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

In recent years, Me Too movement has swept across the sports sector in Hong Kong and a lot of sports practitioners have started to raise concerns over the question of whether children are getting enough protection in sports training and competitions. Therefore, 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.

Our eminent guest speakers include (from the left):

Prof. CHUNG Pak-Kwong, JP Associate Dean (Development), Faculty of Social Sciences of Hong Kong Baptist University; Mr. CHAN Ki-tak, Peter, Chairperson of Hong Kong Association of Youth Development Kowloon City District Branch; Ms. WONG Yeuk-ling, Betty, Women’s Football Manager of The Hong Kong Football Association; Mrs. Priscilla LUI TSANG Sun-kai, BBS, Chairperson of the Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights; and Dr. Trisha LEAHY, BBS, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Sports Institute.

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

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.

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