The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 19 states that every child should be protected from abuse. As a social justice organisation, we work to ensure that all our work aims to create and influence best practice and protect young people from abuse.
Abuse takes place in situations where adults are able to misuse the positions of trust and power they have over children and the vulnerable.
This can be reduced by making children aware of their rights, and ensuring that they are involved as much as possible in decision-making and taking their views and grievances seriously.
If you suspect child abuse
See our page on child protection and safeguarding children for information on what you can do to report child abuse.
Key points for practitioners and people working with young people
It is impossible within the confines of one webpage to offer guidance on specific issues of practice, for example on the safeguarding of disabled children with communication difficulties or the specialist requirements of asylum seeking and homeless children.
What needs to be stressed however is:
- The protection and safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults are paramount (we apply these standards to all the work we undertake).
- Ask for advice. Do not hesitate to consult with your line manager or the head of safeguarding at your organisation.
The need for ongoing, up-to-date and specialist child protection training is of paramount importance. For more information, please contact the local safeguarding children board that operates in your local authority.
Please also see our content on sexual exploitation, including:
- Dangers faced by young runaways
- Research we undertook with NSPCC and the University of York into safeguarding young people
Considering young people’s individual needs
It is important to consider the individual needs of children and young people. Those who are different or are perceived to be different in any way may be vulnerable to abuse, such as those from different countries, communities, religions, cultures, whose first language is not English or those with disabilities.
For example, much of our work is focused on marginalised children and young people, for example those involved in gangs, children who may have been trafficked and young people subject to sexual exploitation.
A major part of our Make Runaways Safe campaign, which aims to build a national safety net to protect young people when they run away from home, involves working with young people who have been sexually exploited.
If you and your organisation work with such young people, you will likely face the need for specific advice and specialist training in order to provide appropriate support to protect and safeguard such children and young people.