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Learning Exchange on Safeguarding Children and Young People in Asia

Posted 16 December 2021 in EMpower News, Grantee Partner News   |   Share

EMpower is committed to safeguarding the children and young people that participate in the programmes we support—protecting them from harm and violence and responding to potential incidences with strong policies and enforcement. The risks they face have only worsened during the COVID pandemic. According to the United Nations, child labour has increased for the first time in two decades, accompanied by increases in exploitation and child trafficking.

This summer, we held the first of a series of webinars for our grantee partners in East and Southeast Asia. The webinar focused on how organisations can ensure safeguarding with their digital programmes, as most of their activities have shifted online. Thirty staff members from 16 of our grantee partners in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam participated. The training allowed our partners to:

  • Exchange, brainstorm, and learn collectively on risks that may arise when programmes are offered and delivered online.
  • Discuss organisational and programme-specific strategies to minimize these risks.
  • Discover common and effective responses that can be used in their online programmes.

Our partners reported feeling a synergy with other organisations—realising they are working towards the same goal of keeping young people safe and adjusting to the new normal, which challenges them anew every day.

Continuing the learning journey, we held the second in this series of webinars in November. The session was titled “From Policy to Practice: Developing NGO Safeguarding Frameworks that Work” and drew 22 staff from 13 of our partners in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The session provided a safe space for the partners to:

  • Identify important elements of safeguarding frameworks that they can implement.
  • Discuss how elements of safeguarding frameworks can prevent incidences and mitigate risks for children and young people.

Afterwards, the participants mentioned how relevant the session was to them and their work. One noted, “We are in the process of improving our policy and this session was helpful to actually move forward with that and incorporate any missing elements in the current policy.”

They are keen to continue the learning, and EMpower will continue to seek out opportunities for our grantee partners to share knowledge about how to best safeguard children and young people in the difficult contexts they face.

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