'Keeping children safe in sports' means preventing and responding to the ways in which a child can be harmed — emotionally, verbally or physically — when training, practicing, or otherwise engaging in recreational sports. In October 2019, Terre des hommes (Tdh) launched a unique European project aimed to promote child safeguarding policies in sports settings in Romania and Greece. Thousands of children between the ages of 12 and18 engaging in sports, and professionals in club sports and camps in both countries, will benefit directly or indirectly from the project.
'We want all the professionals in sports to be better informed and encouraged to respect children’s rights, to react properly to any situation in which the rights of children in sports are violated, and also that children are well informed about their rights.' — Kirsten Theuns, Head of the Eastern Europe Delegation of Terre des hommes.
The specific objectives of the project are to ensure that children are protected in sports and camp settings through dedicated safeguarding policies, to build the capacity of professionals in contact with children, to empower children, and to encourage a multi-country exchange and cooperation regarding child safeguarding in sports and recreational settings. For further information, see the graphics attached to this article.
In Romania, Terre des hommes (Tdh) benefits from the official support of the National Authority for Child Protection (ANPDCA) and from partnerships with the Romanian Football and Gymnastics Federations, but invites all sports federations to join the initiative.
The 'Keeping Children Safe in Sports' project, coordinated by Tdh Romania and implemented in partnership with Tdh Hellas (Greece) and Tdh Hungary, is funded by the 'Rights, Citizenship and Equality' Program of the European Union, and is ongoing until September 2021.