International TaskForce on Child Protection
The International Taskforce on Child Protection (ITFCP) was formed in April 2014 to help international school communities address child protection challenges. Now a coalition of 90+ volunteers, the taskforce includes leaders of international education organisations, school leaders, counsellors and teachers, working collaboratively across professions with law enforcement officials and the medical community.
Abuse of children by adults in positions of trust is a significant risk facing organisations around the world. Furthermore, the ease of mobility that international work provides, coupled with weak recruitment practices, different cultural norms, and underdeveloped legal systems make certain international organisations prime targets for child abusers. While it is possible to manage allegations effectively, the reality on the ground is that many allegations are being, and have been, handled poorly by schools with little or no support from external agencies. The result is that some abusers have been able to move on without challenge.
New Protocol for Managing Allegations of Child Abuse
The International Protocol for Managing Allegations of Child Abuse by Educators and Other Adults – is a new resource developed by the International Taskforce on Child Protection and the Safeguarding Unit (Farrer & Co) to address the challenges faced by international schools when managing an allegation of abuse. Developed from multiple perspectives, in consultation with a broad range of professionals, this protocol is intended to help international school leaders navigate the complexities of responding to abuse in culturally, linguistically, and legally diverse communities.
The accompanying article sets out some of the challenges faced by international school leaders when managing allegations of abuse against adults; provides an overview of the protocol; and sets out how schools can use the protocol to learn when external resources and expertise are needed, and how to use them to manage allegations effectively.
Although this protocol and the accompanying article are aimed at international schools, many of the principles contained within them apply to universities and indeed any organisation that works with children internationally.
Review the Education Portal
International Taskforce on Child Protection and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) have joined forces to provide resources on how to prevent and respond to child abuse, neglect and sexual exploitation wherever you are in the world. The ICMEC Education Portal provides educators with resources and guidance on all child protection topics including writing and evaluating policies, developing safer recruitment practices, and educating staff, parents, and students on prevention and response to abuse when it does occur. Watch a video tour of the Education Portal to start your learning.
Founding Members of the International Taskforce on Child Protection
- Jane Larsson, Executive Director, Council of International Schools (Chair)
- Colin Bell, Executive Director, Council of British International Schools
- Deborah Welch, Executive Director, Academy of International School Heads
- Christine Brown, Regional Education Officer for Europe, U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Schools
- Mark Ulfers, Executive Director, Association for the Advancement of International Education
- Keith Cincotta, Director of School Services, International Schools Services
- Kevin Ruth, Executive Director, ECIS
Child Protection Workshops
A CIS initiative to prepare international school communities for the implementation of newly adopted Accreditation Standards for Child Protection
CIS has enlisted a team of child protection experts to work in collaboration with our team as we educate and support you, through two-day workshops for leaders, counsellors and teachers, in preparation for the global implementation of core Accreditation Standards for Child Protection.
ICMEC Education Portal Expands Resources to Strengthen Child Protection Practices
The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) launched its Education Portal in 2015 as an open source platform to support school communities worldwide in partnership with the International Task Force on Child Protection. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the US Department of State and its Overseas Schools Advisory Council, Laurie Tasharski was hired by ICMEC to curate resources at the site, and one year on, they’ve accomplished a lot to support our school communities. We’ve annotated the report to highlight useful resources.
2017 REPORT: THE ICMEC EDUCATION PORTAL FOR CHILD PROTECTION
- Country Specific Legal Instruments (This compilation is useful when managing allegations of abuse and navigating national laws related to the rights of children and rights of the accused.)
- Recruitment FAQs (produced in consultation with CIS and ISS Career & Recruitment Services)
- Risk Management Resources
NEW RESOURCES UNDER DEVELOPMENT
- Staff Meeting Minutes for Child Protection
- An educator summary of the new ICMEC report (pdf) on online grooming prevalence, tactics, and international legislation (This important report contains useful definitions to educate your school community and to consider as Codes of Conduct are written and updated.)
TERMINOLOGY AND TRENDS
- There is now less emphasis on differentiating between virtual and face-to-face interactions and relationships. What does 'real' world mean? More and more, this term has been replaced with 'face-to-face'.
- There is increased emphasis on identifying contexts of peer-on-peer abuse, including high risk situations and environments, both physical and virtual.
- Leading practices in addressing abuse include a transparent approach to child protection, such as publicizing whistleblowing protections online and requiring acknowledgement of child protection policies prior to entry to the school community.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- June | Update
- ECPAT Report: Offenders on the Move: Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism 2016