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Abuse of children by professionals in positions of trust is a significant risk facing organisations around the world. Furthermore, the ease of mobility that international work provides, coupled with weak recruitment practices, different cultural norms, and underdeveloped legal systems make certain international organisations prime targets for child abusers. While it is possible to manage allegations effectively, the reality on the ground is that many allegations are being, and have been, handled poorly by schools, sometimes with little or no support from external agencies. The result is that some abusers have been able to move on without challenge.

The international protocol on managing allegations of abuse is the Safeguarding Unit’s and the International Taskforce on Child Protection’s (ITFCP) combined response to this. Developed from multiple perspectives, in consultation with a broad range of professionals, this protocol is intended to help international school leaders navigate the complexities of responding to abuse in culturally, linguistically, and legally diverse communities.

Co-written by the ITFCP and the Safeguarding Unit, the accompanying article (i) sets out some of the challenges faced by international school leaders when managing allegations of abuse against adults; (ii) provides an overview of the protocol; and (iii) sets out how schools can use the protocol to address challenges in allegations management.

Although this protocol and the accompanying article are aimed at international schools, many of the principles contained within them apply to universities and indeed any organisation that works with children internationally.

If you require further information on anything covered in this protocol, please contact David SmellieSophia Coles, Adele Eastman or Jane Foster, or your usual contact at the firm on +44(0)20 3375 7000.

This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Farrer & Co LLP, September 2018

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