Safeguarding – February 17 2023

Statement on past child safeguarding cases in former SOS Children's Villages Suriname

In May 2021, SOS Children’s Villages the Netherlands was contacted by three individuals, currently living in the Netherlands, reporting abuse in the former SOS Children’s Villages Suriname. The abuse took place in the 1990s and early 2000s. The reports came within the first week after the public announcement made by SOS Children’s Villages for past organizational failings, where we also encouraged anyone with knowledge of abuse or misconduct to come forward. Coming forward was a courageous step taken by the affected individuals for which SOS Children’s Villages has great respect and gratitude.  

SOS Children’s Villages is very sorry that we failed to keep the children and young people in our programmes in the former SOS Children’s Villages Suriname safe. The past safeguarding failures in our organization go against everything we stand for. We take all complaints very seriously, with respect and trust. Our priority now is to help victims/survivors as best as possible in their healing process. 

Following the reports received, SOS Children's Villages International commissioned an independent consulting firm from the Netherlands to research the past incidents and assess the needs of the affected people for support. Since the research began, additional people have come forward, bringing the total number of affected people to 21. Three of the individuals currently live in the Netherlands, and 18 live in Suriname.   

Case managers contracted by SOS Children’s Villages International have drawn up integral, individualized support plans in close consultation with the affected individuals. The plans include psycho-social assistance, training, and financial and material support. The implementation of the support plans has begun. 

A delegation from SOS Children’s Villages, comprising senior management and technical advisors, has travelled to Suriname to offer a formal apology to the people affected by the past abuse and present our offers of individualized, integral support to each of them.  

The safety and well-being of the children and young people in our care remain our highest priority. We apologize to anyone who may have been affected by abuse in our programmes, or feels he/she was not taken seriously by SOS Children’s Villages in the past when they had the courage to come forward with their concerns.   

We urge anyone with knowledge or suspicion of safeguarding failures to come forward via our confidential whistle-blowing channel or 

For more information, please contact