War Child works to support conflict-affected children in 14 countries around the world. Children and youth are at the centre of everything we do. We communicate openly and transparently about the results of our programmes - and this is how we deal with child safeguarding as an organisation.
War Child is a member of Keeping Children Safe (KCS), a global network of organisations that strive to ensure children are safeguarded and protected from all forms of abuse.
The Child Safeguarding Policy of War Child is designed to protect children who come into contact with the organisation and its partners from physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect as well as commercial and sexual exploitation.
Our Child Safeguarding Policy ensures that War Child staff are aware of potential concerns and engage in behaviour that prevents abuse. The policy also ensures that staff know how to respond in the event abuse occurs.
The Child Safeguarding Policy is signed by, and applies to, all staff, volunteers, partner organisations, board members, ambassadors and representatives of War Child.
In 2017 we began the process to update our Child Safeguarding Policy to ensure it is relevant and applies to new areas of our work - such as our academic research and our work with refugee children in the Netherlands. The updated policy is scheduled to be finalised during the first half of 2018 - after which time all our country offices will adapt the policy to their specific contexts. Clear guidelines will be in place to facilitate this process.
Over the course of 2017 a total of 21 child safeguarding concerns were reported to the organisation. Five of these reports related to War Child staff and volunteers. The other 16 reports related to staff of our partner organisations. All reported concerns were investigated and accurate responses provided.
Work has also begun to strengthen our internal procedures to ensure all mechanisms for reporting child safeguarding concerns are as robust as possible. This assessment of our internal procedures will examine whether our policies are sound and robust; that our culture provides all colleagues and beneficiaries with a safe space to work in; and that all colleagues and beneficiaries are able to report eventual cases of abuse or negligence of policy.
War Child enforces a ‘zero tolerance’ policy in this area - employees that violate our codes of conduct will face appropriate sanctions – including possible dismissal - and reported to the relevant authorities.