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LINEA: Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse


Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse. Exploring the potential of communities and social norms to prevent violence against and exploitation of children and adolescents.

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About the project

LINEA is an international, multi-pronged project testing how social norm theory can be used to reduce the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents (SECA) in regions across the world.

Who we are

Click here to find out who works on the LINEA project.


With the second phase of LINEA now in full swing, expect to see more resources and publications posted here soon.

Forthcoming LINEA Webinars

You can watch previous LINEA Webinars on the LINEA YouTube Channel.


The Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse (LINEA) is an international and multi-pronged project exploring how social norm theory can be used to prevent the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents globally. Centring adolescent girls, LINEA aims to provide an alternative to research and programmes, which have traditionally focussed on providing girls with skills and information. Instead, LINEA aims to better understand and address the interdependence of human behaviour and the structural realities that shape the individual experience of adolescent girls. LINEA was established in 2014 and is nested within Gender Violence and Health Centre (GHVC) at LSHTM.

There are three key streams of LINEA’s work which are as follows:

Contributing to conceptual clarity and theory

LINEA is working towards gaining deeper conceptual clarity around the issues of sexual exploitation and abuse of young people. This includes two desk reviews, the first of which reviews how child sexual exploitation has been defined and conceptualised over time by researchers, practitioners and international bodies. The second considers existing evidence about how social norms and other structural factors may contribute to the sexual exploitation of children. LINEA is also collaborating with partners to develop and refine a conceptual model of child sexual exploitation and its drivers.

Producing evidence for preventing social norms and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents

LINEA has conducted research with adolescent and adult community members in Tanzania and Uganda to examine the norms, expectations and contexts that shape and perpetuate the practice of transactional sex. Through individual interviews and focus group discussions, we are seeking to better understand how transactional sex is understood and conceptualised, and when and if transactional sex is considered “exploitative.”

This research is being used to inform the development of an exciting new multi-component social norms focussed intervention. Using a curriculum and media based approach; the intervention aims to prevent sexual exploitation of children in Tanzania due to transactional sex between older men and adolescent girls.

LINEA has also been conducting research in partnership with Promundo, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Again, the aim is to uncover the norms both fostering and preventing transactional sex relationships in three of Rio’s favela communities. This research is the first of its kind in Brazil, not only due to the subject matter, but also in that it will generate a new scale on Sexual Exploitation Norms (SEN) to measure social norms associated with sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.

Creating a community of practice: The LINEA Network

LINEA hosts a network of partners in research, programming, policy, advocacy and funding who are using a social norms approach to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse of young people. It is a vibrant and open forum for groups and individuals engaging with, or interested in learning about, norms and structural factors driving vulnerability. The LINEA Network hosts regular webinars, providing a platform for the most cutting edge research and initiatives. The Network also organises biennial meetings where selected participants can share their insights and share them within the community of practice.

You can register to be a member of the network here. To watch previous LINEA webinars visit the LINEA YouTube Channel. Find other resources from the LINEA Network on our resource page.

You can find more information about LINEA in this introductory webinar:

Who we are
Who we are LINEA


Assistant Professor
Principal Investigator (LSHTM)


Research Fellow
Research Fellow (LSHTM)


Research Assistant
Research Assistant (LSHTM)


Assistant Professor
Principal Investigator in Uganda (LSHTM)

Dr Joyce Wamoyi

Principal Investigator in Tanzania (NIMR, Tanzania)
Senior Advisor on Exploitation Theory (LSHTM)


Assistant Professor
Senior Advisor on Social Norms (LSHTM)
Publications LINEA
Second LINEA Meeting Report: From Research to Social Change: Exploring Possibilities for Preventing Sexual Exploitation of Children Using a Social Norms Perspective
This report details the key presentations from the meeting, and subsequent discussion. Follow links in the documents to view the presentations.
Report – Inaugural Meeting: Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse
The report details the key presentations, and subsequent discussion from LINEA’s Inaugural Meeting, held in Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, UK, 30 March-1 April 2015. Follow links in the documents to view the presentations and videos.