This theme was first broached by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) in 2013 with an annual conference held in Budapest (7-8 October 2013), co-organised with the Hungarian Secretariat of Sport, and in co-operation with the Council of Europe’s ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children.

It addressed two main issues: the inclusion of children in vulnerable situations in sport so that they can take advantage of the benefits which sport offers and the protection of children against sexual harassment in sport, including a Q&A session and panel discussion with Patrik Sjöberg, former World High-jump Champion.

Following on from this, EPAS co-financed and implemented a joint project with the EU (under Erasmus+ funding) from 20114-2015 which was titled "Pro Safe Sport" (PSS) and which was aimed at promoting a safe and healthy environment for young athletes. Thanks to this initial PSS project, the PSS Online Academy showcases how stakeholder organisations can design, implement and evaluate safe sport policies and projects.

It was then followed up in 2017 by a new 9-month joint initiative: "Pro Safe Sport +" (PSS+) (running from 1 April to 31 December) and which focused solely on sexual violence against children in sport. One result of this project was the "Start to talk" initiative.

From March 2020 to June 2022, the EU-CoE joint project "Child Safeguarding in Sport" (CSiS) aimed to support partner countries in the setting up of Child Safeguarding Officers in sport, through a tailor-made, collaborative methodology adapted to their national context. These contact persons are trained, equipped and integrated into a European network where they can continue to exchange and learn from their peers.

  Start to talk