02 December 2013
Teachers in Poland are receiving specialist training to help them protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse, as part of the expansion of the National Crime Agency's (NCA) CEOP command International Safeguarding Children training.
In conjunction with VISA Europe, the CEOP command will work with the Ministry of Education, Nobody's Children Foundation (Fundacja Dzieci Niczyje) and Narodowa and Akademicka Sieć Komputerowa (NASK) to deliver training and educational resources over a two-day session at the Ministry of Interior, with input from local specialists. Issues such as child protection, children's rights, transnational sex offenders and the provision of educational materials will be covered.
A new international initiative to prevent UK sexual offenders travelling to other countries and gaining access to children through teaching or volunteering roles will also be launched at the opening of the training event.
The International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) is a police check for UK nationals who are travelling and working overseas and will help identify and screen out those who are unsuitable to be working with children. The NCA's CEOP command has found that some international schools, charities and other agencies overseas do not currently have access to the same level of police checks available to organisations in the UK, sometimes enabling sexual offenders to gain positions of trust with children
A specialist two-day workshop will also be taking place covering the issues of missing children. CEOP are pleased to have the opportunity to visit Poland once again to share experiences of good practice in relation to missing persons. It is good that the importance of dealing with these cases correctly is recognised, in order that the underlying harm can be identified and support given to all those involved.
It is also essential that agencies work together to tackle missing person issues and this is recognised by the wide range of attendees at the events planned for the week of the 2nd December.
The training events follows the work already undertaken in other countries and is a core area of the NCA's International Child Protection Network (ICPN), which has already been rolled out in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Spain and Ukraine.
Full details of the ICPC and the ICPN will be available at the launch event which will take place on Monday 2nd December at the Ministry of Interior from 0900 hours.
Peter Davies, Director of the National Crime Agency CEOP command says: "Delivering training to child protection professionals in regions where children are seen as vulnerable is an important element of our international work. We want to provide and support a low-cost, high- impact network that coordinates a range of multi-agency initiatives, ultimately delivering long-term benefits to children.
"The excellent partnership we have with Visa Europe means more professionals will know what to look for when protecting young people and in turn, the young people will know how they can make themselves safer from sexual exploitation and abuse. Expanding the current networks of trained professionals throughout Europe will also show a united front against those adults with a sexual interest in children who think they can continue to exploit the most vulnerable".
"There is clear evidence to suggest that serious sexual offenders who are known to authorities in the UK will often seek out opportunities to work or volunteer abroad. In many instances this will be through teaching roles but could equally be through other occupations such as a charity worker, an orphanage worker or as a children's home worker.
"The International Child Protection Certificate is intended to be a world- wide safeguard which will give employers and voluntary organisations reassurance that applicants have no convictions in the UK which would make them unsuitable to work with children.
Robin Barnett CMG the British Ambassador in Warsaw says “This is a really important initiative that will help protect children in Poland from sexual exploitation and abuse. I very much welcome the partnership between the UK National Crime Agency’s CEOP command, Visa Europe and key Polish stakeholders including the Ministry of Education, Nobody’s Children Foundation and Akademicka Siec Komputerowa to train Polish teachers. Working together, we can make a real difference.”
Gosia O’Shaughnessy Country Manager Poland, Visa Europe: “As a founding partner of CEOP we have been providing expertise and financial support since 2006 to support the fight against online child abuse. We are proud to extend this commitment by standing alongside CEOP today to bring child protection training to teaching professionals in Poland for the very first time”.