Safeguarding

In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.

In the international development sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, particularly women, and girls, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes.

At Hub Cymru Africa, we believe that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, sex, pregnancy, gender reassignment, disability, race, religion or  sexual orientation has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse and exploitation.

At Hub Cymru Africa, we are working to improve safeguarding standards throughout our work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.

We are also here to support organisations strengthen their safeguarding work, helping build a safer environment for everyone.

Background

In 2018, following reports of sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment within international development and assistance, the UK government sought to overhaul the system of safeguarding and accountability in the sector.

In March 2018 a high-level Safeguarding Summit in Westminster was attended by leaders of major NGOs, together with the then Secretary of State for International Development, the Chair of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and the permanent secretary for the Department for International Development. Wales was represented by Hub Cymru Africa and a member of the Welsh Government’s Wales and Africa department.

A joint pledge was signed by 32 organisations to improve standards in the sector and commit to strengthening accountability, organisational culture, recruitment practises and mechanisms for reporting and responding to allegations of abuse. Between March and October 2018, a series of working groups collaborated on projects aiming to develop guidance around key safeguarding themes.

In October 2018, the UK government hosted an international conference on safeguarding to foster collective action across both UK government departments and the wider development sector, centring the voices of survivors and victims of abuse.

“Putting people first: tackling sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector”, aimed to centre the voices of survivors and victims of abuse and raise awareness of the risk of exploitation within international development. Participants were drawn from a wide circle of governments, donors, multilateral organisations, private sector contractors, independent experts, iNGOS and NGOs from the global south.

In 2018, following reports of sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment within international development and assistance, the UK government sought to overhaul the system of safeguarding and accountability in the sector.

In March 2018 a high-level Safeguarding Summit in Westminster was attended by leaders of major NGOs, together with the then Secretary of State for International Development, the Chair of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and the permanent secretary for the Department for International Development. Wales was represented by Hub Cymru Africa and a member of the Welsh Government’s Wales and Africa department.

A joint pledge was signed by 32 organisations to improve standards in the sector and commit to strengthening accountability, organisational culture, recruitment practises and mechanisms for reporting and responding to allegations of abuse. Between March and October 2018, a series of working groups collaborated on projects aiming to develop guidance around key safeguarding themes.

In October 2018, the UK government hosted an international conference on safeguarding to foster collective action across both UK government departments and the wider development sector, centring the voices of survivors and victims of abuse.

“Putting people first: tackling sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector”, aimed to centre the voices of survivors and victims of abuse and raise awareness of the risk of exploitation within international development. Participants were drawn from a wide circle of governments, donors, multilateral organisations, private sector contractors, independent experts, iNGOS and NGOs from the global south.

Following the Summit, UK Government committed to a series of outcomes aiming to achieve lasting change.  These were to:

Following the Summit, UK Government committed to a series of outcomes aiming to achieve lasting change.  These were to:

  • Ensure support for survivors, victims and whistle-blowers; enhance accountability and transparency; strengthen reporting; and tackle impunity

  • Incentivise cultural change through strong leadership, organisational accountability and better human resource processes

  • Adopt global standards and ensure they are met or exceeded

  • Strengthen organisational capacity and capability across the international aid sector to meet these standards

In line with the standards set by the UK Government, Hub Cymru Africa is working with Welsh Government to strengthen standards in the international development sector in Wales.

Safeguarding Resources

Sample Policies

These are samples of basic documents which require medication and adjustment depending on the needs of your organisation.

Sample Code of Conduct [PDF]

Sample Safeguarding policies lay out the commitments made by organisations, and informs staff and volunteers of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.

Sample Safeguarding Policy

Develop your own policy

This is an open-source document developed by the Scottish Alliance for International Development (SIDA), as a step by step guide to developing a safeguarding policy for your organisation.

Developing a Safeguarding Policy: Process Template [PDF]

UK-wide standards

The Charity Commission

Regulatory Alert to Charities

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

FCDO’s standards, guidance for partners and information on how to report a concern.

Safeguarding against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse & Sexual Harassment (SEAH) Guidance

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

This guidance provides partners with details of the new standards and how they will be used in enhanced due diligence assessments (DDAs) to assess an organisation’s ability to protect from sexual exploitation and abuse and harassment, children, young people and vulnerable adults they work with as well as their own staff and volunteers.

DFID Enhanced Due Diligence: Safeguarding for external partners

See how safeguarding is approached at other organisations

Keeping Children Safe

To find out if your organisation is doing all it can to keep children safe, start by using Keeping Children Safe’s free self-assessment tool that will help you to discover your strengths and weaknesses.

Self-assessment tool

Guidance on many areas of Safeguarding including; Understanding Safeguarding, Developing Child Safeguarding and Management of Child Safeguarding Allegations

Safeguarding guidelines

Four globally recognised Keeping Children Safe standards are now used widely in all sectors to ensure best practice in child safeguarding, as well as better accountability to those who are using or benefiting from the services of an organisation. Each standard outlines the key elements that should be put in place to keep children safe and lists the requirements needed to meet these standards.

Safeguarding Standards

NSPCC

Setting up and following good safeguarding policies and procedures means children are safe from adults and other children who might pose a risk. This includes voluntary and community organisations, faith groups, private sector providers, as well as schools, hospitals and sports clubs.

NSPCC advice on safeguarding

BOND

Here you can find BOND’s commitment to preventing sexual exploitation in the sector, progress and actions that have been made, changes brought about by COVID-19 and further guidance and training.

BOND Safeguarding

Safeguarding Visual Toolkit

This toolkit was created as a resource for agencies to utilize as a visual means of communicating with impacted communities on key safeguarding messages. The ultimate goal for this toolkit is to support communities in realizing their rights in regard to the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation Abuse and Harrassment and promote a ‘speak up’ culture.

The toolkit consists of different visual representations of key safeguarding messages, derived from the (IASC) Six Core Principles Relating to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, as well as, guidance on how to apply these visuals. It is aimed at an international audience and is generally applicable across cultures and varying levels of literacy with the variations provided. It has been designed specifically for use by those agencies and organisations engaging directly with international communities in both humanitarian and development contexts.

This toolkit is an open sourced, editable, free resource.

Safeguarding Visual Toolkit

This toolkit was created as a resource for agencies to utilize as a visual means of communicating with impacted communities on key safeguarding messages. The ultimate goal for this toolkit is to support communities in realizing their rights in regard to the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation Abuse and Harrassment and promote a ‘speak up’ culture.

The toolkit consists of different visual representations of key safeguarding messages, derived from the (IASC) Six Core Principles Relating to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, as well as, guidance on how to apply these visuals. It is aimed at an international audience and is generally applicable across cultures and varying levels of literacy with the variations provided. It has been designed specifically for use by those agencies and organisations engaging directly with international communities in both humanitarian and development contexts.

This toolkit is an open sourced, editable, free resource.

Safeguarding Visual Toolkit

Donors in Wales

These are resources from key organisations who also provide funding to the sector in Wales.

WCVA guidance and resources on safeguarding.

WCVA Safeguarding Resources

WCVA guidance and resources on safeguarding.

WCVA Safeguarding Resources