Project: Safeguarding and Empowering Children

In light of children’s rights being completely disrespected in court proceedings, and the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their protection, the WAVE Network recognised the need to tackle the institutional capacity of different actors regarding child safeguarding policies. Therefore, the project “Safeguarding and Empowering Children” has been launched in 2022. 

WAVE members involved in the project are Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb (Autonomna Ženska Kuća Zagreb) from Croatia, NANE Women’s Rights Association (Nők a Nőkért Együtt az Erőszak Ellen) from Hungary, ZIF – Central Information Office of Autonomous Women’s Shelters (Zentrale Informationsstelle Autonomer Frauenhäuser) from Germany, and the Women’s Rights Foundation (WRF) from Malta. WAVE also included the expertise of Hague Mothers based in the UK, on a consultancy basis. 

Within the project, a comprehensive child safeguarding framework for women’s specialist services (WSS), The Guidelines for safeguarding and empowering children, which can be adapted to different national contexts, was developed in 2022. The guidelines delve into the legislative context by addressing key international norms for the rights, protection and safeguarding of children, explain the foundations and purpose of the child safeguarding guidelines, and highlight safeguarding areas, factors and procedures for protection. 

In 2023, the project aimed to strengthen international movement-building for more child-friendly custody proceedings in courts, by developing a Toolkit on women’s and children’s rights in custody proceedings. This Toolkit provides insights on promising practice/recommendations for more child-friendly custody proceedings across Europe. This document can be used interdisciplinarily and serves to help to improve the institutional/judicial practice taking place before courts, administrative authorities, and all other bodies that have responsibility in custody and visitation procedures. The aim is to address the linkage between protection against domestic violence and decisions on custody and visitation rights. Therefore, with this toolkit, the protection and best interests of children are brought into focus.  

The project goal is to secure that children are safe and can thrive whilst their mothers get supported by WSS and once they are ready, to move on to a new life. Moreover, the aim is to raise awareness of a wide range of stakeholders from relevant sectors of activity (protection and social services, judiciary, and police among others) of children’s safeguarding and its effective implementation.

For more information on the project, feel free to contact Branislava Aradjan, WAVE Project and Youth Ambassador Coordinator

Guidelines for safeguarding and empowering children


Toolkit for victim-friendly judicial practice in child custody, contact and visitation matters