Children have the right to participate in sport in a safe and enjoyable environment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The International Safeguards for Children in Sport initiative declared 8 August to be Safer Sport Day, aiming to raise awareness of the need to make sport safe for children.
The initiative is an international coalition that believes that children’s right to recreation, play and sports is essential to their development and well-being. It details eight safeguards that should be put in place by any organisation working with children in sport.
Terre des hommes (Tdh) supports the initiative by taking the following pledge: "We are committed to working towards safer sport for all children, everywhere. We pledge to promote and advocate for the 8 International Safeguards for Children in Sport through our networks and commit to embedding them in our work." Tdh strongly believes that every child should enjoy the benefit of a protective environment in which their rights are respected, including in sport.
The eight safeguards are:
- Developing your policy
- Procedures for responding to safeguarding concerns
- Advice and support
- Minimising risks to children
- Guidelines for behavior
- Recruiting, training and communicating
- Working with partners
- Monitoring and evaluating
These safeguards are already being piloted by organisations all over the world and are set to be adopted more widely. Learn more about the safeguards and access a guide for organisations that work with children here.
By establishing a Safer Sport Day on 8 August, the coalition aims to:
- Raise awareness of safeguarding and the Safeguards in both sport and sport for development organisations;
- Support those organisations to access effective safeguarding advice, support and resources;
- Encourage organisations to “take the pledge” and commit to improving safeguarding in their organisation and across the sport sector.
The International Safeguarding Children in Sport initiative was launched at the Beyond Sport summit in Johannesburg in October 2014. The founder members are Caribbean Sport & Development Agency, Child Protection in Sport Unit, Comic Relief, Commonwealth Secretariat International Inspiration, Keeping Children Safe, Right to Play, Swiss Academy for Development, UNICEF UK, UK Sport, WomenWin.