Keeping Children Safe - Child Protection Toolkit

Summary: The Keeping Children Safe Coalition has developed a set of tools to help organisations working in developing countries to keep children safe.

Over recent years, there has been increasing recognition of the global nature of child abuse, and growing acceptance of the potential risks to children of adults working in positions of trust. Greater attention, therefore, has been paid to how aid and development agencies ensure that children they are in contact with are kept safe from harm. As a result, many agencies are now putting in place policies and procedures designed to protect children and keep them safe from harm.

However, many agencies are still not sufficiently aware of the importance of building protection measures into their work. Even agencies that have taken steps to address this are discovering the real challenges of making their agencies ‘child safe’. All are looking for practical guidance, tools and support materials to assist them in overcoming a host of obstacles that confront them in tackling child protection issues in their work.

For aid and development agencies that have contact with children, some of the key issues and challenges include the fact that:

  • Protection systems in many countries are often weak, and leave agencies and staff facing complex child protection dilemmas.
  • Children in emergencies are especially vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
  • There is little common understanding across agencies of child protection issues, standards of practice, or the organisational implications of these.
  • There are huge difficulties in operating child protection policies in the many different legal, social and cultural contexts in which agencies work.
  • Children may be at risk of abuse and exploitation, not only from individuals in the communities where they live, but also from agency staff, volunteers or other representatives.

For these agencies, and for the sector as a whole, there is a need to develop a common understanding of child protection issues, develop good practice across the diverse and complex areas in which they operate and thereby increase accountability in this crucial aspect of their work.

Keeping Children Safe: A Toolkit for Child Protection will help agencies to:

  • recruit staff safely
  • strengthen policies and procedures that prevent abuse within agencies –
  • help them deter, detect and respond to abuse
  • increase staff confidence to deal with child abuse concerns when they arise
  • create child safe environments
  • keep children safe beyond agency boundaries
  • ensure increased protection for children around the world
  • integrate child protection into all areas of operation.

The toolkit is based around agreed standards that require staff and other agency representatives to receive an appropriate level of training, information and support to fulfil their roles and responsibilities to protect children.

Members of the Coalition include: the Consortium for Street Children, EveryChild, NSPCC, Oxfam, People in Aid, Plan, Save the Children, International Federation Terre des Hommes, Worldvision and the Oak Foundation.



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