Safeguarding – August 23 2022

Statement on the Independent Special Commission's interim report

The Independent Special Commission (ISC), which was established in October 2021 by the International Senate of SOS Children’s Villages, has recently completed an interim report.

We welcome the report and the opportunity to provide feedback to the ISC at this point in its process. We note that many of the ISC’s preliminary recommendations are in line with the 24 actions described in our Safeguarding Action Plan. In April 2022, we reported on our progress; the Safeguarding Action Plan Progress Report is available on our website

We take very seriously the ISC's further insights and identification of gaps especially in areas of how we respond to allegations relating to child safeguarding, misuse of funds, and governance failings. These will guide our continual improvements to achieve the highest standards of safeguarding at SOS Children's Villages. 

We are committed to deliver on the ISC’s call for the organization “… to ensure that the children under SOS CV’s care are aware of their rights; can advocate for their needs; have access to recourse for their grievances; can report any abuse, failings or other wrongdoing; and have all the necessary support when they do.” 

We are pleased that the ISC has reiterated its commitment to “protect the confidentiality and security of any information it receives and will protect the identity of all those who cooperate with the ISC.”

The International Senate will meet with the ISC to discuss the interim report in September 2022. The ISC has confirmed that it is will publish its final report on its website. 

At SOS Children’s Villages, we have zero tolerance to any form of abuse and we will do everything we can to ensure everyone we come into contact with feels safe and supported. On behalf of those harmed by past abuse, all the children and young people we support, our donors and our partners, we are dedicated to tackling the organization's failings at their root cause and to ensuring accountability for those responsible.