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Safeguarding

Our commitment to protecting children in the delivery of our work

AfriKids is part of the global movement working for universal human rights and social justice. Our work protecting and promoting child rights in northern Ghana contributes to local and international strategies to reduce poverty, alleviate suffering and build a fairer and better world for everyone.

Ensuring the protection of children and their rights is the reason AfriKids exists and is our upmost priority.

We take our duty of care to the children we serve with our work incredibly seriously, and have measures in place to minimise the risk that any child’s safety, wellbeing or dignity might be compromised by the pursuit of our mission.

This page summarises some of the ways we do this, and our full Child Protection Policy can be downloaded below.


We provide a safe and trusted environment which safeguards the people AfriKids has contact with, including beneficiaries, staff and volunteers

AfriKids’ operational staff hold relevant qualifications and professional, independent references. They have been selected for their value and commitment to upholding the rights of children in their communities and are trained to identify and respond to children at risk, through appropriate channels and procedures. Our monitoring and evaluation systems oversee staff and projects, with checks and controls. We pride ourselves on our reputation and engagement with stakeholders, and promote a culture of openess, trust and accountability. This includes providing forums and channels which aim to give all stakeholders a voice, including children and marginalised groups.

We set an organisational culture that prioritises safeguarding, so that it is safe for anyone at risk to come forward, and to report incidents and concerns with the assurance they will be handled sensitively and properly

The safeguarding and empowerment of vulnerable children is AfriKids’ raison detre and upmost priority. On a daily basis, AfriKids identifies and responds to cases of children at risk. These are identified both proactively by AfriKids’ staff in the field, through extensive stakeholder consultation (e.g. discussions with traditional leaders, women’s groups, community volunteers, etc.) and through reports from members of the public, including children themselves. Reports are made directly to the AfriKids Ghana office; to AfriKids staff and sometimes via stakeholders like local teachers and health workers. AfriKids’ Child Rights Clubs, which educate young people to become youth ambassadors for child rights, have been one of the most effective activities for promoting children’s trust in AfriKids and encouraging them to bring cases forward. Reports from club members have helped AfriKids intervene to prevent child marriages, stop children dropping out of school and respond to hidden cases of abuse.

We have robust safeguarding policies, procedures and measures to protect people

AfriKids has measures in place to safeguard the children we interact with in the delivery of our work, including a comprehensive Child Protection Policy. AfriKids’ Child Protection Policy was originally developed with support from UK experts in child trafficking, and draws on best practice examples from the UK and around the world. This global policy is adopted by both AfriKids UK and AfriKids Ghana (independent organisations working in partnership) and outlines child protection responsibilities and procedures across all areas of our work, including personnel recruitment; staff education and training; operations (including management of the policy); behavioural guidelines/codes of conduct; communication guidelines; reporting and reaction protocol; and the ramifications of misconduct.

AfriKids’ policy manuals including the Child Protection Policy are a core part of the induction process for new AfriKids staff, who, once taken through them, are required to sign the child protection code of conduct. Both organisations are strongly committed to the continuing professional development of staff, and for those on the front-line of our projects supporting vulnerable children, there are opportunities every year for further training in child protection and safeguarding.

In October 2017, twenty of AfriKids Ghana’s local directors, senior managers, managers and field staff were trained as trainers in child protection, by staff from the (UK) NSPCC’s Child Trafficking Advice Centre (as part of a wider collaborative project). These staff are now extending this training to stakeholders across AfriKids’ work in Ghana, including parents, community members and public and private sector partners. This training is educating more people on what child abuse is, the laws and systems protecting against it and how to identify and respond to cases of children at risk.

AfriKids’ Child Protection Policy and procedures are periodically reviewed, as they are due to be again in 2o18. Planned improvements include making the policy more visible and accessible to external stakeholders, including publishing it in the public domain (e.g. on our website) and producing resources such as posters for local use, which will clearly outline our code of conduct and how anyone can report incidents or concerns.

Beyond AfriKids’ own Child Protection Policy, both organisations monitor and comply with local regulation and legislation, including the guidelines of the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the national Child and Family Welfare Policy of the Government of Ghana.

Our staff are clear on how incidents and allegations will be handled should they arise, including reporting to the relevant authorities, such as the Charity Commission and governments of UK and Ghana.

Clear response procedures, including escalation through a management and governance framework (from front line project officers through to country directors and Boards, as appropriate) and reporting to relevant authorities, are set out in AfriKids’ Child Protection Policy. The review of this policy due to take place in 2018 will make any necessary updates to align it with latest best practice and ensure compliance with revisions to legislation in the UK and/or Ghana.

© 2018 AfriKids. All Rights Reserved

AfriKids UK Head Office:
21 Southampton Row
London
WC1B 5HA
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 207 269 0740

AfriKids Ghana Head Office:
PO Box 166
Bolgatanga
Upper East Region
Ghana

+233 (0) 3820 23829

Registered charity in England and Wales: 1141028
Registered NGO in Ghana: DSW/3024
Registered in The Netherlands. Tax no: 8238.13.289