Photo: Supplied

Oceania Football Confederation has partnered with It’s a Penalty ahead of their #KeepKidsSafe campaign launch in the lead-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, in a bid to raise awareness of child abuse and exploitation.

OFC is leveraging the safeguarding campaign and the power of football to take a step toward achieving OFC’s Pacific Legacy Programme, which works to create equal opportunities for girls and women on and off the pitch.

It is reported that two out of every three women in the Pacific are impacted by gender-based violence. Increasing awareness and education about safeguarding in sport is essential.

“The #KeepKidsSafe campaign supports OFC in our efforts to encourage reporting when abuse is suspected and to offer guidance on ways to find support”, said OFC Social Responsibility and Legacy Programme Manager, Ali Osborne.

The It’s a Penalty #KeepKidsSafe campaign is dedicated to:

  • Education about the need to safeguard children from abuse and exploitation, particularly in sport and from offenders in positions of trust, as well as the signs to look out for #knowthesigns
  • Equipping children, parents and caregivers, sports organisations and coaches, sporting fans, tourists and the general public with ways to find support and how to report any concerns
  • Encouraging people to report suspected abuse or exploitation

The campaign features five international football stars competing at the Women’s World Cup, including Australian players Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams, as well as New Zealand’s  Ria Percival, Brazil’s Rafaelle Souza and England Lioness Mary Earps.

“When I was asked to join the It’s a Penalty KeepKidsSafe Campaign, I didn’t hesitate,” said Australian goal keeper Lydia Williams.

“Protecting children from abuse and exploitation, particularly in sport, is a great cause to be a part of. Sports unite people from all different backgrounds, cultures and countries and can be harnessed to unite us to contribute to issues that we feel strongly about. I’m proud to show my support for this important campaign and be a part of #TeamSafeSport.”

The video will be shown on international flights into Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, operated by Air New Zealand, Emirates, British Airways and Cathay Pacific during July and August to coincide with the FIFA Women’s World Cup competition.

Campaign posters will be displayed at Sydney and Brisbane Airports in Australia, and Auckland and Hamilton Airports in New Zealand. All advertising has been donated to It’s A Penalty to support this important campaign.

“We look forward to amplifying It’s a Penalty’s safeguarding messaging across the Pacific and leveraging this campaign moment to showcase our own progress and activity in this space,” Osborne said.

To find out more about the campaign, please CLICK HERE.