• #BeAChampionForChildren: Universal Children’s Day

    We at Coaches Across Continents applaud all our partners who joined with us, and with UNICEF, to champion the rights of children on the recent Universal Children’s Day (November 20th).

    Initially Coaches Across Continents invited partners to begin creating a Child Protection Policy unique to their community. Over 100 partner groups responded.

    Together we raised global awareness of the need to safeguard children in 105+ countries on 6 continents.

    Partners were asked to identify the form of child abuse they most wanted to change within their community. Physical, emotional, sexual and verbal abuse were identified and next steps considered.

    Key issues emerged. These recognised that abuse is often a taken for granted cultural habit, as well as being an abuse of power. Respect for young people was thought to be crucial, while bullying should be avoided.

    Partners who had created a Child Protection Policy asked CAC for curriculum games and online education. CAC distributed a curriculum packet of five games which addressed the four different forms of child abuse, as well as showing how to prevent child abuse in the future.

    Stories flooded in showing the many CAC games that had been played around the world on Universal Children’s Day.

    Additionally CAC invited partners to download and use UNICEF’s International Safeguards for Children in Sport, where CAC was a pioneering member.

    Together we all lived up to the hashtag #BeAChampionForChildren, knowing that by protecting children we were advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    #WhatsYourLegacy?

  • We’re Making Sports Safer

    January 7, 2014.  Coaches Across Continents is involved in an initiative to make sport safer for children. Joining the International Safeguarding Children in Sport Working group we are collaborating with more than fifty organizations around the globe to pilot a set of standards to safeguard all children participating in sport. Millions of children and young people take part in sporting activities across the world every day. Unfortunately, sport, as with other social domains, can bring risks such as violence and abuse towards children and youth. These risks can have a negative impact on development objectives and must be guarded against if the full positive power of sport is to be realized.

    IMG_0398Only a few organizations involved in sport and sport for development globally have the systems and structures needed to make sport safer for children, and stakeholders are increasingly recognizing that without deliberate efforts on the part of clubs and organisations, federations, and policy makers, we cannot be confident that children will always have a safe experience in sport.

    It is for this reason that we have partnered with a diverse group of experts including UNICEF UK, UK Sport, Keeping Children Safe, NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, Right to Play, WomenWin, Swiss Academy for Development, Commonwealth Secretariat, Beyond Sport and Comic Relief, to commit to making sport safer.

    IMG_6970Brunel University have been commissioned by the working group to review the standards at the end of the pilot process. We are working with the this group of researchers to ensure that the final tool produced by the working group is useful and achieves the goal of making sport safer.

    Liz Twyford from UNICEF UK described the standards as a set of actions that all organizations working in sport should have in place to ensure children are safe from harm and should be used as a benchmark of good practice to work towards, rather than an end in themselves.

    At present there are eleven draft standards. These are to:

    • Write a policy on keeping children safe
    • Use procedures, personnel and systems that support safeguarding
    • Assess and minimize risks to children
    • Produce guidelines on behavior towards children
    • Ensure equity – ALL children being safeguarded
    • Communicate the ‘keep children safe’ message
    • Provide education and training for keeping children safe
    • Engage with advice and support
    • Work with partners to meet the standards
    • Involve children in development, review and implementation
    • Monitor and evaluate compliance and effectiveness of safeguarding measures

    Visit the sportanddev website to learn more about child protection and safeguarding in sport – http://www.sportanddev.org/en/learnmore/safeguarding/

    making children safer