The Scout Movement aims to empower and educate young people through non-formal educational activities. In this regard, Safe from Harm policies are critical for ensuring that the Movement provides a safe and secure environment for young people to learn and grow.
Nepal Scouts recently piloted the Safe from Harm Self-Assessment - using the Safe from Harm Assessment Tool - to evaluate its policies, practices, and programmes for child and youth safeguarding. The evaluation helped them to reflect through a Safe from Harm lens and identify areas for improvement.
Through the evaluation, Nepal Scouts found that they had strong practices for child and youth safeguarding and adult recruitment, selection, and training. However, they also identified areas where they needed to improve, including adult safeguarding, report, response and case management, and education.
Underscoring the benefits of completing the self-assessment, a member of the Nepal Scouts team said that “the use of compliance assessment tools (dimensions and criteria) were found to be relevant, contextual and practical for Nepal Scouts to ensure the compliance mechanism is in right place.”
To comply with the new Safe from Harm requirements for WOSM membership, Nepal Scouts plans to form a national Safe from Harm core team that includes professional staffs, volunteers, board members, and unit leaders. Together, they will address the recommendations of the Safe from Harm Self-Assessment and prioritise tasks to update their existing child protection policy through WOSM Services. The organisation will also prepare a national Safe from Harm policy complete with guidelines, programmes, and practices necessary to ensure its full implementation.
By taking part in this piloting phase, Nepal Scouts is also helping strengthen Safe from Harm worldwide. Through their experience, feedback and guidance are fed back to the global team to help improve the implementation of Safe from Harm across our Movement.
National Scout Organisations (NSOs) are encouraged to review and assess their Safe from Harm implementation through a Safe From Harm Self-Assessment or a WOSM Assessment, which can be done in-person or virtually and with support from a WOSM assessor and a Safe from Harm consultant. With these assessments, NSOs can identify areas for improvement and reduce vulnerability to ethical misconduct and safeguarding violations.
“[Safe from Harm] compliance assessment tools … will support any NSO or National Scout Association to protect itself from the threat of safeguarding violation issues, reduce the vulnerability of organisation towards ethical misconduct by any member (youths and adults) and enhance the commitment of NSOs/NSAs of creating a better world.”