FIFA Launches Child Safeguarding Programme

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World’s football governing body, FIFA on Wednesday, launched a new programme which promises to enhance child safeguarding standards across its 211 member association.

The FIFA Guardians toolkit is a collaborative effort been put together after several consultation with experts in the field from UNICEF and the Council of Europe, together with campaigners who themselves have been abused through their participation in sport as children.

The toolkit will be rolled out through several training workshops across all confederations, base on “five principles and five steps”

According to FIFA’s general secretary Fatma Samoura,

FIFA’s vision is to promote the game of football, protect its integrity and bring the game to all.

In realising this vision, we aim to ensure that involvement in football, in any form, is a positive experience for all children.

Furthermore, as the world governing body of football, FIFA has a duty and responsibility to ensure that those who play football can do so in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment.

Today’s launch is a landmark step for FIFA and the world of football in general, and I am confident that the FIFA Guardians programme will help to mobilise action and guide our 211 member associations around the world in reviewing and implementing their own safeguarding measures to keep children safe in football.

FIFA believes this to be every child’s right.

This is coming at the heels of series of abuse and scandals.

Sexual abuse cases since 2016, have rocked British football.

Recently, Keramuddin Karim, Afghanistan Football Federation head, was found guilty of sexually abusing female players and was banned from the sport for life by FIFA.
Joyce Cook, FIFA’s chief member association officer, stated that the safeguarding programme will gradually be expanded for the protection of vulnerable adults.

According to Cook,

While some member associations have well-developed policies and procedures in place, it is clear that many others are just starting out on their safeguarding journey.

FIFA’s new child safeguarding toolkit builds on the confidential reporting structures and safeguarding frameworks FIFA already has in place, and provides clear and practical guidance for our member associations and their stakeholders.

We will be rolling out the FIFA Guardians programme over the coming months, starting with a series of workshops and training modules to help address the needs of our members, as well as assisting them in developing partnerships with expert agencies and statutory authorities on the ground.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the members of FIFA’s Child Safeguarding Expert Working Group, who are leading experts in this field, for their support and expertise in developing the new toolkit.

We are delighted that they have also agreed to advise us in the further development of the FIFA Guardians programme, so that we can ensure the continued delivery of the most current and best possible guidance, to address the needs of our members in safeguarding children across the game.

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