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David Finkelhor


David Finkelhor photoDavid Finkelhor is Director of Crimes against Children Research Center, Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory, Professor of Sociology, and University Professor, at the University of New Hampshire. He has been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. He is well known for his conceptual and empirical work on the problem of child sexual abuse, reflected in publications such as Sourcebook on Child Sexual Abuse (Sage, 1986) and Nursery Crimes (Sage, 1988). He has also written about child homicide, missing and abducted children, children exposed to domestic and peer violence and other forms of family violence. In his recent work, for example, his book, Child Victimization (Oxford University Press, 2008), he has tried to unify and integrate knowledge about all the diverse forms of child victimization in a field he has termed Developmental Victimology. This book received the Daniel Schneider Child Welfare Book of the Year award in 2009. All together he is editor and author of 12 books and over 200 journal articles and book chapters. He has received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the US Department of Justice, and a variety of other sources. In 1994, he was given the Distinguished Child Abuse Professional Award by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, in 2004 he was given the Significant Achievement Award from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, in 2005 he and his colleagues received the Child Maltreatment Article of the Year award, and in 2007 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.



Dilemmas in International Strategies to Reduce Violence Against Children

In this session, I will discuss dilemmas raised by various efforts to mobilize international action around child abuse and neglect (CAN). I start by proposing a typology of international mobilization strategies, noting that initiatives to promote CAN programming in new settings have tended to emphasize one of three vectors: governments, professionals or international NGOs.  There are pros and cons to each emphasis.  I also review the debates around some of the following dilemmas: Should Low-Income countries (LICs) be a top priority for CAN mobilization? Are there cultural and institutional capacities that need to be present in a country in order for CAN programs to work or be ethical?  Are some CAN programs more likely to be internationally transferable than others and why so?  Has the field adequately considered whether non-CAN programming (like family planning) might actually be more effective at preventing maltreatment than CAN programming? Does the field give adequate acknowledgement that policies and practices emanating from high resourced and Western countries may not always be the best to disseminate?  Are we relying too much on a model of program trans-plantation over a model of local cultivation?  Should we aim for modest rather than ambitious accomplishments in international mobilization? How much emphasis should be put on the priority dissemination of evidence-based programming? I will make suggestions for more a more evidence-based approach to these questions, though the study of successes and failures in this  and other international mobilization efforts.


Download the Policy Idea Papers of the Plenary Lectures 

plenary booklet