The protection of innocents and the vulnerable must be the minimum hallmarks of any civilized society or organization.
The WDC and the WDCAL, with its 71-year history, reputation and record of caring for dancers, has received multiple queries from diverse sources recently due to a widespread media coverage of the most tragic events in the United Kingdom.
Having investigated the matter to the best of our ability, we collectively share the concerns of parents and guardians worldwide. We believe the welfare of a child is paramount. All participants in any dance activities, without exception, have the right to be safe and protected from abuse. All adults have a responsibility to safeguard and protect children. We all have a responsibility to ensure any allegations of abuse are reported to the appropriate authorities. Where children are at a significant risk, everyone has a duty of care to take immediate action.
The facts of this particular case are especially traumatizing considering that the perpetrator of these crimes was apparently appointed Acting Safeguarding Officer for the domestic council around the time that these criminal events were taking place. The appointment was made unilaterally with no reference to the Board of Directors of our member organization.
While the WDC has no jurisdiction as a body in domestic affairs of its member organizations and normally never makes a comment, only in the most exceptional circumstances should this occur. This situation without a doubt qualifies as such and we are confident that all parents throughout the world will join us in our concern and determination to have adequate safeguards in place for the future.
With this in mind, we propose to publish the official WDC Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy along with suggested Code of Conduct and Safeguarding Procedures to be implemented by all our member organizations in accordance with their jurisdictional legal framework.
The World Dance Council and the World Dance Council Amateur League pride ourselves in the dichotomy that whilst our events are dynamic, cutting edge and exciting, we are in fact family people with traditional family values and safety of young children is paramount. It was always the case and will be as such forever.