KCS has been helping organisations safeguard children for over 20 years, keeping over 34 million children around the world safe from abuse.
In everything we do, we work to empower children, families and communities to realise their right to be safe in all organisations. We accompany individuals and teams around the world on their journey to build safer organisations for children, advocate to change the systems, and challenge the organisations that expose children to abuse.
Stories from our work
Championing safe sport for girls in Kenya
Keeping Children Safe member Moving the Goalposts (MTG) is a sport-for-development organisation in Kenya that uses football as an entry point to reach out to girls and young women (9-25 years) through reproductive health and rights education, life skills and economic empowerment initiatives.
MTG works with over 9000 girls and young women in Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa and Tana River counties. To make it easier to identify and follow-up concerns about exploitation and abuse, a special group of volunteer girls called Safeguarders are trained in how to protect and safeguard participating in sports activities.
The girls are commissioned to act as child safeguarding champions in their communities by passing on the skills they have learned to other girls and young women involved in football. By doing so, they are not only able to identify potential incidences of child abuse, but also help to create a safe environment where fellow girls and young women can report issues that affect them without fear of intimidation.
Strengthening child safeguarding in Guatemala
In March 2017, a fire was started in a locked classroom of a home for ‘at-risk’ youth in Guatemala City. Inside were 56 girls who had been put there by government officials, supposedly for their own protection. Officials were slow to respond to the fire as it swept through the classroom and the desperate pleas for help began to fade. In total, 41 girls died and 15 were badly injured.
As part of the response to this tragedy, a local not-for-profit organisation, KCS Network Member CONACMI, started to work with the Guatemalan Government’s Social Welfare Secretariat to persuade the institution to meet our ICS Standards.
After a long process of dialogue and awareness-raising, a new child safeguarding policy was approved as an official government document. Implementation of the policy began in 2018 impacting more than 450 children placed under protection, and over 200 carers, who are working together to analyse risks and measures that should be put in place to keep children safe.
Ending abuse by UN Peacekeepers and civilian staff
No child should ever have to face the horrors of war, but nearly a quarter of the world’s children live in conflict or disaster-stricken countries. They wake up to fear and uncertainty every day. Not only are these children already in desperate and terrifying situations – but tragically, they are also at risk of being abused by staff in organisations sent to protect them. Despite a full commitment by the United Nations to a policy of zero-tolerance, cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of some of the world’s most vulnerable children continue to be reported in the context of peacekeeping missions.
Over the last five years, 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 e child safeguarding policy for Uruguayan peacekeeping operations and to create a regional centre of excellence for child safeguarding.
KCS conducted pre deployment training on child safeguarding, led a two-week course on investigating safeguarding allegations for key personnel about to be deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo, partnered with the UK Ministry of Defence to deliver the inaugural Human Security in Peacekeeping Operations Training Course for troops from across the region, and is now developing a Training of Trainers manual and course on safeguarding children in peacekeeping.
We are here to help
From assessments using the International Child Safeguarding Standards to providing experts that deliver high-quality audits and certification services to global organisations, Keeping Children Safe is here to help and guide you.