Child protection is of the utmost importance to SOS Children's Villages. Since 2008, the organisation has taken a wealth of measures to anchor child protection in around 3,000 SOS projects worldwide. In all 137 countries where SOS Children's Villages is active, the approximately 40,000 employees receive targeted further training and investigation teams are set up to follow up on suspected cases. Ways have been set up for the children to turn to people they can trust, anonymously if necessary. In this way, children could be protected, but also punitive measures could be initiated in case of offences. In some countries, the SOS projects are considered best practice; in the vast majority of countries, the organisation can build on assured child protection.
In 2017, the child protection policy of SOS Children's Villages was certified by the renowned organisation "Keeping Children Safe". The experts confirm that the SOS Children's Villages have a stable and reliable child protection system. SOS Children's Villages Liechtenstein was informed by the umbrella organisation at the beginning of the week that violations of fundamental values and norms were found in independent historical investigations initiated by the organisation itself. These individual cases go back to the 1990s.
Despite all preventive measures, there have unfortunately been individual cases of child rights violations and mismanagement. The umbrella organisation SOS Children's Villages International deeply regrets these cases and apologises to all those who have suffered injustice: "Every case is one too many"!
In response to these investigations, the highest supervisory body of SOS Children's Villages International in Innsbruck has taken measures to process, sanction, make amends and prevent such cases in order to consistently guarantee the quality of care for all children. Magdalena Frommelt, Managing Director of SOS Children's Villages Liechtenstein states: "We are very upset about the incidents and deeply regret that such incidents have taken place in individual countries in Africa and Asia".
SOS Children's Villages Liechtenstein has been in existence since 2019. "We can assure Liechtenstein donors that the projects they support have not been affected," she says.This is currently a difficult situation for the non-profit organisation in Vaduz, as well as for the entire organisation, because, Frommelt continues: "We have around 80,000 children currently growing up in our Children's Villages, where our values are upheld and lived. We are committed to these children! They continue to urgently need our support. Even though individual former employees have caused great harm through their actions, the entire SOS family continues to do everything in its power to provide these children with a loving home.
The CEO says: "We assure all our supporters in the region that our team will not lose heart in this situation and will continue to put their heart and soul into helping these children because we know we are doing the right thing!"