All children have the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Sadly, many of these acts are carried out by people children know and should be able to trust; or by people in places that they should feel safe.
Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. For this reason, organizations and professionals who work with children must do their part and ensure that their policies and practices reflect this responsibility. A Child Safeguarding Charter helps organizations formulate the code of conduct for its child related workers as an initial step to develop a Child Safeguarding Policy. We hope to draw the community’s awareness, gather support and join hands to protect children.
Together, the community join hands to create a violence-free and child friendly environment for children.
In line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a child is defined as any person under the age of 18.
It is the Standards and Guidelines that set forth the responsibility that organizations / companies / schools / institutions have to make sure that their staff, associates, operations and programmes do no harm to children. The Policy also ensures that children are not exposed to harm and abuse as a result of their contact with the organization / company / school / institution.
Make clear to everyone of the policy goals and that the policy applies to all of the organization’s staff and associates. It also outlines what measures are in place to respond when safeguarding concerns arise.
Clear responsibilities and expectations for staff and associates and support for them to understand and act accordingly. Key staff are designated at different levels as ‘focal points’ with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
Detail the steps to be carried out when there are concerns related to the safety of children so as to fulfil the policy. Policy commitments are integrated into existing organizational processes and systems and where necessary, new procedures should be introduced.
Measures and mechanisms in place for monitoring and regular review to ensure both upward and downward accountability in relation to child safeguarding. Progress,performance and lessons learnt are reported to key stakeholders.
Before we develop a full-fledged Child Safeguarding Policy, we need to agree on the Code of Conduct of our staff and associates to keep our children safe. This is the reason why we have developed this Child Safeguarding Charter to better explain the case so as to gather support in the community. We hope to have your support in this Charter, so better policies, systems, training and programs could be put into place to safeguard our over 1.1 million children population in Hong Kong.