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Christian Brothers Congregation Statement
re Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults
This Statement affirms the commitment of the Congregation of Christian Brothers to the welfare and happy growth of children, as well as to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people in all of our centres of activity around the world. While our centres are located in a variety of countries and settings, with different jurisdictions having variation in how abuse of children and vulnerable people is formally defined, we believe that any practice that is harmful to children and vulnerable adults must never be condoned.
Children and vulnerable adults need special care and nurturing. Unfortunately, abuse and exploitation of children and vulnerable adults happen in all countries and societies across the world. The Congregation of Christian Brothers, with of all those working in and with the Congregation, is committed to preventing the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults in our care, and to protecting them from neglect and exploitation. All who work in and with the Congregation have an important role in the identification and reporting of abuse of children and vulnerable adults.
As a Congregation working directly or indirectly with young people, we recognise our highest priority is to create safe and secure environments for children and young people. This commitment is embedded in the Gospel values of freedom, justice, love and respect, and in international and domestic law.
Each of our Provinces and Regions has developed its own Policy for Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults, incorporating these Gospel values and based on the requirements of particular local civil legal jurisdictions. The aim of each Policy is to achieve the highest level of care and protection for children and vulnerable adults, and to articulate the steps that will be taken to achieve best practice by all in safeguarding the young and the vulnerable. The Congregation Leadership Team exercises its responsibility and accountability in the care of children and vulnerable people through ensuring that each of the Provinces has a Policy and implements it fully.
These Policies include protocols and codes of conduct to ensure a child-safe culture. They ensure that trained Safeguarding Officers are in place, that there is ongoing risk assessment, vetting of new employees and volunteers, ongoing training and resourcing of all staff, regular monitoring visits by designated officers, and ongoing updating of policies in the light of best practice. Provinces ensure that, as part of an open and aware environment, there is adequate communication of safeguarding issues to all beneficiaries, that proper processes exist to register concerns or allegations raised and that all incidents are managed and reported in accordance with the Policy.
The Congregation of Christian Brothers, in addressing the issue of Child Abuse, confirms its commitment to upholding the rights of all children as stated in Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC):
States Parties (and other organizations responsible for the care, development and well-being of children) 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 guardians) or any other person who has the care of the child.
Congregation Leadership Team, Congregation of Christian Brothers
Updated May, 2019.