The British Council firmly believe that all children have potential and that every child matters - everywhere in the world. Children are a top priority as they have a unique honesty and willingness to exchange knowledge and ideas that can meaningfully build trust and make a sustainable difference in the future worldwide.
Child protection is everybody’s responsibility. We recognise that we have a fundamental duty of care towards all children we engage with including a duty to protect them from abuse. We aim to achieve this through compliance with child protection laws in each of the countries we operate and to adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), 1989 which is the international legal framework which sets out the specific rights of children.
The British Council affirms the position that all children have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse as set out in article 19, UNCRC, 1989. A child is defined in the British Council as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday (UNCRC, 1989) irrespective of the age of majority in the country where a child is, or their home country.
We recognise that:
- The welfare of the child is paramount.
- All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
- Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and protection agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
The purpose of the policy:
- To help make sure that children who engage in British Council activities are protected;
- To provide a common understanding of child protection issues and inform staff planning and practice;
- To provide step by step guidance to staff on what action to take if there is an allegation of or concern about actual or suspected situations of abuse.
- This policy is mandatory for all British Council staff world wide. This includes anyone who works for the British Council, either in a paid or unpaid, full or part time capacity. This includes directly employed staff, trustees, contractors, agency staff, consultants, volunteers, interns and anyone working on behalf of the British Council.
We will seek to protect children by:
- Valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
- Adopting child protection systems and procedures for staff.
- Recruiting staff safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with staff, children and parents\carers.
- Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
- Providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training.
We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.