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Press update: Child safeguarding in education and childcare online summit

Press update #SafeAtSchool2023 

On 14-16 November 2023, Keeping Children Safe convened a global summit on child safeguarding in education and childcare. The education community, practitioners, policy makers and international leaders in education came together to share challenges, experiences and knowledge on child safeguarding in the sector.  

Every year, organisations and institutions from around the world meet to share good practices in preventing and responding to violence against children. Regardless of the sector or context in which it operates, every institution must meet minimum child safeguarding standards to create safe environments for children. Keeping Children Safe promotes open and continuous dialogue between organisations to adopt the International Child Safeguarding Standards, to identify common challenges, to share experiences and strategies. 

The Child safeguarding in education and childcare online summit brought together 49 experts from UNESCO, the United Nations, governments such as the Romanian Ministry of Education, specialised education centres, international organisations and educational institutions. 

A total of 47 events were held, including presentations, panels and live Q&A sessions. This event attracted an audience of more than 1,600 attendees from 118 countries. 

Child safeguarding is the responsibility of every education centre, institution or authority to do no harm to children and respect their rights. For this reason, a number of topics were discussed, such as: 

  • The indivisible link between children’s right to education and their right to safety 
  • Creating a culture of safeguarding in schools: good practices and national experiences in Italy, Kenya, Venezuela, Greece, Albania, Hungary, Zambia, Syria and Spain
  • How to design child safeguarding policies and procedures and ensure children’s empowerment 
  • How to conduct risk analysis and use effective tools for child safeguarding 
  • Child safeguarding in the digital space in educational contexts 
  • National legislation to promote the protection of children and adolescents 
  • How to prevent corporal punishment in schools 
  • Child safeguarding in schools in contexts of crisis and conflict 
  • Safeguarding children and adolescents with disabilities 
  • The key role of children, adolescents and survivors.

‘Even when children attend school, they are not always safe from harm. Violence and abuse continue to spread within our education systems whether it’s inflicted by peers or school personnel or takes place in learners’ homes or online. We cannot afford to look the other way. We must ensure that all children learn in an environment free from abuse, gender-based violence and bullying and this demands not only safeguarding the right to education but also enforcing legal protection against corporal punishment and physical, psychological and sexual violence in schools within countries’ national legal frameworks. We’re committed to Keeping Children Safe for organising this timely summit.’

Christopher Castle: Opening keynote speech on behalf of Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education.

All #SafeAtSchool2023 content remains available for on-demand viewing. 

Download the press release

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