Since it is our mission and commitment to providing children with a safe environment and loving home, any abuse case within the organisation is absolutely unacceptable. We adhere to the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child as a standard and are part of the Keeping Children Safe alliance. In 2017, SOS Children’s Villages was awarded the Level 1 certification from Keeping Children Safe, which is a high recognition mark in the area of child protection.
In the organization, we have strict and well-elaborated regulations and a framework in place to safeguard children and make sure they grow up in a secure and protected environment. The organisation adopted a Child Protection Policy, a Code of Conduct and Policy Support Documents on reporting and responding to child safeguarding incidents, as well as an investigation of cases. There are documents on the Protection of data and privacy of children.
There are the highest standards for the selection and recruitment of co-workers. All candidates undergo a very careful screening. Once joining the organisation, they receive regular child safeguarding training and sign a code of conduct, which is also valid for volunteers, board members and partners.
Moreover, there is Child Safeguarding focal points in every country and every region, who ensure the implementation of reporting and responding procedures in line with national legislation and international standards. In any incidents and/or suspicion of physical, emotional or sexual abuse immediate actions are taken, including reporting to state authorities. Each reported incident goes through a well-defined reporting and responding procedure, which might also include investigation in accordance with the national law. In cases of sexual abuse, SOS does not conduct an internal investigation but immediately involves state authorities and ensures strong cooperation throughout the investigation process.
The organisation ensures that rehabilitation measures are provided to victims, including counselling and other types of support. Furthermore, we constantly work on improving regulations for protecting children and young people in our care based on lessons learnt from the past.