• Latest News - October 30, 2014

    Launch of Child Safeguards Helps Protect Kids

    At the Beyond Sport Summit in Johannesburg, Sweden, the international safeguarding children in sport working group will launch a set of safeguards designed to make sport safer for children.

    The working group is made up of a panel of experts in the fields of sport, child protection, security, education and sports medicine.

    Millions of children and young people take part in sporting activities every day across the world. For some children this is purely for recreation, for others a chosen career and for some a path out of poverty.  But it is increasingly recognised that too often children taking part in sporting activities are not properly protected from harm, leading to incidences of abuse and harm.

    Overall the Safeguards aim to:

    • Help create a safe sporting environment for children wherever they participate and at whatever level
    • Provide guidance to sports providers   so they can ensure organisations they work with know how to protect children
    • Promote good practice for sporting organisations to follow and challenge practice that is harmful to children
    • Provide clarity on safeguarding children so all those involved in sport know how to keep children safe

    Liz Twyford, Unicef UK Sports Programme Specialist said: 'All children have the right to participate in sport in a safe and enjoyable environment; it is a crucial part of a happy, healthy childhood. UNICEF UK is one of a number of organisations that has worked on trialling these standards with sporting organisations so we can be confident that they will enable everyone involved in sport to stop and think about the risks to children and have appropriate measures in place to prevent abuse'

    "The involvement collectively of sport for development organizations around the world to sound each other off on how we can improve our safeguarding policy and implementation to keep the children participating in our program safe from all harm has been a tremendous journey. The movement from "International Safeguarding Standard" to "International Safeguards for Children" has been very encouraging and empowering for me to implement the safeguards as not just "another standard" for the organization to have or to meet. What the practice is, is much more matter than the standard.  Regular conference calls for each ILS (International Learning Set)  group is a crucial space for us to learn more from others and hear actual challenges at the implementation level.  The level of support from the host organization and members of the group is positive and has helped sport for development world become more of a "community" that we are part of." ~Natchawi Wadman, Child Protection Focal Point, Program Manager Life Skills Development Program, Right To Play Thailand

    Amanda Dlamini, South Africa National Soccer Player and Jockey South Africa ambassador will launch the Safeguards at the Beyond Sport Summit. 

    Amanda said, "I very much welcome the safeguards to make sport safer. I know how the power of sport can improve lives but also what the horrible impact can be when things go wrong. The more organisations can do to make sport safe the great the world of sport will be. Participating in sport should be a positive, empowering experience. We all need to embrace the safeguards and make sport safe for children."

    The founder members of the International Safeguarding and Sport working group are:

    Beyond Sport, Caribbean Sport and Development Agency, Comic Relief, Child Protection in Sport Unit (NSPCC), Commonwealth Secretariat, Keeping Children Safe, International Inspiration, Swiss Academy for Development, Right to Play, UK Sport, UNICEF UK and Women Win.

    Brunel University were responsible for coordinating the finalisation of the safeguards. The safeguards were trialled by 40 organisations around the world ranging from international federations to sport and development organisations.

    The eight safeguards are:

    1. Developing a  Policy
    2. Procedures for Responding to Safeguarding Concerns 
    3. Advice and Support
    4. Minimising Risks to Children
    5. Guidelines for Behaviour
    6. Recruiting, Training and Communicating
    7. Working With Partners 
    8. Monitoring and Evaluating

    Further information is found sportanddev.org at http://bit.ly/1sRpcsc.

    For further information contact:

    Sally Warren, Keeping Children Safe 0044 7905975602 or sally.warren@keepingchildrensafe.org.uk

    Laura Wright, Right To Play, Child Protection Officer, lwright@rightrtoplay.com