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What is safeguarding?

Different countries have differing definitions of safeguarding, child protection, and of what we mean by a vulnerable adult, or an adult at risk.

Child protection

‘The protection of children (under 18) from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect’.

Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the protection of children in and out of the home.

For our purposes and all parkrun contexts, we define a child as anyone yet to reach their 18th birthday.


Safeguarding is a term which is broader than ‘child protection’; it is an umbrella term that relates to the action taken to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults / adults at risk, and protect them from abuse or neglect. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, though some people have a greater responsibility than others.

Vulnerable adults/adults at risk

Any person who is aged 18 years or over and at risk of abuse or neglect because of their need for care and/ or support. An adult’s status can shift between ‘at risk’ and ‘not at risk’ depending on their surrounding circumstances.