Developing and
implementing
a child protection
strategy


 

        © F. ZVARDON

 

Guiding principle
 

The relevant frameworks recommend the development of specific policies on the prevention of sexual violence in sport.

The Recommendations on the protection of young athletes and safeguarding children’s rights in sport encourages national public authorities to develop measures and promote strategies to protect children in sport from sexual violence in sport. All documents urge sport organisations to have a policy in place to safeguard athletes.

 

Tips from PSS+ partners and experts when starting with policy development and implementation

 

  1. The child protection strategy / policy should be accompanied by an action plan, and the board of sport organisations should endorse the policy and provide appropriate financing and support for the action, and be responsible to oversee the implementation process.
  2. Developing a policy requires the skills and expertise of a variety of sport, health, education and law-enforcement professionals. Establish a partnership and clarify the role of each stakeholder.
  3. Hold all stakeholders accountable for (parts of) the prevention strategy.
  4. Install a monitoring and evaluation system, and link funding to the installation and implementation of safeguarding.
  5. Use easy to understand, clear language.
  6. Ensure that the voices of children and young athletes are taken into account at all stages of the policy and action plan development, and implementation.
  7. Prescribe a set of minimum standards for each sport organisations and provide sport organisations with sufficient support at every stage of the policy implementation.
  8. Develop a communication strategy to ensure an appropriate dissemination of the policy and action plan. The strategy should be implemented / entrenched at all levels

Examples of practices and initiatives

A coalition to protect athletes against sexualised violence in sport

Organisation responsible: The Regional Sports Federation of North-Rhine Westphalia (Landessportbund Nordrhein-Westfalen, LSB NRW)

Target groups of the practice:  Local sport clubs of the region

Abstract: In 2013 the Regional Sports Federation of North-Rhine Westphalia invited local sport federations of Cologne and Dortmund to establish a common network for the protection against sexualised violence in sport.  The partners of the project developed a set of 10 actions that sport clubs are expected to take if they want to join the coalition, measures such as: a club-specific prevention plan discussed and decided at the general assembly, reference in the club’s statutes, a responsible officer is nominated and educated, all staff submit a certificate of good repute (police record check) and subscribe to a code of honour, regular awareness raising, intervention guideline and empowering of young members. In a two year pilot phase - evaluated by the German Sport University - 35 clubs in the region applied and 26 of which completed the whole set of actions by 2015.

Timeframe: 2013 - on going

More information available at: The website of the coalition (in German): https://www.lsb.nrw/unsere-themen/gegen-sexualisierte-gewalt-im-sport/massnahmen-gegen-sexualisierte-gewalt/ 

Detailed description of the project (in English)

Contact person: Dorota Sahle - Landessportbund Nordrhein-Westfalen (Regional Sports Federation of North-Rhine-Westphalia)

Framework for safeguarding athletes and other participants from harassment and abuse in sport (Games-time period)

Organisation responsible: International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Target groups of the practice: International Federations, National Olympic Committees

Abstract: Athlete safeguarding is intrinsic to good governance and should be ingrained in the psyche of sports organisations. Having a safeguarding framework in place during competitions sanctioned by the sport organisation (such as the Olympic Games for the IOC) ensures a strong commitment to providing a safe sporting environment for athletes to participate in.

The “IOC Framework for safeguarding athletes and other participants from harassment and abuse in sport (Games-time period)” is in place at all editions of the Olympic Games.

It establishes the reporting mechanisms and case management procedure for any incidents of harassment and abuse during the Games.

Crucial to the Games-time Framework is the presence of the IOC Safeguarding Officer.

