Child Safeguarding is about doing all we can to ensure the children we are in contact with, directly or indirectly, are not harmed as a consequence of an action (or the lack of it) conducted by an individual or an organization acting on behalf of ECPAT International.
Violence against children is a global problem potentially affecting any child. Children’s intersecting identities such as disability, ethnic minority, gender identities and sexual orientations are additional factors that can lead to risks of harm. While most child abuse occurs within families and communities, children can experience abuse and exploitation everywhere, including in the very organisations that are supposed to protect them and provide them with support and services. While physical, emotional abuse, and neglect in organisations is often unintended, the result of poor conditions, lack of awareness or clear guidelines for behaviour and negligent management, child sexual abuse and exploitation in organisations may be planned and premeditated by persons in contact with the organizations.
ECPAT International affirms the right of every child to protection from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and we are committed to protecting children in everything that we do.
It is our responsibility to make sure our staff, operations, and programmes do no harm to children, that they do not expose children to the risk of harm and abuse, and that any concerns we have about children’s safety within the communities in which we work, are reported to the appropriate authorities.
(Source: Keeping Children Safe - International Child Safeguarding Standards)
The inherent power differences between organizations like ours and children and communities heighten the risks of abuse and exploitation. We are therefore committed to create a protective culture and put all reasonable and appropriate measures in place to prevent harm generated as a result of ECPAT International’s actions to occur and to timely address and redress it when it may occur.
ECPAT International is guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and is committed to promoting and respecting children’s rights.
We are guided by the core principles of the UN CRC of non-discrimination, the right to survival and development, the importance of ensuring the views of children are expressed and given due weight, and to ensuring the best interests of the child are paramount and central to all our actions.
Other principles guiding our action include the ‘Do no harm’ principle and our organisation’s responsibility to minimise the risks of harm we could cause inadvertently as a result of our actions; a survivor-centred approach, meaning that we will engage with victims and survivors in a way that prioritizes their needs, safety, rights and well-being and we will take the necessary measures and allocate adequate resources for the measures to be implemented in the best interests of the child; we also take a child centred approach which means we keep the child in focus when making decisions about their lives and working in partnership with them and their families. We are responsible and accountable for our actions which means we recognize that everybody has a responsibility to support the protection of children, not just designated staff, and we will act in a manner that is transparent and will monitor progress and compliance; and we want in partnership and collaboration, recognizing that we have a responsibility to support our partners in meeting minimum requirements to protect children.
Our commitment to child safeguarding is outlined in our child safeguarding policy, procedures, and annexes.
All ECPAT International staff are trained on child safeguarding and actively integrate it into their activities, projects and partnerships, for instance through conducting risk assessment, child-safe recruitment, and promoting child safeguarding in our work with partners.
We encourage anyone who suspects or witnesses child safeguarding incidents within our organization, anyone associated with ECPAT International or our affiliated members to come forward without fear.
Protecting the rights and well-being of children is our shared responsibility, and we understand that reporting child safeguarding incidents may be a sensitive and sometimes difficult process.
If you wish to report a child safeguarding incident, please report at firstname.lastname@example.org.