In Cross Cultures child safeguarding spans from creating a good and safe
environment for children where they can thrive, prosper and develop, to
protection from, and prevention of, violence, neglect, sexual abuse etc. Since the
establishment of Cross Cultures all coach training has focussed on the good coach
and a positive environment for children in which child safeguarding has been
Since 2019 we have taken a targeted and programmatic approach to child
safeguarding in sports.
Basically, we focus on
• Addressing safeguarding openly, recognising our role and breaking the taboo
around child abuse
• Responding by doing no harm and having preventive measures in place
• Referral, reporting and taking due action in cases of concern
This paper provides a brief overview of Cross Culture’s approach to safeguarding
and more detailed information can be obtained at our Safeguarding Hub in our
Cross Cultures Virtual Clubhouse.
EXAMPLES OF OPERATIONAL MEASURES:
Coach training in Safeguarding Children in Sports in Amman in cooperation with the
Family Protection Unit
• Parents meetings on safeguarding children in sport in Tunisia
• Sport, School and Police collaboration in Ukraine on safeguarding children
• Code of conducts developed by voluntary coaches
• Clean criminal record testimony in Moldova
• Global Network of Safeguarding Focal Points in Cross Cultures Programmes
• Referral agreement with Child Protection Delegation in Tunisia
For Cross Cultures & Partners
In order to realise our commitment to safeguarding children in sport the
International Council of Cross Cultures has adopted the following key
✓ Training of voluntary coaches and coach leaders in safeguarding
✓ Codes of conduct to be developed by all coaches
✓ Safeguarding focal point appointed in all programmes
✓ Internal guidelines and procedures to handle cases with due diligence
✓ Referral mechanism established with local child protection bodies
✓ Involving children in protection their rights and providing information
on hotlines, safeguarding focal point and support mechanisms
✓ Organise Cross Cultures Global Network of Safeguarding Focal Points
At the Cross Cultures Open Fun Football Schools and the Sports Festivals child protection
spans from creating a good and safe environment for children where they can thrive, prosper
and develop, to the protection from, and prevention of, violence, neglect, sexual abuse,
Thus, it is important for all of us to be aware of:
• How do we communicate with the children?
• How do we (and the children among themselves) communicate on social media?
• What kind of pictures do we share with the children?
• Do we see children that are vulnerable due to social, economic or other factors?
• Do we suspect or see children being bullied?
• Do we see signs of distress or risk behaviour?
• Do we see signs of maltreatment or abuse?
In Open Fun Football Schools and Sport Festivals we aim at having a “child centred approach”
seeing the child as a whole human being with a wide range of developmental needs, with
inherent rights and also understanding the child within its broader context of family, school
and community. In our approach we commit to listening to the children and acting in the best
interest of the child. We engage in sports as a platform in local communities to create the
best possible child friendly environment while also protecting children from violence and
We want to make sure that we all are committed to a safeguarding behaviour towards the
children while they are engaging in our sports activities and at the same time that we are all
able to identify and take due action if we observe children showing signs of maltreatment or
abuse in their environment at home, in school or on the street.
The coaches at Open Fun Football Schools are role models for the children. That’s why it’s
incredibly important that the coach is aware of her/his role and that the coach has attention
to the children, both as individuals and as group member. How do the kids thrive? Are they
showing signs of troubles – perhaps at home, in school or when they are out on the street?
And how do they contribute to the wellbeing and cohesion of the group/team?
Furthermore, it is also essential that the coach is aware and take care of how she/he
communicates and act in relation to the children.
Hence, we all share the responsibility for the Open Fun Football Schools and the local sports
clubs to be a safe place where coaches, children and instructors can meet and experience
excitement and joy. And we all have a responsibility to help prevent our children from being
exposed to abuse.
In Cross Cultures we would like to use Open Fun Football Schools and Festivals as a platform to
raise awareness on child protection issues. We believe that the best prevention of abuse
against children (be they verbal, social or physical), is to discuss openly what we consider
important in our relationship with colleagues, children, parents and partners in general. On
this basis we would like all partners and volunteers to help develop and commit to a set of
common guidelines or commitments.
It is important to emphasize that these guidelines have a dual purpose. First of all, we want to
take measures to prevent that children participating in the Open Fun Football Schools or other
of our sports activities experience any kind of abuse – be it verbal, social or physical. Secondly,
we want to be better able to identify children in distress due to problems in their life. And
finally to take due action by cooperation with and reference agreements with relevant child
Basically our message is:
➢ Let’s talk and break the taboo,
➢ Let’s do good and no harm
➢ Let’s take due action in case of concern.