As an organization that promotes cultural relations and educational opportunities at an international level in more than 100 countries around the world, we are constantly confronted with situations in our work where children and adults see their rights violated and face imminent risks for reasons ranging from the economic to the political.

Therefore, our main objective is to create a safe environment where children and adults involved in each of our processes can be assured that they will not suffer harm, exploitation or any other type of alteration in their physical and emotional well-being. 

We are committed to complying with UK and international laws and regulations, ensuring compliance with local legislation, not minimizing situations where abuse may occur, and building a robust system that plans for, assesses and protects the vulnerable. We will also review this statement annually to continue to compile developments and update our best practices.

We also want our employees, partners and suppliers to be aware of and committed to this statement and to act in accordance with it in all possible scenarios and, of course, where they represent the British Council. 

This global policy statement was approved by Kate Ewart-Biggs OBE, Acting Chief Executive, in March 2021 and will be reviewed in March 2022.

Some of our definitions: 

  • The British Council defines a child as any person who has not attained the age of 18 years (UN CRC 1989), regardless of the age of majority in the country in which the child is located or in the child's country of origin.
  • Adults at risk are defined as any person 18 years of age or older who is identified as being unable to care for themselves or protect themselves from significant harm, exploitation or neglect; and/or is understood to be at risk, which may be due to frailty, homelessness, mental or physical health problems, learning or physical impairments, and/or is affected by disaster or conflict.
  • In this policy, staff are not included in the definition of adults at risk, as they are covered by human resources (HR) and other organizational policies.