06 May STATEMENT ON CHILD SAFEGUARDING AND GOVERNANCE MEASURES
ABUJA, May 6, 2021 – SOS Children’s Villages is informing partners, donors and governments about steps we are taking for rapid improvements in safeguarding and governance measures announced by the International CEO of SOS Children’s Villages, Ingrid Maria Johansen.
SOS Children’s Villages works tirelessly to provide quality care and protection to vulnerable children and young people around the world. As a part of a worldwide federation, we continuously strive to improve our work so that we can provide the highest standard of care.
On April 29, 2021, the organization’s highest supervisory body, the International Senate, instructed that an independent Special Commission be established following two externally-prepared reports commissioned within the organization which revealed cases of safeguarding and governance failings over a significant period.
We are deeply saddened and disturbed that there are cases within the federation where we did not live up to the standards that we demand from ourselves as a rights-based organization. SOS Children’s Villages stands with those who are victims of any past misconduct. We are committed to rectifying past failures openly and transparently. To that end, we welcome the swift decisions already taken by the International Senate of SOS Children’s Villages.
SOS Children’s Villages is moving quickly to enact improvements in safeguarding and governance measures at all levels of our organization. As a starting point, and to further improve our child safeguarding, our International Senate has committed to enacting the following measures:
- An independent Special Commission will be established this May to investigate allegations and cases of misconduct and review breaches in our policies and standards.
- A child safeguarding ombudsperson system will be created to represent the rights of children, young people, and other affected persons. It will support victims, survivors and anyone with a concern to confidentially submit claims that need to be resolved.
- Support for affected children, young people, and adult survivors. Additional resources, including funds, will help ensure they can heal, have closure, and become self-reliant when they are ready.
These new measures will strengthen existing systems and help SOS Children’s Villages create real change where misconduct of any form is rooted out. We are committed to fostering an organizational culture where those responsible are held accountable, past failures are fully investigated and we prevent this from ever happening again.
SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria, in line with our commitment to persistently improve in all areas of our operations will continue to review its policies, processes and standards with regards to child safeguarding and good governance.
As a member of the SOS Children’s Villages federation, SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria will make every effort to drive change at all levels of the federation.
To read the statement from our International CEO, Ingrid Maria Johansen, please refer to our international webpage.