SOS Children's Villages Eswatini

Child Protection

Bringing up children means giving them the tools that they need in order to develop into self-sufficient adults and contributing members of society. In achieving that, there is need to ensure that children and young people in our care are fully protected and safeguarded at all times.

Child Safeguarding, by definition, includes all activities an organisation undertakes to ensure that its co-workers, operations, and Programmes do no harm to children and do not expose them to the risk of harm and abuse; that appropriate responses and effective management of child safeguarding concerns are in place; and that any concerns the organisation has about children’s safety in its own Programmes and within the communities they work in are reported to the appropriate authorities.

At SOS Children’s villages, we concentrate on four main Child Safeguarding Principles:

1. COURAGE TO BREAK THE SILENCE – RAISE AWARENESS: Raise awareness of child abuse and its risks: The development of an open and responsive culture in all SOS Children’s Villages and within the communities we are active in is essential for safeguarding children. We as an organization and as individual co-workers need the courage to break the silence and taboo of discussing child abuse. Through protected, clear, and honest communication, we give and receive both positive and critical feedback.

2. CREATING AND MAINTAINING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT – PREVENTION: Provide guidance on how to safeguard children from abuse. The focus is on implementing suitable human resource recruitment and development approaches. Combined with this, it is essential that we listen carefully to children, take their views seriously, encourage them to participate in discussions on child protection issues, and offer them the opportunity to build trust-filled relationships. It is clear that child abuse is less likely to occur within a context that fosters child participation at all levels.

3. FOCAL PEOPLE FOR CHILD PROTECTION NATIONALLY AND IN ALL PROGRAMMES – REPORTING: Set up and adhere to a clear and simple reporting procedure. We take all concerns raised seriously – be it in an SOS Children’s Village, Family Strengthening Programme or other programme – and take appropriate action. Each national association defines and implements clear reporting and responding procedures, including internal communication lines, and defines the roles and responsibilities of all people involved. Quick and transparent measures that consider local legal responsibilities are undertaken.
4. THERE IS ALWAYS RESPONSE – RESPONDING: Ensure clear action is taken when child abuse is suspected or reported. All forms of child abuse are taken seriously, without exception and in all SOS programmes, and are responded to according to the gravity of the offence. We ensure that there is always a response, regardless of whether the abuse committed is considered large or small. By responding, we guarantee that a transparent and fair procedure is followed, so that nobody is falsely convicted and the rights of everyone involved are protected.
SOS Children’s Villages Eswatini is committed to creating and maintaining a caring and protective environment, which promotes our core values. We condemn all forms of child abuse and exploitation, be it within or outside of our organization and we respond to any proven, alleged or attempted abuse within our sphere of influence and according to its nature.
The organization has a Child Protection Policy that is based on:
  1. The SOS Children’s Villages roots, vision, mission and values
  2. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
  3. Experience and inputs of stakeholders from various SOS Children’s Villages Associations including children who are important stakeholders.
  4. The standards on child protection as defined by the Keeping Children Safe Coalition.
In order to safeguard children at all times, the organization ensures that all adults who work directly or indirectly with children read, commit and sign the policy. By signing the policy as a stakeholder, you are committing to perform your duties in a manner that respect and protect children’s rights at all times.
The national associations wants to encourage the public to report any child protection incidents that they have witnessed or are suspicious of.

Child safety is everybody’s business

SOS Children’s Villages does not tolerate any form of child abuse, exploitation, neglect or violation of a child’s privacy. We are committed to creating and maintaining a caring and protective environment for every child we reach through our programmes.
Every child safeguarding concern or incident reported is taken seriously and is assessed thoroughly. Based on the findings of the assessment, further steps are decided. The guiding principle when dealing with any reported concern is that the safety and welfare of the child always comes first.
We need your help to prevent and to fight incidents of child abuse in the SOS Children’s Villages programmes. Based on the information submitted by you, the organisation can identify incidents of child abuse at early stage and take effective steps to deal with the situation. This can include response within the internal processes of the organisation but also informing external child welfare or law enforcement authorities.

Which other reporting channels can I use to report a child safeguarding incident?

If you are an SOS co-worker, we encourage you to consider the following reporting options (for details please see our policy support document “Child safety is everybody’s business. Child safeguarding reporting and responding procedures in member associations”):
If you are not an SOS co-worker (e.g. a business partner) we encourage you to consider approaching your SOS-internal contact person, if available

Why should I report a child safety concern or incident?

You should report a child safety concern or incident because your report will help to protect children and young people supported by programmes of SOS Children’s Villages and avoid further harm.

What kind of incidents can I report here?

Here, you can report child safeguarding incidents (e.g. physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, breach of privacy) as outlined in our Child Protection Policy and related policy support document on reporting and responding in member associations in this system. You will be asked to categorise the incident in the reporting form.


Definitions of the four main categories of abuse:
PHYSICAL ABUSE: is the actual or potential physical harm caused by an action or lack of action, which is reasonably within the control of the parent or person in a position of responsibility, power, or trust. Physical abuse may involve hitting, spanking, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning and suffocating. It can also mean causing physical harm to a child by fabricating the symptoms of, or deliberately causing, ill health to a child. The incidents may be single or repeated.
SEXUAL ABUSE: is evidenced by an activity between a child and an adult or another child who, by age or development, is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power; the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person. Child sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact and penetrative or non-penetrative acts. This may also include involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
NEGLECT AND NEGLIGENT TREATMENT: is the inattention or omission on the part of the caregiver to provide for the development of the child in: health, education, emotional development, nutrition, shelter and safe living conditions, in the context of resources reasonably available to the family or caretakers and which causes, or has a high probability of causing harm to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. This includes the failure to properly supervise and protect children from harm as much as is feasible.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE: is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child that adversely affects his or her self-perception and development. It may involve conveying to the child that he or she is worthless, unloved, and inadequate, or there only to meet the needs of another person; or imposing inappropriate expectations upon him/her. Acts include restricting movement, threatening, scaring, discriminating and scape-goating, corrupting, ridiculing, degrading, bullying, humiliating (e.g. asking potentially embarrassing questions, demanding potentially embarrassing action) or other non-physical forms of hostile or rejecting treatment.
VIOLATION OF CHILDREN’S PRIVACY: The protection of a child’s privacy refers to private data of the child as well as pictures, texts, films, etc. about children which are produced for publicity purposes: Any information about a child’s history, medical condition and family background has to be stored carefully in the SOS Children’s Villages administration. These data are to be handled confidentially and with discretion.

Specific considerations:

CHILD-TO-CHILD ABUSE Allegations or concerns regarding the abuse of a child by another child need to be responded to with particular sensitivity; nevertheless, they have to be dealt with through the child protection procedures. All work with young people who have committed abuse requires an effective approach which ensures the protection of people affected, while at the same time supporting the young person in challenging and changing his/her behaviour. Any such approach requires:

Child Safety

Child Protection Policy

OUR STORY BOOKD E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 • V O L . 1

A chronicle of the triumphs and success stories of SOS Children's Villages interventions in Eswatini.

Scroll to Top