Unit 1. The Context for Children
Unit 2: Understanding child abuse
Unit 3: Understanding child safeguarding
Unit 4: Safeguarding concerns and abuse

3.3: International Child Safeguarding Standards

The standards

Keeping Children Safe has set out four International Child Safeguarding Standards:

Standard 1: Policy – The organisation develops a policy that describes how it is committed to preventing and responding appropriately to harm to children. The policy reflects the rights of children to protection from abuse and exploitation as outlined in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Standard 2: People – The organisation places clear responsibilities and expectations on its staff and associates and supports them to understand and act in line with these Key staff are designated at different levels (including director level) as ‘focal points’ with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Standard 3: Procedures – The organisation creates a child safe environment through implementing child safeguarding procedures that are applied across the organisation. Organisations carry out local mapping exercises which provide information on the legal, social welfare and child protection arrangements.

Standard 4: Accountability – The organisation monitors and reviews its safeguarding measures.

The principles

These four standards are based on the following principles:

  • All children have equal rights to protection from harm
  • Everybody has a responsibility to support the protection of children
  • Organisations have a duty of care to children with whom they work, are in contact with, or who are affected by their work and operations
  • If organisations work with partners they have a responsibility to help partners meet the minimum requirements on protection
  • All actions on child safeguarding are taken in the best interests of the child, which are paramount.

An overall approach to child safeguarding is rooted in understanding the risks to children from the organisation (its staff, programmes and operations) and addressing those risks with a range of measures that create child-safe organisations.

Risk, and how to address risk, is a major part of an organisation’s strategies and governance. The more we talk about and recognise risk, the more we can think about preventing it.

Developing a child safeguarding framework

This requires your organisation to consider:

  • Where, when and how you may come into contact with children and what risks that
  • What policies and procedures are needed to prevent harm and how to respond to concerns
  • Who is the appropriate, designated person(s) to act as the focal point in an organisation to receive and manage any safeguarding concerns and subsequent inquiry /investigation?
  • What safeguarding induction and training is needed to ensure staff know what to do if they have a concern and what the organisation expects of them
  • Clarity about any code of conduct to ensure all staff are clear about their professional boundaries when working with children and what is, and is not, acceptable behaviour
  • How to recruit safely?

Unfortunately, even with the most robust child safeguarding policies and procedures in place, abuse from within your organisation may still occur. At that point, it is the manner in which your organisation responds that is crucial for the child and for the organisation.

Read more:

The International Child Safeguarding Standards and how to implement them by Keeping Children Safe