What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriately when harm does occur. This definition draws from our values and principles and shapes our culture. It pays specific attention to preventing and responding to harm from any potential, actual or attempted abuse of power, trust, or vulnerability, especially for sexual purposes.
Why is Safeguarding Important?
The diagram above was designed by GOAL's Safeguarding Focal Points across our 13 countries of operation. It explains how safeguarding is the umbrella term for taking important measures to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse from taking place; safeguarding people, specifically vulnerable adults and children; and ensuring that an appropriate response is made when incidences of harm take place.
GOAL believes that any person that we work with or come into contact with, including our staff, regardless of age, gender, disability, sexual preference or country of origin upholds their right to be shielded from all forms of harm, physical or emotional abuse and neglect, as well as sexual exploitation and abuse. Safeguarding is not just a policy, it is part of our corporate culture. GOAL’s three-year strategy highlights the importance of safeguarding and appropriate measures to be taken in order to integrate safeguarding throughout our systems and programmatic areas.
What are the key activities/milestones?
In our effort to strengthen safeguarding, GOAL appointed a full time Global Safeguarding Advisor and a Director of the Board was designated as Safeguarding Focal Point at Board level. GOAL began a schedule of trainings across the 13 countries we operate in. Each country has a dedicated Safeguarding Focal Point in place who has been trained to monitor, report and disseminate Safeguarding policies. They in turn have selected Field Level Focal Points who received Training of Trainers (ToT) in order to replicate the training with all GOAL staff.
Safeguarding Minimum Standards, which align to global safeguarding standards, were developed. These standards inform our Global Safeguarding Action Plan for 2018- 2020 to strengthen and embed safeguarding within our systems and processes.
GOAL's work highlighted
In August 2021, GOAL was highlighted by InterAction, an alliance of international NGOs, for its good practice in protecting program participants and staff from sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (SEAH).
The policies and procedures adopted by GOAL to prevent and respond to SEAH served as a basis for a case study led by InterAction.
Our key policies and where they are implemented
Various policies and guidelines have been reviewed and developed. Our Child and Adult Safeguarding Policy can be seen as an overarching policy under which sit the more specific policies, GOAL’s Child Protection Policy and GOAL’s Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Policy (PSEA). These policies cover the protection of all vulnerable populations, especially women and children. GOAL's Code of Conduct also includes several explicit references to GOAL’s zero tolerance of sexual misconduct.
Safeguarding was embedded in our Social Media Guidelines. A Global Pre-Employment Background Check Standard Operating Process has been launched in an effort to strengthen our recruiting and hiring process. In addition, we have updated our Partnership Manual, ensuring that safeguarding is an integral component of each process of the partnership cycle, starting from the assessment phase, through to the identification of capacity-building and monitoring of partners' safeguarding standards.
Do You Have a Safeguarding Concern?
GOAL is committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of all and preventing harm, abuse and exploitation regardless of age, ability or disability, gender identity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or socio-economic background.
Any concern or suspicion regarding Safeguarding breaches is treated with the utmost seriousness by GOAL.
Confidentiality is maintained at all stages of the reporting process and reports can be made anonymously if you wish.