Track: Professional
Team: DAWN
Briefing B: Thwart and protect online


What can designers do to help combat sexual exploitation of children? That is the question posed by WDCD in collaboration with the Dutch Public Prosecutions Service (OM) and the Ministry of Justice & Security in an invitation-only design challenge.

In No Minor Thing: The What Design Can Do Challenge to Combat Sexual Exploitation of Children, selected design teams had the opportunity to come up with new ways of tackling this issue. Read more on the results of the project and approach of Dawn.


These days, young people come into contact with sex more easily than ever, but they are actually ‘doing it’ later. Sexting has become an interim substitute for physical sex, and just like actual sex, it too has its risks. Should we not – instead of forbidding it – ensure that our message about safe sexting also finds its way into popular culture? We have safe sex offline: now we need to think about safety in online sex. This is why we are launching #SAFESEXTING.

A consciousness-raising campaign in which we teach young people – in today’s language, with today’s influencers – that they need to practice safe sex ‘online’ too, and should never go viral for the wrong reasons! A sexy photo can lead to big personal problems.

Read more on this project on the No minor thing platform >

What was it like to participate in No Minor Thing?

‘Tough, because of the nature of the issue, but also rewarding to be able to contribute to a solution by seeking out ways for professionals to improve their recognition of signals. In addition, it was great to be able to move our network for this project. From actors to film-makers, from scenario writers to editors.’

‘The creative industry has an important role and responsibility with regards to finding solutions for major social themes.’

While working on this project, what has caught you by surprise the most?

‘The power of the story. Not that we still needed to be convinced of the power of stories, but it became particularly tangible in this project. The number of registrations is increasing measurably after each information meeting organised by care coordinators. We believe that can be ascribed to those personal stories and testimonies.’


What role do you attribute to design when it comes to this type of social issue?

‘The creative industry has an important role and responsibility with regards to finding solutions for major social themes. Whether it be climate change or immigration: the connecting and designing power of our industry is vital in this rapidly changing world.’

Do you intend to continue the project once the challenge is over?

‘Yes, please! We believe that our plan, where personal stories are deployed as a means to break through preconceptions and create awareness, can help professionals identify signals of sexual abuse of minors and do something sooner. We would love to elaborate and realise our concept together with the Public Prosecution Service, the Ministry of Justice and Safety and social organisations such as CoMensha and/or Fier.

Want to know more about No Minor Thing? Go to the PLATFORM>

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