Timeframe: On going

More information available at: https://hub.olympic.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/IOC-Games-Time-framework.pdf  See also: https://hub.olympic.org/library/safe-sport/  and https://hub.olympic.org/safeguarding/resource-library/

Contact

Guidelines for International Federations and National Olympic Committees related to creating and implementing a policy to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport

Organisation responsible: International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Target groups of the practice:  International Federations, National Olympic Committees

Abstract: These Guidelines, approved by the IOC Executive Board in July 2016, detail what the IOC considers to be the minimum requirements for athlete-safeguarding policies

Timeframe: On going

More information available at: https://hub.olympic.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Final_Updated-definition_Guidelines-IFs-and-NOCs-updated-10.03.2017.pdf and  https://hub.olympic.org/library/safe-sport/

Contact

National Action Plan: Austria’s approach to fight sexualised violence in sport

Organisation responsible: Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports

Target groups of the practice: All actors in the field of sport

Abstract: The Action Plan on Gender Equality in Sport was built on thirteen objectives to combat sexualised violence in sports through preventive and protective measures. It stipulates that educational materials should be developed and awareness should be raised, sport organisations should be committed to fight against sexualised violence, measures combating sexualised violence are a mandatory criterion for public funds, ‘trust-persons’ are appointed and widely known, specific trainings for coaches should be organised, the topic of sexualised violence should be included in the general education of coaches, and that children and adolescents should be empowered. A Strategic Group on Gender Equality in Sport was set up to monitor the implementation of the Action Plan and communicate all its measures until 2018.

Timeframe: 2015 - 2018

More information available at: Website of '100%Sport' (in German): www.100sport.at 

Detailed description of the project (in English)

Contact person: Christa Prets - 100%Sport - Kompetenzzentrum für Chancengleichheit im Österreichischen Sport and Ministry of Defence and Sports

Preventing abuse of positions of trust within sport (briefing)

Organisation responsible: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), United Kingdom

Target groups of the practice:  Safeguarding staff, sports coaches, other volunteers

Abstract: This briefing defines abuse of trust within a sports context, outlines relevant legislation and highlights recommended best practice.

Timeframe: On going

More information available at:  http://thecpsu.org.uk/resource-library/2013/abuse-of-positions-of-trust-within-sport/

Contact

Sample safeguarding/child protection policy statement

Organisation responsible: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), United Kingdom

Target groups of the practice:  Safeguarding staff, sports coaches, other volunteers

Abstract: A safeguarding policy statement makes it clear to staff, parents and children what you and your organisation will do to keep children safe.

Timeframe: On going

More information available at:  http://thecpsu.org.uk/resource-library/2017/sample-safeguardingchild-protection-policy-statement/

Contact

Toolkit for International Federations and National Olympic Committees related to creating and implementing policies and procedures to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport

Organisation responsible: International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Target groups of the practice: International Federations, National Olympic Committees

Abstract: The IOC Toolkit aims to contextualise the information found in the IOC Guidelines, by providing a step-by-step approach to developing athlete safeguarding policies and procedures. It is also intended to offer potential solutions to common challenges which may occur when developing such policies.

This toolkit is underpinned by case studies, research, best practice guidelines, templates, and an online course.

The IOC toolkit was developed in collaboration with a Virtual Task Force (VTF), made up of representatives from International Federations and National Olympic Committees, the IOC prevention of harassment and abuse in sport working group, and in collaboration with experts and organisations both inside and outside of the Olympic Movement

Timeframe: On going

More information available at: https://hub.olympic.org/safeguarding/  

See also: https://hub.olympic.org/library/safe-sport/ and https://hub.olympic.org/safeguarding/resource-library/

Contact

Toolkit for the prevention of sexual intimidation in sport

Organisation responsible: The Netherlands Olympic Committee and Dutch Sports Confederation (NOC*NSF)

Target groups of the practice: Local sport clubs

Abstract: The toolkit is available for free online and comprises seven key actions with tips and guidelines that clubs need to take to implement a strategy against sexual intimidation in sport. The seven steps include: putting the issue on the agenda, auditing the club’s current position, appointing a Local Confidential Counsellor, implementing a code of conduct for sport leaders, creating house rules, refining recruitment procedures, informing and involving all stakeholders about the strategy. It also contains templates (e.g. on assessing the risk factors for sexual intimidation within the club, and on managing reported incidences of sexual intimidation), educational resources (e.g. information on developing a code of conduct, and on the process of checking the criminal history of sports staff and volunteers).

Timeframe: 2012 - on going

More information available at: The toolkit can be downloaded by clicking on the following link ( in Dutch): https://www.nocnsf.nl/grensoverschrijdendgedrag

Detailed description of the project (in English)

Contact person: Bert Roosenboom, The Netherlands Olympic Committee and Dutch Sports Confederation (NOC*NSF)