The ChildSafe Network is initiated and coordinated by Friends-International
ChildSafe is a proactive child-protection network involving key members of society, protecting children from all forms of abuse and preventing child exploitation and trafficking.
Friends-International is developing this network by involving wider communities and especially local and international businesses, in the protection of children in the areas where the Street Children Network — organizations which offer direct services to street children and youth, their families and communities — is being established.
What is our philosophy?
People are often faced with or witness a situation that can be harmful to a child. But too often, this person is either unable to recognize the risk or does not know how to respond. In some cases, poverty, fear, or survival needs, push a person to support
child abuse (for example a taxi driver facilitating access to children for sex or a guesthouse receptionist looking away from potential abusive behaviors from clients).
Friends-International recognizes that simple morality-based messages are not sufficient and not efficient; therefore the 'ChildSafe' campaign emphasizes a change in behavior through an economic (enlightened self
interest) perspective. Through the use of social marketing tools, 'ChildSafe' provides clear messages and promotes behaviors that provide an opportunity to improve income while protecting children: "Good Clients, Good Business".
How does it work?
Children are put at risk of abuse because communities either facilitate or turn a blind eye to situations and circumstances of abuse.
The 'ChildSafe' project builds a network of key people to protect the children. Key people, also known as facilitators can make the access to child abuse easy – or they can stop it: they are in situations that allow them, by adopting new behaviors, to improve the protection of children:
On national levels, the network of key people consists of:
These people are trained to recognize children who may be in dangerous situations and can take appropriate action to prevent it. Specific information as well as individual and adapted training on behaviors towards children and child protection are delivered to all of these "facilitators", and after testing they receive an official diploma. These ChildSafe members are supported and receive on-going training to develop their child protection skills. All partners are promoted on our national ChildSafe websites and other media.
While carefully trained, selected, and monitored, these ChildSafe partners are able to protect and support children at risk and become community social workers. Supporting material and communication strategies are designed by Friends-International using social marketing tools.
Friends-International is developing a wider global campaign targeting the tourists in their country of origin as well as the service providers (travel agents, transporters, hotel chains) to promote a child safe attitude of visitors to risk-countries. The campaign involves information about all forms of child abuse and practical tips for travelers to take appropriate actions during their trips (including the promotion of our partners’ services, the ChildSafe Certified Products that offer an alternative to giving money to children begging, as well as of a ChildSafe Hotline which tourists and others can call to refer children in problematic situations). The global campaign further seeks for partnerships with international companies, organizations and magazines, who — to become ChildSafe — include ChildSafe articles in their employee contracts, take on different ChildSafe initiatives, and promote the campaign through their international clientele.
ChildSafe is linked to a series of services for these vulnerable children, including information and support to minimize risk, legal support, emotional and psychological recovery and access to options and alternatives to the situation that puts them at risk (in most cases, street life). This project is therefore, strongly linked to The Street Children Network project that is building a network of organizations providing quality services to vulnerable children.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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