Child protection YL, image

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We believe good child protection requires everyone to take responsibility. We recognise that the care and welfare of children is paramount and that all children have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.

The British Council recognises that we have a fundamental duty of care towards all children we engage with including a duty to protect them from abuse. We achieve this through compliance with UK child protection laws and relevant laws in each of the countries we operate as well as by adherence to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 1989. 

A child is defined in the British Council as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday (UNCRC 1989) irrespective of the age of majority in the country where a child is, or their home country.

This policy is mandatory for all British Council staff world wide. This includes anyone who works for the British Council, either in a paid or unpaid, full or part time capacity. This includes directly employed staff, trustees, contractors, agency staff, consultants, volunteers, interns and anyone working on behalf of the British Council. 

The British Council is committed to:

  • valuing, respecting and listening to children 
  • recruiting staff safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made 
  • adopting child protection systems and procedures for staff 
  • providing a common understanding of child protection issues and informing staff planning and practice
  • sharing information about child protection and good practice with staff, children and parents/carers 
  • sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately 
  • providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training. 

We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood. 

The British Council will review this policy annually to reflect new legal and regulatory developments and ensure best practice.

The person to contact if you have any concerns about child protection, please contact us.

Keeping Children Safe organisation

Keeping Children Safe works with organisations to 

  • protect all children from exploitation, abuse and violations of their human rights
  • promote the use and assessment of international standards on safeguarding
  • helps organisations to plan and maintain children’s safety
  • encourages a global commitment by organisations to ensure that their staff, operations and programmes do no harm to children.

How is this commitment assessed?

In 2015 the British Council achieved Keeping Children Safe Level 1 Certification after an audit by an external body. It certifies that our child safeguarding measures are ‘fit for purpose’ and officially recognises that we have a comprehensive framework in place that meets the standards for protecting children from harm and that, if there are problems,  we respond appropriately.

It shows that the British Council works hard to achieve a safe environment for children, and that we build child safety into all our activities. It is a big challenge, but  the impact and benefit for any child attending our activities is enormous.