Pakistan schools adopt UK child protection scheme
Three schools in Pakistan have signed up to a UK-led child protection scheme designed to detect sex offenders who try to work with children.
The International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) allows overseas organisations which work with children to check the offending history of their employees or volunteers with the UK’s authorities. The certificates are a joint initiative between the National Crime Agency (NCA) and ACRO Criminal Records Office. We recommend the certificate to organisations who accept applications from people who are British or have a history in the UK.
The schools in Karachi, the Pathways School, Karachi Grammar School and the British Overseas School Karachi, will use the scheme to enhance their existing child protection measures.
The ICPC was developed in the UK to protect young people from offenders who travel overseas to sexually abuse vulnerable children through employment, volunteering, and charity work. The ICPC is issued only once checks have been made against police and intelligence bases in the UK, identifying whether the person has a known history of offending.
Osman Ahmed, Country Manager at the NCA, said: “The International Child Protection Certificate is a powerful tool for organisations who work with children. We know that some UK sex offenders try to travel overseas to find victims because they think they will get away with it in countries where they aren’t known. The ICPC strengthens the ability of organisations to keep children safe by helping them to make decisions about whether or not to employ an individual. While it’s important to stress that the certificate needs to be used as one of several child protection measures, we would recommend it to all.”
When used alongside robust safeguarding procedures, the ICPC provides organisations with greater reassurance that their employees or applicants are suitable to work with children.
Rosemary Hilhorst, Director of the British Council in Pakistan, said: “The British Council believes that all children have potential and that every child matters – everywhere in the world. The British Council affirms the position that all children have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse as set out in article 19, UNCRC 1989 reflected in our membership and child safe certification with Keeping Children Safe (KCS). The ICPC initiative can help us all fulfil our child protection obligations.”
Since launching the ICPC in 2012, the UK has received over 40,000 application requests from individuals seeking to work in over 5000 organisations in 110+ countries worldwide.
Click here for more information about the ICPC.