Child safeguarding consists of a framework of measures and conditions through which we limit the risks the children may be exposed to during their collaboration with organizations and during the activities involving the adult personnel of organizations.
Child safeguarding is the responsibility of all of us and must be taken into consideration during all interactions with minors, at project level or implemented activity level.
Child safeguarding refers to the active measures that can be taken in order to limit the direct and indirect collateral risks which could affect children in the interaction with UNICEF personnel, during the activities organized by UNICEF or by the organizations and personnel with which UNICEF collaborates.
The associated risks can be: physical violence (including bodily punishment), sexual violence, exploitation and abuse, economic exploitation, the impossibility of ensuring physical and emotional safety, neglecting physical, emotional and phycological needs, harmful cultural practices, violation of privacy and exposure without permission.
In this regard, the creation of a safeguarding framework for children and their parents/ legal representatives or chaperones, is sine qua non. UNICEF created a set of instruments applicable to a broad range of interactions, that needs to be brought to the attention of participants, before the start of the activities, therefore ensuring their information, approval and consent.
We present to you, in short, the types of activities with children during which we must guarantee their safety through instruments and special forms:
• Direct contact activities – meaning children’s physical presence and direct interaction with them. These types of activities also include phone or online discussions. For example: events, field visits, work meetings, workshops, conferences, celebrations, game and sport activities etc.;
• Indirect contact activities – include access to personal data, access to pictures, information, case specifications, testimonials. An indirect contact could be the communication through a third person, but also the testimonials or statements made as if they were from a child. Examples of this type are the campaigns that use pictures and stories with children, online surveys, research about and with children, that use data about children, publications with and about children, with their pictures.
WHO COULD BE THE CONCERNED STAKEHOLDERS AND WHO NEEDS TO APPLY THE SAFEGUARDING FRAMEWORK PROMOTED BY UNICEF?
🔹 UNICEF personnel – any person working directly with UNICEF
🔹 UNICEF staff, individual consultants, contractors, interns, volunteers, UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassadors, any other type of personnel
🔹 UNICEF’s partners – any person working with UNICEF (including governmental stakeholders) and the civil society, bilateral or multilateral partners, UNICEF National Committees, service providers, partners from the private and corporate sector and any other type of subcontractor.
Safeguarding and Child Protection
- Child Protection – specifically refers to the way in which systems, legal frameworks, law implementation can be strengthened or improved, at all levels and for a variety of institutions and organizations. Child Protection makes the world better for children;
- Child Safeguarding – refers to the way in which we can make all institutions/ organizations/ implemented activities safer for all children. Safeguarding makes our organizations safer for children.
During all the performed activities, we have the duty and responsibility to make all efforts in order to protect the children, in any circumstance. In everything we do, we apply a set of basic principles:
☑️ The wellbeing of the child is the most important consideration;
☑️ All children have the same right to be protected, regardless of their gender, culture, ethnicity, age, religion or abilities;
☑️ All adults have the responsibility to intervene accordingly if they fear that a child is exposed to any danger;
☑️ Information is managed as confidential and is communicated to others without the consent of the persons concerned only if the duty of protecting the children against any prejudice is above the individual right to intimacy/ private life.
In order to be informed about the safeguarding measures implemented by UNICEF in Romania and in order to help those who want to develop and apply a safeguarding framework, you can find in the upper-right corner a series of documents and forms that can be used as templates and source of inspiration:
1. Conduct code for adults;
2. Conduct code for children and young adults;
3. Conduct code for the online sessions organized with children and adolescents;
4. Consent form for parents/ legal guardians;
5. Consent form for children and young adults;
6. Consent form for chaperone;
7. Instructions and report form in case of incidents;
8. General guidelines regarding doing interviews with children;
9. Declaration for the GreenLine (TelVerde) professionals;
10. Guide and feedback paper to GreenLine (TelVerde) calls.