Every child has the right to grow up in a caring and safe environment. Safeguarding in football is the process of protecting children (all girls and boys under 18) from harm by providing a safe space in which to play football and be active.
A key part of child safeguarding is spreading the message about keeping children safe and building a culture of always acting in the best interest of all children. Children are young, vulnerable and innocent and so it is the duty of the coaches to provide a safe environment, free of threats, fear or obligation at play.
Bhutan Football Federation identified two groups that need safeguarding – children under 18 and youths under the age of 20. These groups must be safeguarded from three main types of harassment – emotional harassment, physical harassment and sexual harassment.
Emotional harassment includes any behaviors that have the effect of psychologically harming children or young persons. This is seen and done in every sports field where the coach mentally exploits young children like instance forcing a child to participate in a game, yelling at a child, giving negative nicknames and ignoring children who perform badly in games. Such things leave a huge impact on young children and affect their relationship with the sport. What used to be a fun football game may turn into a scary nightmare for them because of their coach.
Another form of harassment that is very common in Bhutan is physical harassment. This happens when a non-accidental injury or harm to a child is caused by another person like a parent, coach or caregiver. For example, physical punishing a young person for losing a game by hitting, throwing equipment, pushing or shoving are all examples of physical abuse.
Sexual harassment is the last type of harassment. This includes inappropriate touching/fondling during coaching, using sexually inappropriate languages to a child, sending dirty text messages and sharing rooms with children.
The aim is to create a safe environment for every child whilst experiencing the football atmosphere.
This guide is for anyone who works with children in a sporting context.
If you are concerned that a child or young person is being harmed through abuse or neglect you should contact Safeguarding Focal Person +975-17487536 or the Police on 113 in emergency situations.
BFF Safeguaring CHILDREN Policy
21st February 2022 In the presence of Ms. Zimbiri, Executive Committee Member and Chairperson of Safeguarding Committee, and Mr. Ugyen Wangchhuk, General Secretary of Bhutan Football Federation (BFF), BFF launched the first edition of Child Safeguarding Policy 2022 at Changjiji BFF academy to commemorate his Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk’s 42nd birthday.
4th April, 2022 2 Coinciding the inauguration of Changjiji Football Academy School, Principal Mr. Chencho Namgyel and Chairperson of Safeguarding Committee and Women’s Football, Ms. Zimbiri signed the undertaking letter for BFF Safeguarding Policy 2022. Safeguarding Focal Person, Ms. Cheki Wangmo said it was to ensure that the policy is being implemented in all firms involved in football.
16th May, 2022 The Bhutan football Federation’s Grassroots Course and festival in Bumthang were held from 11th – 15th April 2022. The course was instructed by local instructors from the Technical Department of BFF, Mr. Galey Zangpo and Ms. Dechen Choki. And Ms. Cheki Wangmo, focal person of safeguarding division also advocated the SSIs about their roles and responsibility as a coach and mentor in their respective school and let them signed the Undertaking letter. The main objectives of the course was to prepare the School Sports Instructors as a football coaches to provide a basic football training experience for the children in the schools across the country. 34 School Sports Instructors (SSIs) from about 10 districts participated in the course.
30th April, 2022 Safeguarding Division Held its first ever workshop in Bumthang for BFF ‘C’ Diploma coaching course.
7th May, 2022 Bhutan Safeguarding Division presented child safeguarding policy to the referees attending referee development course at Phuntsholing.
26th May, 2022 Ms. Cheki Wangmo (Safeguarding focal person) held a Safeguarding Policy meeting with regional grassroots coaches and signed the undertaking letters.
17/06/2022 Orientation on Safeguarding Children from BFF to other 14 Federation (Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC), Bhutan Tennis Federation, Bhutan Cricket Council Board (BCCB), Bhutan Amateur Athletic Federation (BAAF), Bhutan Boxing Federation, Bhutan Baseball Federation, Bhutan Archery Federation, Bhutan Swimming Association, Bhutan Table-Tennis Federation, Bhutan Badminton Federation, Bhutan Golf Federation, Bhutan Basketball Federation, Bhutan Shooting Federation and Bhutan Volleyball Federation)
18th June, 2022 Bhutan Football organized a Safeguarding Workshop in Thimphu for BFF-AFC B Diploma Coaching Course.