Burkina Faso kids. Photo by Von Allmen Souad, Terre des Hommes CH-Geneva
Terre des Hommes recognises that child abuse can occur anywhere at anytime, in all societies, in all cultures. We know that historically it occurred in many organisations or institutions working directly with children. Professionals or any adults in regular contact with children can face concerns of child abuse at some point. This is why Terre des Hommes put in place strong protection measures for children through its projects and with partners. One of the aims of the Child Safeguarding Measures policy is to provide guidance to employees and any other person in Terre des Hommes and partners about child protection; how it works, what to do to prevent risk, and what to do in case of abuse assumptions.
Adults abusing children in all forms is unacceptable, but can occur anywhere at any time. Paradoxically, the risks that this occurs in organisations or institutions aiming to protect children is increased.
Child Safeguarding Measures is a project that has produced tools and services now used in almost all the 1’000 projects conducted by Terre des Hommes and partners. Thanks to this project, we have observed an increase in staff awareness on the risks of child abuse. We also acknowledge that children are better informed about risks of abuse on them. As a consequence, there is a widespread change in attitude of staff to the risk of child abuse and to their responsibilities about it. There has been wider recruitment of staff that is in charge of child safeguarding measures and all recruitment methods are progressively integrating child safeguarding guidelines. Finally, there has been increased reporting and response to incidents of child abuse.
While no-one wants to see increased incidences of abuse, wider reporting and improved responses are a considerable success of the efforts of Terre des Hommes to implement Child Safeguarding Measures throughout all our programme units and partner organisations. This is a constant effort to keep up.