New Childhood Award celebrates unsung heroes who protect children from abuse

In 2019, Childhood celebrates its 20th anniversary. Throughout the anniversary year, the children’s rights organization will be shining a spotlight on the progress that has been achieved in its efforts to protect children from violence and sexual abuse. The highlight of the year will be the inauguration of the Childhood Award – an annual prize handed out to the unsung heroes in Sweden who dedicate their lives to protecting children from violence and sexual abuse, but are seldom recognized for their contributions.

One of five children in Sweden is exposed to sexual abuse at some point during their childhood.* A key component of the work to prevent violence and abuse against children is the presence of dedicated adults who see what is happening, show compassion and take action. That is why the Childhood Award is now being introduced to celebrate the people in Sweden who have chosen to take on the task of protecting children from abuse – a task that all too often goes unrecognized.

“The aim of the Childhood Award is to celebrate people who are rarely recognized for their contributions, but who – through their dedication and expertise – truly make a difference for children,” says Paula Guillet de Monthoux, Secretary General at Childhood.

Aim of the award

The aim of the Childhood Award is to celebrate the people in Sweden who play a crucial role in keeping children safe, but whose work is not always most obvious – such as the police or the people working in social services, healthcare or schools.  Each year, a particular professional group will be highlighted. The award, which includes a cash prize of SEK 50,000, will be handed out each year to a person who has distinguished themselves in their profession, demonstrated an impressive pesronal commitment and ability to work with others, and achieved tangible results in their work to protect from violence and sexual abuse. The prize money is to be used to help the recipient grow even further in their professional role and may be used, for example, to attend an international conference, go on a study trip or pursue further education.

The 2019 Childhood Award will be handed out to a person who investigates cases of sexual abuse against children, such as a police officer, a children’s investigator, a forensic technician, a specialist in questioning children, a prosecutor or a similar profession.


The jury for the Childhood Award is made up of seven members:

  • Princess Madeleine of Sweden
  • Paula Guillet de Monthoux, Childhood’s Secretary General
  • Carl Göran Svedin, Professor Emeritus in child and adolescent psychiatry at Linköping University
  • Lena Ahlström, Founder and CEO of Ledarstudion
  • Christian Berg, Founder of Safer Society Group
  • Anna-Karin Boqvist, Secretary General of Ecpat Sweden
  • Johan Dennelind, CEO of Telia Company.


Nominations for the Childhood Award may be submitted between August 28 and November 1, 2019. The jury will select three finalists from the list of nominees, who will be presented on November 25. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on December 9. Nomination forms and more information about the award are available at childhood.se/childhoodpriset

Award ceremony to round off Childhood’s jubilee year

The award ceremony for the first Childhood Award will round off the organization’s anniversary year. 20 years have passed since Queen Silvia founded Childhood with the words, ”I have founded an organization. My biggest wish is to shut it down soon.” Since then, Childhood has supported over a thousand projects worldwide, initiatives and ideas that have gained momentum and strength thanks to Childhood’s funding, knowledge and encouragement. Usually these ideas have come from passionate pioneers who work closely with children – people with knowledge and an awareness of the vulnerability and needs of children. Examples of such initiatives include the introduction of Barnahus children’s houses in Sweden, assistance in establishing parent support programs in South Africa and, most recently, together with the Economist Intelligence Unit, the launch of a globally unique index that measures how various countries prioritize the issue of sexual abuse against children.

*The Children’s Welfare Foundation Sweden (Stiftelsen Allmänna Barnhuset): ” It happens to one in five” (2015)

Text: Åsa Andreasson Åkerström