Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons
Communication Approach As A Way Forward
Safeguarding is a critical yet often neglected issue in development and social services sectors. It is especially relevant for organisations serving vulnerable individuals or communities. The safeguarding policies and practices have gone through some major changes over the past several years in response to incidents where organisations failed to protect vulnerable individuals from sexual exploitation and other types of abuses. This article analyses some real-life cases, draws lessons from them and argues that organisations particularly the development agencies, social service providers and charities must invest more resources in order to protect vulnerable individuals or groups irrespective of (but not limited to) age and gender from sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse. The article underscores the need for an enabling environment and a communication approach as a way forward to create better institutional safeguards. It emphasises preventive measures based in multi-stakeholder engagement, education of relevant staff members, volunteers, government stakeholders as well as the beneficiaries and local communities.