Global child safeguarding, the ICPC and the findings of IICSA report ‘Children outside the United Kingdom’

14th January 2020

The future of global measures to protect children outside the UK from child sex abusers is never far from our minds.

It’s an area in which ACRO has been significantly involved since the launch of the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) in 2012.

The product was created to fill a very specific, identified gap in global safeguarding capacity.

It provides criminal history checks to people applying to work with children in overseas organisations where the employment decision is made in-country (i.e. outside the UK).

Previously, no such product existed.

Reforming the system

A report published this month by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse assessed the ICPC as part of the broader disclosure and barring system. It identified further gaps in global safeguarding capacity and made recommendations for reform.

ACRO Chief Executive Rob Price gave evidence to the Inquiry, which features in the report.

Commenting in light of the report, he said:  “There are indeed significant challenges in sharing conviction information internationally, not just for the purpose of employment but also for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in general.

“The solutions will be complex and will require global co-operation and capacity building, working across differing legal frameworks and procedures, and developing wide-ranging reforms that cut across multiple sectors."

ACRO's role and the value of the ICPC

Rob continued: “ACRO is doing everything it can with the tools at our disposal to play our part, lending our expertise and knowledge to help develop such solutions.

“The ICPC is a prime example of ACRO working with its partners to fill an identified gap in safeguarding.

"I’m proud of what it’s achieved since its inception seven years ago, and confident that the certificates provide valuable information to the thousands of organisations around the world that use them to protect children in their care.

“To enhance the reach of the ICPC, ACRO recently entered into a collaboration with the Council of British International Schools to promote the product to its members as an ICPC Global Ambassador.

“We’re not complacent, however, and remain committed to building national and international partnerships to further enhance global safeguarding capabilities.

“We support the recommendations made in the report and look forward to working collaboratively to rise to the challenges and develop solutions.”

Find out how your organisation could benefit from the International Child Protection Certificate.