Triratna News

Triratna: safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

On Fri, 15 April, 2016 - 23:26
Munisha's picture
Munisha

“Ensuring the sexual, physical and psychological safety of young people and vulnerable adults involved in the activities of Triratna Buddhist Centres and other enterprises is an expression of the First Precept: the principle of non-harming, or love.”

So opens Triratna’s ‘Child protection general advice’ document for centres and enterprises in Europe, the introduction to a set of model policies developed over the last three years to help Triratna’s European Chairs meet their ethical and legal responsibilities to safeguard children and ‘vulnerable adults’.

In addition I’m running a Safeguarding training day for Order members in the UK later this year and I’m happy to say it’s booking up well.

The European Chairs’ Assembly (ECA) is a member of the CCPAS, the UK body helping all religions look after their safeguarding responsibilities. The ECA’s model safeguarding policies are available for adoption/adaptation/translation by Triratna centres and enterprises anywhere in the world – or indeed by other institutions, Buddhist or otherwise.

Having spent a considerable amount of time developing these documents, I’m happy to say they have even been praised by Buddhists beyond Triratna; one of them appears on a UK child protection website as an example of good practice.

Please use or share them as you wish.

Training day on Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
Tailored training for Triratna Order members
Monday 7th November 2016, Birmingham
£35 per person including vegan lunch

munisha [at] triratnadevelopment.org (Contact me) to book a place, or for any other related query.

Munisha
Safeguarding officer, children and vulnerable adults
ECA Development Team
Triratna Buddhist Order and Community

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Responses

james murphy's picture

Great stuff, Munisha. Institutions, ‘religious’ or otherwise, can never be too careful in this respect, I think. The history of the catholic church is a darkly cautionary tale in this context’; though it would seem the danger lurks in any community in which the principle of celibacy is, to some degree, vaunted. A friend of mine training for a Theravada order in Singapore relates that problems similar to those experienced in the Catholic church can also be endemic to some Buddhist monasteries in the Far East, with parents being advised that such and such a monastery might not be considered a fit place to send their young sons to for extended training, etc… It seems that the principle of celibacy constitutes a challenge to which not all spiritual aspirants are suited. Indeed, I recall Sangharakshita reflecting (in later years) that the principle and practice of celibacy did not suit everyone…
Anyway, in this context the TBO’s move towards ethical and emotional clarity in this direction can only be a very good thing. Bravo.

Munisha's picture

Thanks very much for your appreciative words. Metta, Munisha