As a global organisation that works with children 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 does not tolerate any form of child abuse, exploitation, neglect or violation of a child’s privacy and rights. We are committed to creating and maintaining a caring and protective environment for every child we reach through our programmes.
We work in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.
Our Child Protection Policy focuses on four key action areas: awareness, prevention, reporting and responding. We place special emphasis on awareness and prevention to safeguard children and improve the quality of the care they receive. In case of a reported child safeguarding concern, it is taken seriously and addressed without delay. This means that:
We build the capacities of co-workers, children, young people and families to recognise signs of abuse – and how to prevent it.
We teach the use of tools such as positive discipline.
We work to eliminate harmful cultural practices.
Any reported child safeguarding incident or concern is carefully assessed and, based on the results of the assessment, concrete actions are decided and put in place.
The SOS Children's Villages Child Protection Policy defines the different kinds of child abuse that exist and how to safely report concerns. The policy also spells out the obligation of every SOS Children's Villages employee and associate to report any concern, suspicion or allegation of any child abuse.
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.
Every child safeguarding concern or incident reported is taken seriously and is assessed thoroughly. Based on the findings of the assessment, further steps are decided. The guiding principle when dealing with any reported concern is that the safety and welfare of the child always comes first.
SOS Children's Villages member associations are accountable for responding to child safeguarding incidents within the frame of our Child Protection Policy and their national laws.
If you are concerned about a child's safety, please click here to report it.