Our Safeguarding Framework


As a global organization that works with children and young people who have lost parental care, or who are at risk of losing it, we see far too many cases of child abuse and neglect.

Child abuse is widespread and persistent, exacerbated by poverty and, in some cases, legitimised through harmful cultural practices such as corporal punishment. Child abuse is a taboo subject in many cultures and is underreported.

SOS Children’s Villages is committed to ensuring that in everything that we do, children and young people are safe, their rights are protected, and they are treated with dignity and respect. The purpose of the work of SOS Children’s Villages is to ensure a safe and nurturing environment for children and young people without parental care or at risk of losing it, where that they can form trusting relationships and be supported to become strong and resilient.

We work in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

The Child and Youth Safeguarding Policy defines the minimum standards required of all individuals and entities working for or on behalf of SOS Children’s Villages to ensure that our actions are guided first and foremost by the safety and well-being of children and youth who come into contact with us. The Child and Youth Safeguarding Policy is mandatory and must be complied with at all times.

The Child and Youth Safeguarding Policy is not a stand-alone document and must be applied in conjunction with other relevant policies, regulations and guidelines – in particular but not limited to the Code of Conduct, Misconduct Incident Management Regulation, Misconduct Investigation Regulation, and other specific child safeguarding and protection guidance.

The SOS Children's Villages Code of Conduct, which is binding for every employee, additionally defines appropriate and expected standards of behaviour towards children for all adults in our organisation.

The Regulation on Prevention and Protection Against Sexual Harassment, Exploitation and Abuse is based on our Code of ConductChild and Youth Safeguarding PolicyGender Equality Policy, and other parts of our integrity approach. It defines our focus on prevention to create and maintain a safe environment for all involved in the work of the federation. The regulation outlines our response mechanism to cases of suspected sexual misconduct towards any person, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, disability, religion or ethnic origin.  
Every child and youth safeguarding concern or incident reported is taken seriously and assessed thoroughly. Based on the findings of the assessment, further steps are decided. One of these measures can be conducting a safeguarding investigation. The guiding principle when dealing with any reported concern is that the safety and welfare of the child and young person always come first. 

The Regulation on Support for Persons Affected by Child and Youth Abuse provides a binding framework for member associations, SOS Children’s Villages International and operations run by SOS Children’s Villages International.

SOS Children's Villages member associations are accountable for responding to child and youth safeguarding incidents within the frame of our Child and Youth Safeguarding Policy and national laws. More information on these procedures as well as roles and responsibilities of the GSC in the reporting and responding process can be found in the Misconduct Incident Management Regulation

If you want to share a safeguarding concern, please click here to report it.