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.
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 organizations in setting up their child safeguarding policy.
To gather support and consensus on our Code of Conduct towards children before developing a full-fledged Child Safeguarding Policy, Plan International Hong Kong supported our partner Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights (HKCCR) to launch the Child Safeguarding Charter and encourage all child-related organisations to show their support on child safeguarding by signing it.
Developing a child safeguarding policy is a continuous process which involves a constant review of the organization governance and procedures. Therefore, Plan International is developing a comprehensive set of online child safeguarding resources to support child-related organizations in reviewing their procedures and practices and thus advancing its child safeguarding policy.
Please stay tuned for updates on this webpage.
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.
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.