Risktaking Online Behaviour Empowerment Through Research and Training – ROBERT

The ROBERT project worked to make online interaction safe for children and young people. This will be achieved through learning from experiences of online abuse processes and factors that make young people vulnerable as well as those that offer protection. Perpetrators’ strategies in relation to grooming of children online will also be explored along with developing an understanding of how abuse may develop in the online environment. Children and young people will be empowered in order for them to better protect themselves online. Groups of children perceived to be more at risk will specifically benefit from chances of improved self-protection.


This “summary for everyone” presents the results of our research as well as the recommendations taking into particular consideration our main beneficiaries – the young people, as well as everyone who would like to read about ROBERT in a more practical, Q and A manner.

 The report is available for download here.

Creating a private space in which to offend – Interviews with online child sex offenders.

This report coming out of the ROBERT project analyses in-depth interviews with online child sex offenders with a specific focus on how these persons target the young persons. The report is available in hard copy from the Children’s Unit at the CBSS secretariat and can also be downloaded here.

Interviews with online child sex offenders.

As part of the ROBERT project a systematic review of studies, in English and in other European languages, has been made. The research and studies looked at, all have a specific focus on sexually abusive online experiences and offline sexual abuse that have started with an online contact or where the contacts between the perpetrator and the young person have relied heavily on information and communication technologies has been made. The report is available for download here. Hard copies are available from the Children’s Unit at the Secretariat of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

The full version of the report including the analysis of the interviews conducted with young people affected by online sexual abuse is now available for download and in a hardcopy. Hardcopies are available from the Children’s Unit at the Secretariat of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

The full report can also be accessed here.[PDF]

The report describing the focus group interviews on young peoples’ online behaviours and ways to stay safe is available. It includes the analysis of the 27 focus groups conducted in seven European countries. Some focus groups consist of young people from the general population, some consist of young  LGBT people, some young people in the groups live in residential care and some again have some form of disability. The report includes an analysis and also discusses how these groups describe their online life and how they strategise in order to stay safe. The report is available in hardcopy from the Children’s Unit at the Secretariat of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and can also be accessed here.[PDF]

The project is now successfully completed and we are pleased to present to you our final summary and recommendations. The latter target specifically policy-makers, law enforcement, child psychiatrists and teachers. We also hope that our results, conclusions and recommendations will be of interest to anyone concerned with young people’s safety online.

The report is available for download here

Final conference

Risk-taking Online Behaviour –Young people, harm and resilience

23-24th of May 2012


ROBERT project's final conference

This conference brought together practitioners, policymakers and researchers to share and discuss recent findings on how best to protect young people from coming to harm online. It addressed the need for support and preventive strategies.

The conference offered an opportunity to share, present and discuss new knowledge regarding sexual abuse and sexual exploitation in the online arena and young people’s strategies to stay safe, especially those identified as being potentially more vulnerable. Another focus was a more informed discussion about risk and of its relationship to harm. The understanding of young people’s experiences was highlighted by plenary presentations and in seminars where practitioners, policymakers and researchers were invited to contribute.

The conference is the final event of the 2-year long international project ROBERT, co-funded by the European Commission through the Safer Internet Plus programme, which brought new insights and extended our knowledge of risk, harm and resilience factors influencing young people’s interaction online, the nature of their online behaviour and their strategies to stay safe.

Innocence in Danger 10 years in Germany

The conference was also a part of the 10 year anniversary of ROBERT partner Innocence in Danger, Germany. More information on IID can be accessed here.


Conference themes

This conference was centred on the following themes:

  • Theory building around online sexual victimisation using young people’s own accounts of the processes in place leading up to the abuse
  • The relationship between risk and harm.
  • Research gaps, research practices and ethical challenges.
  • Assistance strategies and tools for young people abused online.
  • Perpetrators and young people: understanding the interaction between them.
  • Young people believed to be more at risk: Supporting young peoples’ resilience
Scientific committee

Abstracts for presentations were reviewed by the Scientific Committee consisting of ROBERT partner institution representatives:

  • Dr Mare Ainsaar, University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Professor Carl-Göran Svedin, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Dr Ethel Quayle, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Dr Olga Kolpakova, Stellit International, The Netherlands and Russia