The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) is committed to protecting children and young people from the risk of harm or abuse. Several elements of our work directly support providing a safe environment for children in Australia.
The AIC’s research programs inform Australian government policies to protect children and young people from harm. The Online Sexual Exploitation of Children program identifies risks of online harms and develops approaches to prevent the risk of victimisation. The Violence Against Women and Children program explores family and domestic violence perpetration and victimisation. A new Australian Sexual Offence Statistical collection is currently being developed to provide improved statistical information on child sexual offences, offenders and victims. The AIC also promotes good practice in projects designed to reduce offending against children and young people through the Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards.
The AIC’s purpose is to promote justice and reduce crime by undertaking, funding and communicating evidence-based research of national significance. The nature of our work means there is limited direct interaction with children across the scope of our activities and functions. Where research may have an impact on children, robust ethical clearance processes ensure that risks to research participants are minimised.
Given the nature of our work, the AIC assesses the risk to child safety and wellbeing as low.
All staff are seconded to the AIC from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and employees adhere to all ACIC corporate policies. The ACIC requires all employees to hold a minimum Negative Vetting 1 security clearance and conducts an Organisational Suitability Assessment prior to their employment. Employees are also subject to an enduring integrity framework.
During 2022–23, we acted to further strengthen our compliance with the Child Safe Framework, including by:
- conducting an evaluation to ensure that any risks to children are proactively identified and managed
- developing organisation-wide communications and training to support greater awareness and understanding of our obligations under the framework.
In 2023–24, we will continue to work toward full compliance by:
- monitoring potential risks to child safety
- embedding child safety and wellbeing in organisational leadership, governance and culture, including by developing a child safety communication plan
- integrating oversight of child safety arrangements into the ACIC’s compliance framework.