Is your Organization Safe for Children?

Simply because an organization works with children, it does not necessarily imply that these children are in a safe environment. It could very well be that the organization has a Child Protection Policy, but to me, this is only the first step.  Safeguarding children involves a lot more and is not a matter that should be taken lightly. The truth of the matter is that setting child protection standards may not offer full complete protection for children, but enforcing these standards does minimize the risks of a child become a victim.

Not too along ago, I attended a Child Protection training facilitated by Goal Kenya and it definitely got me thinking.

  • When recruiting individuals organizations should make it clear that their agency enforces child protection laws.
  • Organizations should not neglect conducting thorough background checks when recruiting staff?
  • I believe it is important for children to be involved in drawing out an organization’s child protection policy.
  • An organization should endeavour that all children are aware of their rights.
  • It is important to create an environment whereby children feel free to express their concerns.
  • Staff should feel protected as well.
  • Consequences of not adhering to the rules should be clear to anyone who comes into contact with the children (staff, volunteers, parents etc).
  • Constant monitoring is vital; an organization should never fall into the trap of thinking “ohhh, that can’t happen here….” No organization is immune.

Bottom line: we all share the responsibility of protecting children from harm. Do you agree? Want to learn more about child protection rights, check out a summary of the rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) an international treaty commonly used as the basis for child protection.

Link: http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf

~Vee~

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