Why should your organisation have a Child Protection Policy?
News reports of crimes against children direct the attention of society towards child protection. The National Crime Record Bureau Statistics in 2017 reported 1, 29,032 cases of crimes against children. Crimes against children in India have been reportedly increasing over the years. The overall rate of crime against children in India in 2017 was 28.9 per one lakh children, as compared to 24 in 2016. With the alarming rate of crimes occurring against children in India, organisations must adopt and adhere to a Child Protection Policy to make a safer world for children.
Keeping children safe from abuse and neglect is everyone’s responsibility. The World Health Organization categorizes child abuse as physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Organisations and professionals who work with children are required to invest in child protection and ensure that their policies and practices reflect this responsibility.
Child protection practices refer to the strategies that are implemented with the aim of safeguarding the rights of children. Organisations can create a safe environment for children by adopting the Child Protection Policy.
A Child Protection Policy provides:
- A framework for organisations to create a safe and healthy environment for children in their care.
- Lists down procedures an organisation must follow to ensure the well-being of children.
- Create avenues to safeguard the rights of children from abuse and neglect.
How would you ensure that your organisation’s child protection is robust?
Please check. Does it have?
• Personal Safety Education programme for children to identify, refuse and report unsafe situation and touches
• Child protection training for all adults working with children so that they can identify any signs and symptom of abuse and neglect and intervene effectively
• Recruitment guidelines including screening and vetting procedures for staff
• Safe working practices and agreed staff and children’s behaviours through established code of conduct
• Guidelines for reporting and recording concerns
• A designated focal point of contact for all concerns relating to child protection
• Clear protocols for supporting children post-disclosure/identification of abuse
All organisations/institutions working with children or who come in regular contact with children must develop Child Protection Policy and follow a code of conduct with a focus on a zero tolerance of child abuse and neglect. It is this concentrated effort which will go a long way in keeping children safe.