Keeping Children Safe at International Safeguarding Summit

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Keeping Children Safe at International Safeguarding Summit

Today Keeping Children Safe's Chief Executive, Sarah Blakemore, is attending the international summit to tackle sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment in the aid sector hosted by UK Department for International Development (DFID). This event follows on from the first Safeguarding Summit which took place in March, after serious reports of safeguarding failures in the sector and during which a number of actions were agreed to drive up safeguarding standards.

KCS took part in the March summit with a speech that highlighted the need for clear independent standards for child safeguarding. You can view this here

Since then, KCS has given evidence to the UK International Development Committee Inquiry on sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector and we began the process of establishing an Independent Experts Committee on Child Safeguarding Standards made up of international experts on law, social work, human rights, gender, governance, support for victims and survivors, and other relevant disciplines, to ensure that children’s rights and safety remain high on the agenda. 

On their request, KCS has been working closely with DFID to improve safeguarding within the sector, including leading an enhanced due diligence process on safeguarding with DFID grantees. Also, we have been developing work on leadership and organisational culture on safeguarding as well as providing ongoing, intensive support on implementation with KCS members and a wide range of other organisations. On invitation, Sarah Blakemore also gave a briefing to the United Nations Security Council on the rights of victims and survivors which you can view here.

At today’s summit, UK Non-Governmental Organisations, private sector, research sectors and representatives of United Nations announced a series of commitments, to respond to the challenges set out at the March event. KCS Trustee, Aneeta Williams, also spoke at the event on the topic of safeguarding and humanitarian accountability. Our former Chair, Jane Connors, now the United Nation’s Victims’ Rights Advocate, has spoken about the rights of victims and survivors. Testimony from survivors who took part in our research on SEA across the world formed part of the opening session at the summit.

We will be reporting back on the commitments made, and continuing to work with you all to ensure that children remain at the heart of all safeguarding initiatives.