Effective Education for People Working with Vulnerable Persons – Course


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2B.What is Abuse?

What is Abuse?

Sexual Contact

• Kissing or touching/holding in a sexual manner

• Sexual intercourse (vaginal/anal)

• Touching/fondling/biting child’s genital area

• Forcing a child to touch another genital area

• Forcing oral sex

• Incest

• Sex with animals

• Forcing a child to perform sexual acts on another child.

• Any commercial sex where money is transferred, including child sex tourism

Non contact

• Obscene language on phone, written or on a computer

• Sexually intrusive comments or questions

• Virtual sex

• Online grooming

• Voyeurism

• Exhibitionism

• Viewing of pornography

• Forced to masturbate or • watch others


• Homeless/stateless

• Displaced by war

• Forced into being child soldier

• Lack of economic options

• No/limited access to basic social services

• Denied basic rights through law

• Early marriage, FGM, prenatal sex selection, female infanticide

• High prevalence of violence


• Punishing a child excessively

• Smacking, punching, beating, shaking, kicking, burning, shoving, grabbing

• Hitting a child with an object

• Leaving a child in an uncomfortable/undignified posture for an extended period of time or in a poor environment

• Forcing a child to work in poor working conditions, or in work that is inappropriate for a child’s age

• Gang violence

• Harmful initiations/ceremonies

• Physical bullying


• Isolating or excluding a child

• Stigmatising a child

• Treating a child who is a victim as suspect (e.g. repeat questioning and investigation)

• Failing to provide a supporting environment

• Failing to give a child an appropriate sense self esteem

• Main caregiver not responding to child’s emotional needs

• Exploiting a child

• Treating or looking at a child with disdain, disrespect, denigration

• Belittling, blaming, scaring or ridiculing

• Spreading rumours

• Blackmailing


• Lack of attention or care

• Failing to protect from harm

• Leaving child alone/unsupervised for long periods of time

• Failing to ensure proper nutrition and medical needs

• Preventing schooling

• Not disclosing repeated signs of physical abuse (worker)

• Failure to provide a safe environment

This training manual is designed to be used by those who come into contact with vulnerable migrants. It aims to promote good practice in the identification and prevention of abuse and exploitation, including human trafficking, female genital mutilation and forced labour, whilst equipping those who use it with basic training skills. The exercises are developed from the lessons learnt and experience of ECPAT trainers. It is designed to be adapted and delivered easily without the need for extensive resources.




This manual is aimed at identifying people entering or living in a country where they were not born who are vulnerable to exploitation. It is important here to define which people we are targeting through this manual. These are short definitions which are explored further throughout the manual.


Asylum Seeker is someone who is fleeing persecution and has lodged an application for protection on the basis of the Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, ECHR. http://rightsinfo.org/the-rights-in-the-european-convention/


Human Trafficking is the movement or harbouring of a person, through the use of force or coercion for the purpose of exploitation, typically for work, sexual exploitation, criminal purposes or organ removal.


For the full definition, refer to: UN Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, 2006. https://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/legislation-and-case-law-international-legislation-united-nations/united-nations-protocol-prevent_en


Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are people or groups of individuals who have been forced to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of, or in order to avoid the effects of, armed conflict, situations of generalised violence, violations of human rights or natural or man-made disasters, and who have not crossed an international border.


Refugee is a person who ‘owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.’ (Definition quoted from the 1951 Refugee Convention) http://www.unhcr.org/uk/1951-refugee-convention.html


Third Country National (TCN) refers to individuals who are in transit and/or applying for visas in countries that are not their country of origin (i.e. country of transit), in order to go to destination countries that is likewise not their country of origin.