – an acronym for the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN).

I soon learned that if I wanted to find out who the leading researchers were internationally in the field of child abuse, or if I wanted to locate the latest research papers in any of the many disciplines that were coalescing around child protection, ISPCAN had to be the first port of call.

It would be many years before I actually attended a full ISPCAN event but when I did I was struck how ISPCAN had managed to make the transition. It was not  simply a “Hall of Fame” for researchers who were once pioneers. It was and is that, but I could see how it was also reaching out into new and very modern issues as well.

Aside from the global ISPCAN event, which happens every two years, there are various regional ones. The next one for Europe is in Dublin in September of this year.

Under the heading of “contemporary issues”, wearing my eNACSO hat, I hope to be pitching in to several debates. Hope to see many of you there.

About John Carr

John Carr is one of the world's leading authorities on children's and young people's use of digital technologies. He is Senior Technical Adviser to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International, Technical Adviser to the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online, which is administered by Save the Children Italy and an Advisory Council Member of Beyond Borders (Canada). Amongst other things John is or has been an Adviser to the United Nations, ITU, the European Union, the Council of Europe and European Union Agency for Network and Information Security and is a former Executive Board Member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. He is Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. John has advised many of the world's largest internet companies on online child safety. In June, 2012, John was appointed a Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This was renewed in 2018. More:
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