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International Safeguards for children in sport launched at Beyond Sport Summit in South Africa

On the 30th October, 2014 at the Beyond Sport Summit in Johannesburg, the international safeguarding children in sport working group launched a set of safeguards designed to make sport safer for children.

The working group is made up of a panel of experts in the fields of sport, child protection, security, education and sports medicine

Millions of children and young people take part in sporting activities every day across the world. For some children this is purely for recreation, for others a chosen career and for some a path out of poverty. But it is increasingly recognised that too often children taking part in sporting activities are not properly protected from harm, leading to incidences of abuse and harm.

Overall the Safeguards aim to:

  • Help create a safe sporting environment for children wherever they participate and at whatever level
  • Provide guidance to sports providers so they can ensure organisations they work with know how to protect children
  • Promote good practice for sporting organisations to follow and challenge practice that is harmful to children
  • Provide clarity on safeguarding children so all those involved in sport know how to keep children safe

Liz Twyford, Unicef UK Sports Programme Specialist said: 'All children have the right to participate in sport in a safe and enjoyable environment; it is a crucial part of a happy, healthy childhood. UNICEF UK is one of a number of organisations that has worked on trialling these standards with sporting organisations so we can be confident that they will enable everyone involved in sport to stop and think about the risks to children and have appropriate measures in place to prevent abuse'

Director of the Caribbean Sport and Development Agency (CSDA), Mark Mungal urged governments and organizations that work with children in sport to adopt the international safeguards to protect the integrity of the Caribbean's rich history of sport participation that touches the lives of thousands of children across the islands everyday. CSDA has been leading the safeguarding children in sport agenda in the Caribbean, working closely with CARICOM, governments and sporting organizations to make sport safer for children in the Caribbean.

Trinidad and Tobago Sports Hall of Fame member and former professional footballer Shaka Hislop has added his support for the safeguards noting that this was a significant milestone in the efforts to make sport safer for children worldwide. Shaka endorsed the safeguards and called on those responsible for the administration of sport for children and young people across the globe to adopt the safeguards as a demonstration of their commitment to preserve the integrity of sport and to ensure that children enjoy the positive benefits of sport participation.

Amanda Dlamini, South Africa National Soccer Player and Jockey South Africa ambassador will launch the Safeguards at the Beyond Sport Summit.

Amanda said ' I very much welcome the safeguards to make sport safer. I know how the power of sport can improve lives but also what the horrible impact can be when things go wrong. The more organisations can do to make sport safe the greater the world of sport will be. Participating in sport should be a positive, empowering experience. We all need to embrace the safeguards and make sport safer for children.'

The founder members of the International Safeguarding and Sport working group are:
Beyond Sport, Caribbean Sport and Development Agency, Comic Relief, Child Protection in Sport Unit (NSPCC), Commonwealth Secretariat, Keeping Children Safe, International Inspiration, Swiss Academy for Development, Right to Play, UK Sport, UNICEF UK and Women Win.

Brunel University were responsible for coordinating the finalisation of the safeguards. The safeguards were trialled by 40 organisations around the world ranging from international federations to sport and development organisations.

The eight safeguards are:
1. Developing a Policy
2. Procedures for Responding to Safeguarding Concerns
3. Advice and Support
4. Minimising Risks to Children
5. Guidelines for Behaviour
6. Recruiting, Training and Communicating
7. Working With Partners
8. Monitoring and Evaluating.

Click here to view the full International Safeguards for Children in Sport document.

Further information is found at at

For further information contact:
Sally Warren, Keeping Children Safe 0044 7905975602 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mark Mungal, Caribbean Sport and Development Agency 1 868 468 4555 / 1 868 387 0411 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about Unicef or to speak to a spokesperson please contact Liz Jones on 0207 375 6084 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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