VEGA Staff Involved with World Health Organization (WHO) Child Sexual Abuse Guidance Meeting

From December 7th – 9th, 2016, PreVAiL lead for the VEGA child maltreatment review group, Harriet MacMillan, along with Program Manager, Chris McKee, and Post-Doctoral Fellow, Jill McTavish, attended WHO’s meeting of the Guideline Development Group (GDG) for Responding to Sexual Abuse of Children and Adolescents, held in Geneva. All three VEGA members were involved in important aspects of WHO’s guideline development process:

  • Harriet co-Chaired the meeting with Bernadette Madrid, Executive Director of the Child Protection Network Foundation Inc. The overall goal of the guidelines is addressing healthcare responses to child sexual abuse;
  • Chris McKee was involved in meeting with WHO’s child maltreatment group to ensure that the upcoming reviews on responses to other forms of child maltreatment are well coordinated between VEGA and WHO;
  • Jill McTavish, acting as a WHO Technical Advisor, presented VEGA findings about psychosocial interventions for responding to child sexual abuse. The data analysis for this report was completed by the McMaster Evidence Review and Synthesis Centre (MERSC).

GDG members offered expertise on a range of issues related to appropriate responses to child sexual abuse. Jill’s presentation about psychosocial interventions for child sexual abuse was well received, and these findings will be considered by the VEGA Child Maltreatment Evidence Review Group in May 2017. VEGA and WHO look forward to their ongoing coordination of efforts to complete the remaining reviews on identifying and responding to child maltreatment.

For more information

More information about WHO guidelines for the health sector response to child maltreatment can be found here:

For more information about the systematic reviews being conducted by VEGA, please refer to the PROSPERO register for systematic reviews:


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