Press Release 29.4.22: Protect Children’s ReDirection campaign wins gold prize in Finland’s most significant creative design competition

29.04.2022 Press Release

Protect Children’s ReDirection campaign was awarded the first prize in the ‘Progress’ category in Grafia’s Vuoden Huiput, the most significant creative design competition in Finland. The ReDirection project, which began in the fall of 2020, is preventing child sexual violence by gathering information about individuals who use child sexual abuse material on the dark web.

Press release in Finnish read here.

The ReDirection project has reached hundreds of thousands of people who may be involved in child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen, Executive Director of Protect Children: “The goal of all our work is to prevent sexual violence against children, especially online.”

Offender-focused prevention is extremely important to prevent crimes against children before they occur. Protect Children’s ReDirection project reaches CSAM users at the most critical moment – when they are looking for new CSAM material – and provides support for behavioural change. The anonymous nature of the dark web allows users to dare to answer surveys and receive help without fear of being tracked. Providing help resources to potential offenders will also reduce demand, i.e. new sexual offenses against children and the production of new CSAM footage.

From the beginning, it was clear that the target group of CSAM users is very broad and it was impossible to reach them through traditional means of targeting. It was decided to take the exceptional innovation to the dark grid, where the problem is worst. However, the dark web has its own search engines where it is not possible to buy advertising. The problem was circumvented by working directly with search engine administrators, starting with the Finnish Ahmia search engine developed by Juha Nurmi. CSAM keyword optimization was carried out in cooperation with international police organizations, including INTERPOL. When a person tries to find CSAM, they are directed to a page with self-help resources and a link to the ReDirection survey, which aims to gather information about CSAM users.

Currently, the ReDirection research survey is available in 17 different languages and has been opened by hundreds of thousands of people searching for CSAM around the world. Over 17,000 CSAM users have responded to the survey, about half of whom have indicated that they want support to stop using CSAM. Respondents are motivated to participate in the anonymous and rehabilitative ReDirection Self-Help Program based on cognitive behavioural theory. The program is in both open and dark networks (HUS Mental Health House). It aims to support, guide and motivate people to stop using CSAM material. For more information on the ReDirection survey and Self-Help Program, visit the project website.

The ReDirection project has been developed in collaboration with several experts. The main partners in the project are the Finnish Police University of Applied Sciences (POLAMK), HUS Mental Health Centre and the Training Centre for Criminal Sanctions. The project is funded by the international End Violence Against Children.

The campaign has been designed by Havas Helsinki.

The rationale for the award was: “The work has really created something innovative to make the world a better place. The subject is really tough and has been approached in a way that is by no means traditional. This work has been done genuinely to help and not just as a marketing ploy. “

Grafia, the association of graphic design professionals, holds Finland’s most significant creative design competition: Vuoden Huiput. The annual event aims to raise the level of design, strengthen creativity and originality, and develop the professional skills of designers. The competition was now held for the 42nd time.

The Gold Prize was awarded to the ReDirection campaign in the Joker category, the theme of which is chosen annually by the current Chief Judge of the competition. This year, the theme of the category was “Progress” Earlier this month, the ReDirection campaign also won an award in the Most Innovative Technology category in the Grand One competition, which focuses specifically on digital media work, as well as honorable mentions in the Most Effective Campaign and Best Campaign categories.