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Global conference commits to new guidance on child sexual abuse

A gathering of social workers from around the world has committed to the urgent development of new guidance aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse.

The decision follows a BASW proposal which emphasised the importance of establishing a set of guiding principles for social workers across the globe.

The proposal, tabled at this month’s IFSW (International Federation of Social Workers) biannual General Meeting, held in Stockholm, called for social workers to remain keenly aware of their responsibility to identify and protect children from all forms of sexual abuse in line with best practice.

It is hoped that the guidance will provide a ‘consistent global baseline’ and encourage joint working between social workers, police and other relevant professions.

IFSW Secretary General, Dr Rory Truell, said: “Every sector of society, in all corners of the world, includes significant numbers of children who are sexually abused. The majority of such children go unrecognised as they are too frightened to reveal what is happening to them.

“IFSW will now urgently develop guiding principles concerning social workers’ responsibility to work with others to identify and protect children from all forms of sexual abuse.

IFSW will also work with national member organisations to launch a global campaign asserting the right of all children to have access to a safe place where they can disclose concerns about the way they are being treated and be assured that support will be forthcoming.”

See more on the world conference, around which the General Meeting was held