When we, as youth organisations, started our work on safeguarding, many of us felt that we were already working hard to ensure that the young women and girls we work with were safe in our care. Apart from anything else, most of our work involved women leaders working with young women and girls in female-only spaces. 

It’s important to start with understanding what safeguarding is and we encourage you to watch this video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=cpWsw48jyuA] from The Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub (RSH) in Nigeria to understand more. 

  • Safeguarding applies to all people, particularly vulnerable people.
  • Harm may be caused by someone within your organisation, the wider community, or authority.
  • Harm can be caused:
    • Directly, such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or
    • Indirectly, such as sharing personal information or images on social media
  • Harm can include: physical and emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and harassment
  • Safeguarding includes:
    • Prevention
    • Reporting and response 

Different organisations have different definitions of what safeguarding is, and here are a few: 


Protecting the health, wellbeing and human rights of children and vulnerable adults, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect, including protecting children and young people who are vulnerable or at risk of being radicalised.

Lumos Foundation, 2018


The responsibility that organisations have to make sure their staff, operations, and programmes do no harm to children and vulnerable adults, and that they do not expose them to the risk of harm and abuse. PSEA and child protection come under this umbrella term.  

Inter-agency, CHS Alliance

PSEA = Protection Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

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