FIFA has launched it’s new dedicated programme and toolkit – FIFA Guardians™ – designed to enhance child safeguarding standards within football.
Developed by FIFA together with its Child Safeguarding Expert Working Group, this new initiative aims at providing guidance to support the 211 FIFA member associations (MAs) in reviewing their exciting safeguarding measures, to help prevent any risk of harm to children in football, and to appropriately respond if concerns arise.
OFC’s Just Play Programme Managers from around the Pacific contributed feedback to the toolkit and resources created during their April Programme Managers meeting, where they hosted Kathryn Leslie, Senior Child Safeguarding and Protection Manager, Member Associations Division from FIFA.
Speaking at the launch earlier this month, FIFA Secretary General, Fatima Samoura, said:
“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.”
Joyce Cook, FIFA Chief Member Associations Officer, added:
“Whilst 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.”
The launch brings excitement to the Oceania football family who plan to support the rollout of activities through the Just Play Programme and the wider football network in the region.
To read more about the FIFA Guardians™ programme and FIFA’s child safeguarding toolkit, please click HERE.
FIFA has a zero-tolerance policy on human rights violations and condemns all forms of gender based violence. We provide a confidential FIFA whistle-blowing hotline with all cases reported directly to FIFA Ethics.
In addition, the FIFA Council recently adopted more severe provisions within the FIFA Code of Ethics, whereby any forms of sexual exploitation and abuse are considered severe infringements.
In 2018, FIFA and several key stakeholders established an expert working group to assist with the development of a FIFA child safeguarding programme. The working group includes child safeguarding and protection specialists from the Council of Europe, UNICEF, Safe Sport International, and safeguarding managers from MAs and confederations.
The launching of the FIFA child safeguarding programme and toolkit – which will be supported by a series of training modules and workshops around the world for MAs – is part of the initiative aiming at providing practical guidance to help members consider how they can review existing safeguarding measures, to help prevent any risk of harm to children in football and to appropriately respond to any relevant issues.
Furthermore, in January 2019, FIFA appointed its first-ever child protection and safeguarding manager to help lead this programme and support the 211 members associations so that they are better equipped to address these matters.
The FIFA Guardians programme is part of FIFA’s overall vision to safeguard children, in line with article 3 of the FIFA Statutes to respect all internationally recognised human rights and to promote the protection of these rights.
With its child safeguarding toolkit, FIFA has established guiding principles and minimum requirements that will help leaders and organisers in football to ensure a safe and nurturing environment for the youngest members of the football family. Such an environment, far from being a privilege, is every child’s right.
In addition, the FIFA Guardians toolkit will further support the implementation of the FIFA Forward development programme which obliges MAs and confederations to “take measures to protect and safeguard children and minors from potential abuses and to promote their wellbeing within football” (Forward 2.0 Regulations article 8 par. 1 t).
To read the press release in other languages, please click the links below: