Analysis of policy and legal frameworks, intervention models and intervention practices on commercial sexual exploitation of children in Chile: a discourse analysis approach
Toro Quezada, Edgardo Patricio
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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is a serious violation of the Human Rights with global and local implications. The multidimensionality of CSEC requires us to understand its historical elements, legal definitions, and psychosocial characteristics. International agencies, states, and national agencies (statutory and voluntary sectors) have agreed on an agenda of responses including research on CSEC, partnership and collaboration, legal changes and adjustment, promoting criminal prosecution, social policies and interventions for children and young people that have been made subject to CSEC. These interventions are diverse in their approaches, purposes, types of services, models, and critical points. In accordance with international agreements, the Chilean State recognised CSEC as a social problem and developed social policies, legal changes and intervention programmes across the country. In this context, practitioners have built a “know-how” of social intervention in CSEC based on technical guidelines (social policy on CSEC), institutional directions and pragmatic decisions from fieldwork reflexivity. However, there is no clear evidence about the rationale, models, practices, strategies and critical points in the interventions and weakness in the monitoring and evaluations. Applied Discourse Analysis was conducted to explore the relationship between different levels of social intervention on CSEC: policy, intervention models and practices. The research purpose was to describe, understand, and analyse the programmes of social intervention in CSEC, the social intervention models, and the interdisciplinary practices in Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, implemented in the decade of 2004-2014 in Chile. Government and alternative documents were analysed (13 each), discussion groups with interdisciplinary professional teams in CSEC (3), and a focus group (1) composed of policymakers, academics, researchers, police and judicial representatives was undertaken. These materials were data-managed and analysed using the software dedoose. All University of Edinburgh Research Ethics procedures were followed. The findings indicate that Government documents highlight two discursive styles: Mandatory and Pragmatic, regarding the intervention and the approaches used. These discourses (1) defined the interventions as a part of a system or building a network of services, (2) established a condition of the intervention that recognised children as a subject of law or recognised the specialised character of the intervention, and (3) based interventions on guidelines and ethical principles or challenges, and evidence-based approaches. Alternative documents developed a discursive style of Monitoring and Evaluation that emphasised (1) the complexity of CSEC and the need to develop responses, (2) then recognised challenges such a making visible CSEC and problems with the interventions; and finally (3) recommended the basis for the intervention. Mixed Stakeholders group (1) emphasised CSEC characteristics, and the institutional responses (2) specified the structure of the intervention, and (3) identified tensions and challenges in the adjustments of social policies and intervention practices, methodological needs, and the judicial system rationale and practices. These findings are significant because they help us to understand the processes involved in building appropriate and situated responses for children and young people that have been made subject to CSE on a local, regional and global level.