Background

All children have a right to be protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Sadly, more and more cases of child abuse emerging from child-related organisations show that children are usually harmed by people they know and trust, and the harm is not bound to physical but also includes emotional and mental violence.

The “Me Too” campaign in recent years vividly reveals the extent of the problem that is seriously threatening the well-being of children. This phenomenon calls for an urgent need to raise awareness of self-protection among children and institutionalizing Child Safeguarding Policy (CSP) among organisations to prevent child abuse cases from arising, and to minimize the risk of harm or abuse children are exposed to as a result of their contact with the organisations. It has been a global trend for child-related organisations to implement an in-house Child Safeguarding Policy to make the environment safe for children and uphold their responsibility to protect children.

What is Child Safeguarding Policy

Child Safeguarding Policy is a clear set of standards and guidelines about how to make an organisation safe for children in its governance and activities. We call for an action from all child-related organisations to set up their Child Safeguarding Policy and takes all reasonable steps to ensure children are not exposed to harm as a result of their contact with their organization. This is not solely about a set of documents but is more about creating an organisation culture, in which staff, associates and volunteers safely engage with children at all times.

We also call on the government to regulate and support the organisations in setting up their child safeguarding policy.

Our actions

Plan International Hong Kong is committed to promoting child safeguarding and supporting child-related organisations at large to set up their own Child Safeguarding Policy to prevent child maltreatment from arising in the organisation.

Recently, we have made extensive efforts in conducting research to create an evidence-based framework for Child Safeguarding Policy to inform the Hong Kong community about the local gaps in child safeguarding. Given no official Child Safeguarding Policy framework in Hong Kong, Plan International Hong Kong has developed a Child Safeguarding Policy framework with four dimensions and twenty standards following a comprehensive literature review of relevant legal requirements and guidelines from other jurisdictions. With this new local framework, a Situation Analysis Study was conducted (2019-2021) to benchmark the implementation of CSP measures in the sports sector and education sector, as well as to understand the opinions of children and parents on the development of child safeguarding movement in Hong Kong.

Symposiums and trainings have also been conducted to promote CSP among child-related organisations and assist them in developing a tailor-made Child Safeguarding Policy suited to their context.

With this aim in mind, Plan International Hong Kong organised the first “Roundtable: Child Safeguarding Policy in Sports Setting” on 23 June 2020. With the sharing of five eminent speakers and around 60 participants from the sector, we kickstarted the discussion on ways to ensure children’s safety in the sports sector. Apart from sharing the results of our “Situation Analysis Study on Child Safeguarding Policy in Sports Organisations” research on the day, we also discussed the current measures, experience, and difficulties faced by sports practitioners in safeguarding children in the focus group discussions and explored how to protect the safety of young athletes with the adoption of Child Safeguarding Policy.

Check out the video of the Roundtable to learn more about the event and the sharing of our speakers. (Chinese version only)

A Virtual Forum on “How to Enhance Corporate Governance of the Sports Sector through Child Safeguarding” was also conducted on 6 May 2021. Over 160 professionals from the sports sector participated in the forum and discussed how a Child Safeguarding Policy could help enhance the corporate governance of their sports institution.

Developing a Child Safeguarding Policy is a continuous process which involves a constant review of the organisation’s governance and procedures. Therefore, Plan International is now providing training and consultancy services to support child-related organisations in reviewing their procedures and practices on Child Safeguarding Policy. Check out our CSNET to learn about the details!

Research Report

To support the child safeguarding movement, Plan International Hong Kong is now conducting a situational analysis on child safeguarding policy in Hong Kong to understand its level of implementation and the opinions of different stakeholders. Please stay tuned to this website for updates on the research report.

Situation Analysis Study on Child Safeguarding Policy (Sports Organisations)

Child Safeguarding Charter

We sponsored and support the Child Safeguarding Charter’ launched by the Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights, and we encourage all child-related organisations to sign the child safeguarding charter to show their support for the child safeguarding movement. For the Child Safeguarding Charter webpage, please stay tuned to the website for more details.

Press Release and media reports

Read More: Media Reports

【Standnews】龍緯汶事件 揭港守護兒童監察力度不足
Published Date:31 May, 2019

【HK01】強制舉報虐兒 保護兒童機制需作整體配合
Published Date:11 November, 2019

【HK01】【政策論壇】設立「守護兒童政策」 從根本預防體育機構虐兒事件
Published Date:16 September, 2020

【South China Morning Post】Hong Kong sports sector coming up short on safeguarding children
Published Date:18 September, 2020

【HK01】【政策論壇】學校宿舍頻爆虐兒事件 反映守護兒童政策缺失
Published Date:11 November, 2020

【HK01】【政策論壇】幼稚園爆校長涉虐兒事件 設立妥善舉報機制刻不容緩
Published Date:18 March, 2021

【Hong Kong Commercial Daily】國際培幼會指本港守護兒童機制有待加強 政府須採取3項措施
Published Date:9 August, 20221

【MingPao】蕭美娟:回應施政報告諮詢——立法以外 政府須建立妥善守護兒童機制
Published Date:2 September, 2021

【AM730】加強保障|逾一成兒童曾遭學校補習社體罰 團體促制定守護兒童政策
Published Date:17 September, 2021

【HK01】培幼會調查揭逾兩成學童半年內曾受傷害 有老師用雷射筆照眼
Published Date:17 September, 2021

【SCMP】Child abuse: how Hong Kong can ensure educational institutions are safe havens
27 September, 2021

【RTHK】推行守護兒童政策-國際培幼會(香港)總幹事蕭美娟博士,香港幼兒教育人員協會會長周慧珍校監
Published Date:23 January, 2022

【HK01】童樂居虐兒案|倡業界推守護兒童政策 幼教會長:比立法行先一步
Published Date:23 January, 2022

【MingPao】蕭美娟:虐童事件反映守護兒童政策不足
Published Date:25 January, 2022

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