Flag System

Talking with children and young people about sex and harmful sexual behaviour

The Flag system is a method to assess sexual behaviour of children and young people and react appropriately to it as a professional or parent. It can be used to help determine which sexual behaviour is healthy and which isn’t in a certain situation, using six criteria and four flags to categorize the behaviour.

The intervention is supposed to make sexuality and (harmful) sexual behaviour in children and young people more accessible to discussion. The Flag System consist of a user guide and educational materials. The user guide aims to provide a framework for the Flag System. The educational materials consist of a set of 44 illustrations, depicting situations involving sexual behaviour. Children and/or young people, and sometimes an adult, are involved in all situations. For each illustration a brief interpretation is given to describe the situation in the illustration.


BE: http://www.seksuelevorming.be/sensoa-vlaggensysteem
NL: https://vlaggensysteem.nl/
UK: https://www.flagsystem.org/

Table of contents:

PART 1 User’s Guide to the Flag System

  1. Introduction
  2. Sexual development
  3. Sexuality and boundaries – Criteria and characteristics of flags
  4. Skills of the supporting adult and policy
  5. Case studies

PART 2 Guide to the illustrations

  1. Educational materials
  2. Subjects
  3. How to use this guide?
  4. Illustrations for babies, toddlers and infants (0-6 years old)!
  5. Illustrations for the children age category (7-11 years)
  6. Illustrations for the teenager category (12-14 years)
  7. Illustrations for the young people age category (14-17 years)

PART 3 Sources and references

  1. Source references
  2. References


  1. Normative list – abridged version


English, Dutch

Target group:

Professionals, Lecturers, Policy makers




Erika Frans & Thierry Franck



Year of publication:


Published by  Safe 27 August 2018