Child Protection Policy

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has a zero tolerance approach to child exploitation or abuse. DFAT recognises that it is the shared responsibility of all adults to prevent child exploitation and abuse. In Australia, there is recognition that organisations that work with children also have a role in protecting them, and need policies and procedures to enable them to do so.

The policy applies to all DFAT funded partners that receive DFAT funding including:

  • Contractors
  • Consultants, advisers and contracted individuals
  • Non-Government (NGO), Civil society (CSO) and contractor organisations and their personnel
  • Downstream partners or organisations subcontracted by DFAT funded NGO’s, CSO’s consultants, contractors or advisers and their personnel
  • Australian Volunteers for International Development Program (AVID) participants and host organisations
  • Recipients and awardees under the Australia Awards program
  • DFAT grant recipients, including under the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), Direct Aid Program (DAP) and Public Diplomacy programs.
Two children holding hands
Young school children from South Tarawa, Kiribati. Photo: Lorrie Graham

Multilateral organisations and bilateral donor partners funded by DFAT are expected to act in accordance with the policy principles outlined in this document, and abide by their own relevant policies, international declarations, conventions, agreements and domestic legal frameworks, which seek to protect children.

General enquiries about the policy can be made at:

Child Protection Compliance Section
GPO Box 887
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6178 5100

Reports and notifications can be made at:

Telephone: +61 2 6261 9048

Child exploitation and abuse is not tolerated by DFAT and attracts criminal penalties under Australian legislation.

Guidance notes and support material

For more information please download a copy of the department’s Child Protection Policy 2017.

Several guidance notes are also available to assist in meeting DFAT's child protection requirements.

If you have been abused or have any concerns relating to the abuse or exploitation of children within your community or if you or a child is in immediate danger, contact your local police.​

Last Updated: 1 September 2017