Over recent years, there has been an increasing recognition of the global nature of child abuse and a growing acceptance of the potential risks to children of adults working in positions of trust. In Namibia violence against children is such a serious human rights problem that, children, the perpetrators of violence against them and the public at largemay accept physical, sexual and psychological violence as an inevitable part of childhood.
It is against this background that Lifeline ChildLine Namibia strives to be a “ Child Safe Organisation “ and has drawn on the initiative of the “Keeping Children Safe Coalition” to develop ways of keeping children safe and making sure that children involved in Lifeline ChildLine programmes are protected from all harm, abuse and exploitation. By adopting the standards advocated by the Keeping Children Safe Coalition and adapting them to the Namibian context, Lifeline ChildLine seeks to meet their duty to protect children, ensure that staff and other representatives are protected and deter potential abusers from joining the organization.
The standards are supported by the following principles:
- All children have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation
- All children should be encouraged to fulfill their potential and inequalities should be challenged.
- Everybody has a responsibility to support the care and protection of children.
- NGOs have a duty of care to children with whom they work and with whom their representatives work
- If agencies work through and with partners they have a responsibility to meet minimum standards of protection for the children in their partners programme.