A study of the prevention of child sexual exploitation and the exploration of social workers’ perception of child sexual exploitation: a case study of Harare (Zimbabwe) and London (UK).
AuthorsJera, Nathan Togara
Subjectschild sexual exploitation
prevention of sexual exploitation
social workers sexual exploitation
Subject Categories::L500 Social Work
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe purpose of this research was to explore how Harare (Zimbabwe) and London (United Kingdom, UK) social workers understand and interpret ‘child sexual exploitation’ (CSE), and how they apply CSE policies and legislation to practice, including addressing the barriers they encounter when trying to protect children. Recognising that individual social workers interpret CSE legislation and policies differently, this thesis contributes new knowledge and shows gaps in practice within a ‘developing’ (Zimbabwe) and a ‘developed’ (UK) country. I decided to adopt a qualitative phenomenological approach with elements of a comparative study between Harare and London which provided an opportunity to make an in-depth study of the phenomena. I have chosen these two cities as both are experiencing increased identification of cases of sexually exploited children. More so, the two countries, Zimbabwe, and the UK, share a common history in that the former was once a British colony. A review of existing literature on CSE and professionals’ experiences was utilised in order to shed light on the results. To deepen my knowledge of this context, and prepare for interviews with social workers, I first piloted my semi-structured interview questions with three work colleagues who had knowledge of CSE. The study is primarily based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with fifteen social workers from Harare and fifteen social workers from London who had experience of working with children at risk of CSE. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach, allowing me to inductively extract complex issues from my data, which was important to my topic using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The main findings of this research concluded that despite CSE being a subject that has attracted attention in both Harare and London, social workers still require more conscientisation, training and knowledge if their practice is to be more effective in reducing rates of CSE. The study noted that individual social workers give different interpretations of CSE and legislations and policies that guide practice, regardless of different geographical spatial locations. Although in London the study noted that some social workers still looked at CSE from a gender perspective towards girls, in Harare findings showed that customary law was legitimising gendered notions of CSE, posing challenges to social work intervention. In conclusion, the recommendations within this study, if adopted, have the potential to articulate and resolve some of the problems that social workers face during practice.
CitationJera, N .T. (2019) 'A Study of the Prevention of Child Sexual Exploitation and the Exploration of Social Workers’ Perception of Child Sexual Exploitation: A Case Study of Harare (Zimbabwe) and London (UK).' PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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