What does child protection mean?

Inés with a young student in the learning center
Inés with a young student in the learning center

Inés is an experienced social worker from Spain and currently fellow at our learning center in Psar Kralanh, Cambodia. In this post she shares basics and ideas about child protection.

It might be interesting for you if you are part of the BOOKBRIDGE family in any of its possibilities, work somehow in projects addressed to children or just think that taking care of children and offering them better lives is important.

Protection is a right children have as we can read in the Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. You find the full text here.

Article 19

  1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.


A child-friendly space
A child-friendly space

Everywhere. Danger for children can be everywhere: at home, at the school, at the learning center, at the street, at the internet and social media, etc. Not only because of intentional harm but also due to unintentional harm they can suffer from an accident, for example. That’s why every space where children are should be child friendly and safe for them. Even cities! As Francesco Tonucci proposed in his project “The City of Children”.

For me this is the most important question to be answered. If we agree why child protection is important we would be able to work for it all together. And this is the reason why I am working at the moment at SmILe Academy conducting some teacher trainings and reflections before I help writing our own child protection policy. If we share the why we will be able to work for it together.

Have you ever talked about child protection with someone of a different culture? Have you ever shared opinions about what you consider child abuse with someone of a different culture?

Last week, at the teacher training, we were talking about what can be sometimes culturally accepted but goes against children’s rights and it was a very interesting. We had the opportunity to share openly some of our professional and personal experiences.

Inés (front) at the teacher training
Inés (front) at the teacher training

For me personally it was a very enriching experience because I was able to confirm that the team at SmILe Academy really cares about child protection and will work as a team to offer the Learning Center a child friendly environment where children can enjoy while they can feel save and protected.

And you, what can you do to keep children safe? You can think about your home, your school, your city… Unfortunately, I am sure you will find something you can improve. For those who enjoy travelling I would recommend you to take a look at the campaign Children are not tourist attraction.

Another thing you can do it to talk to children about this topic: What do they think that can be a risk for them? What rules should they respect in order to be safe? Do they have any reliable person to talk to in case they have any problem? Do they have information about any professional service that can help them in case they are in danger?

Let’s go on! I really believe that together we can do this world a better and safer world for them!

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