Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office joins forces with WDCD to combat sexual exploitation of children

To combat the largely hidden problem of sexual exploitation of minors in the Netherlands What Design Can Do (WDCD) in collaboration with the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) and the Ministry of Justice & Security launch a new, invitation-only challenge for twelve design teams and one design school.

In this challenge, entitled ‘No Minor Thing, The What Design Can Do Challenge to Combat Sexual Exploitation of Children’ the invited designers will have the chance to come up with new ways to tackle the sexual exploitation of children. The OM therefore hopes that, in addition to the work already being done, the participating designers can come up with fresh ideas and unexpected interventions. A range of experts and stakeholders will help participants to develop their ideas with the goal of actually implementing them.


The National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence Against Children estimates that some 1,300 children are exploited annually ‘right here in the Netherlands’. These are boys and girls who, often through blackmail, are forced to provide sexual services. Most of them surreptitiously end up doing this. Even though it is illegal, there are enough adults who take advantage of the situation. The damage done to children is enormous. This problem calls for innovative solutions.


Designers possess an ability to view issues from another perspective and to ‘reframe’ problems. This creative brainpower is urgently needed to deal with this subject. To offer the participants as many leads as possible, WDCD is working with its research partner STBY and the OM on an extensive package of useful background information.

The challenge will be launched during WDCD Live Amsterdam on 24 & 25 May 2018 with an introductory session at De Balie on 24 May in the morning, together with the participating designers, public prosecutors, experts, and victims. To start the ideation process, the public is welcome to participate in the dialogue that closes the programme and leave their ideas, suggestions and questions on a post-it wall. These will be used to kick-off the subsequent design jam with the designers participating in the challenge.

Images: Research meeting for the briefs of the challenge with experts, design research agency STBY and WDCD.