Child safeguarding in military operations

Over the last few years, Keeping Children Safe (KCS) has partnered with the University of Reading, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the UK Ministry of Defence, the Uruguayan Peacekeeping training school (ENOPU), the Uruguayan Ministry of Defence and more recently, UNICEF Uruguay, to help develop a child safeguarding policy (PDF) for all Uruguayan troops deployed on UN peacekeeping missions, and to create a regional centre of excellence for child safeguarding.

This project generated a lot of regional interest. Which is why KCS created, and presented with the UK Ministry of Defence, a series of webinars on child safeguarding in military operations (16 to 18 June 2020).

The webinars, held over three consecutive days, were tailored to train military personnel who are supporting civil authorities in Latin America responding to the COVID-19 pandemic on child safeguarding. The topics of the webinars covered how military institutions can implement KCS’s Standards, how to recognise child abuse and how to do risk assessment during emergency responses.

Attendance exceeded expectations with nearly 400 participants actively taking part in each session. Most attendees belonged to different Latin American militaries, but there were also police and civilian staff from the Ministries of Defence and Security, alongside other civilian authorities. 

While most attendants were based in 12 Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay), some were also in active deployment in countries around the world.

The high number attendants and level of engagement in the sessions clearly indicate that there is a strong appetite for more child safeguarding training among the military and civilian authorities in Latin America. Using online delivery for training sessions is a highly effective and efficient way to reach a large amount of people in multiple locations, optimising time and resources. Online training is proving to be a particularly a powerful tool to reach staff during deployment.

“It is invaluable information that will help us redirect our educational plans and programmes in Human Rights in the Army in Guatemala.” Guatemalan Army participant.

“(It is) very important to be able to join efforts to safeguard children and many others in this global context.” Peruvian Police participant.

“A great opportunity to expand knowledge and to obtain tools to help children.” Uruguayan Police participant.

Photo above: Uruguayan Army providing information to school children on prevention of COVID-19 and their border control activities.


Bespoke online training

Keeping Children Safe (KCS) is continually developing the scale and depth of our online training, allowing us to present better and more targeted webinar sessions and programmes. From short introductory sessions, to a rolling training programme. A truly great benefit of online webinar sessions is that they can be recorded, and shared with registrants who couldn’t participate in the live sessions, for instance when out in the field. These ‘evergreen’ recorded sessions offer a great resource for later learning and refresher sessions.

If your organisation works with or for children, do get in touch today to discuss how KCS online training – tailored to your sector – will help you make sure no child is in danger of abuse.

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