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Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy

The aim of this policy is to enable adults at risk to engage with Amnesty International UK in a safe way.

The purpose of the policy is:

  • to protect adults at risk who engage with Amnesty International UK

  • to provide staff, volunteers and activists with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding adults at risk

  • to provide a framework that ensures allegations or suspicions are dealt with appropriately

An adult at risk is defined as a person who has care and support needs and is, or is at risk of, being abused, exploited or neglected and unable to protect themselves against the abuse, exploitation or neglect or risk of it because of those needs.

Amnesty International UK believes that everyone has the right to enjoy activities of any group in a happy, secure and safe environment free from harm from abuse, exploitation and neglect.

The abuse of adults at risk is a reality that everybody should be aware of and can take different, and sometimes multiple forms: physical abuse; domestic violence; sexual abuse; psychological abuse; neglect and acts of omission; self-neglect; financial or material abuse; modern slavery; discriminatory abuse; organisational abuse.

The Care Act 2014 came into effect in April 2015 and replaced most previous law regarding adults at risk. The Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance 14.1 provides 6 principle for all adult safeguarding work which apply to all sectors and settings:

  • Empowerment: People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.

  • Prevention: It is better to take action before harm occurs.

  • Proportionality: The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.

  • Protection: Support and representation for those in greatest need.

  • Partnership: Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.

  • Accountability: Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

All staff and volunteers who may have contact with adults at risk will be made aware of the responsibility to follow these principles. This is reflected in this policy.

The Care Act 2014 places a legal duty on organisations to provide information to Local Authorities Safeguarding Adults Boards carrying out serious case reviews and other reviews they deem as required.

As far as possible we will also respect the rights of the person causing harm.

Who this policy applies to

The following people must comply with the Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy:

  • Amnesty International UK staff, AIUK Section and Charitable Trust board members, volunteers and activists.

  • Staff and representatives of other agencies and any other individual guests of Amnesty International UK who will participate in activities that involves them having contact with adults at risk - unless it has been agreed expressly that the partner organisation may enforce its own safeguarding or protection policy.

Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up based on law and guidance that seeks to protect adults at risk, including:

  • The Care Act 2014

  • Care Act Statutory Guidance

  • The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007

  • Adult Safeguarding: Prevention and Protection in Partnership (2015)

  • The Human Rights Act

  • The Code of Fundraising Practice

  • The General Data Protection Regulation

Policy Statement 

Amnesty International UK has an ambitious strategy aimed at connecting with a significant percentage of the UK population with our human rights work. Amnesty International UK promotesdiversity and aims to enable individuals to make meaningful contributions to Amnesty’s humanrights work.

To achieve our strategy and aims we are committed to ensuring that we have effective policy and processes in place to protect the adults at risk we connect with whilst enabling their meaningfulcontribution to Amnesty’s human rights work.

All adults we connect with have the right to be kept safe from harm from abuse, exploitation and neglect regardless of their age, gender, religious bel
iefs, race, sexual orientation, culture, ability or any other factor.

We recognise that:

  • All people, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity have a right to live in safety, free from neglect and abuse, and to receive equal protection from all types of harm or abuse

  • Some adults are at increased risk of abuse because of care or support needs or because of the circumstances they are in or experiences they have had

  • Working in partnership with adults at risk, communities and local agencies is essential to promoting adults at risk’s welfare

    We will seek to keep adults at risk safe by:

  • Empowering adults at risk to make their own decisions and to give informed consent when connecting with Amnesty and contributing to our work

  • Prioritising the dignity, safety and well-being of the individual

  • Prioritising actions to protect, and be inclusive of, adults at risk and prioritise actions that

    prevent harm occurring

  • All our staff, volunteers and board members conducting themselves/ourselves in a manner that respects the dignity, pride and identity of adults at risk

  • Appointing a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) to include adults at risk, two deputies and lead board members for safeguarding as follows:

    • Designated Safeguarding Lead: Director of Supporter Campaigning and Communications, Amnesty International UK

    • Deputy Safeguarding Officers: Community Organising Manager and Education Officer (Youth and Schools)

    • AIUK Section and Trust Boards Safeguarding Leads

  • Adopting adult at risk safeguarding practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff, board and activists

  • Ensuring that all staff, volunteers and activist are aware of this policy and the procedures through which they may raise concerns and express their concerns about the welfare of adults at risk

  • Ensuring all staff, volunteers, board members are subjected to safer recruitment procedures and any relevant DBS checks

  • Ensuring staff and volunteers understand their role and responsibilities in regard to this policy and procedures

  • Providing effective management and information for staff, volunteers and activists through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures

  • Providing guidance for staff, volunteers and activists on how to support adults at risk in an inclusive, dignified and safe way

  • Ensuring staff and volunteers are be given appropriate training and supervision

  • Reporting in a timely way any concerns or suspicions that an adult at risk is being or is at risk of being abused with the relevant Local Authority Safeguarding Adult Board

  • Recording and storing information professionally and securely, and sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with adults at risk, staff, volunteers and activists

  • Using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff, volunteers and activists appropriately

  • Ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place

  • Complying with the Fundraising Code of Practice in relation to how we involve adults at risk

  • Ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for adults at risk, staff, volunteers and activists, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance

  • Wherever possible we will work in co-operation with other agencies to ensure that the safety and welfare of the adult at risk comes first and is paramount to our aims and objectives

  • Ensuring that all organisations who work with Amnesty International UK abide by this Safeguarding Adults at Risk policy

Disclosure and confidentiality

If an adult at risk comes to any Amnesty International UK staff, activist, volunteer or board member with an abuse disclosure/or there is any suspicion that abuse has or may take place: the individual should take immediate action in accordance with the disclosure procedures.

As far as possible, confidentiality is crucial, and information should only be shared with consentwherever possible. However, person’s right to confidentiality is not absolute and may be overridden where there is evidence that sharing information is necessary to support an investigation or where there is a risk to others e.g. in the interests of public safety, police investigation, implications for regulated service.

Categories of abuse

Physical abuse: this covers a wide range of physical violence including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, female genital mutilation, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.

Sexual abuse: including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.

Psychological abuse: including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.

Modern Slavery: being brought into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to work against their will. People can be trafficked for many different forms of exploitation such as forced prostitution, forced labour, forced begging, and forced criminality, domestic servitude, forced marriage, forced organ removal.

Financial or material abuse: including theft, fraud, exploitation, coercion in relation to an adult’sfinancial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Neglect and acts of omission: including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

Self-Neglect: this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene,health or surrounding and includes behaviour such as hoarding. It is important to consider capacity when self-neglect is suspected. Also consider how it may impact on other family members and whether this gives rise to a safeguarding concern.

Domestic Violence: any incident of threatening behaviours, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship together, or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.

Discriminatory abuse: including discrimination on grounds of race, gender and gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.

Organisational abuse: including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting like a hospital or care home, e.g. this may range from isolated incidents to continuing ill-treatment.

This policy is supported by the following policies and processes, in order to enable our staff to implement this policy.

Related policies, procedures, processes, forms, guidelines and other resources

Policy Statements

  • Recruitment and Selection

  • Health and Safety

  • Privacy Statement

Procedures and processes

  • Safeguarding Disclosure Procedure – Adults

  • Safeguarding training procedures across staff, board and activists

  • Consent gathering and recording procedure

  • Information sharing protocol

  • Responding to concerns around : E- Safety, domestic violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, children who live away from home or go missing, child sexual exploitation, race and racism and extremism

  • Fundraising and Vulnerable People Procedure


  • Staff, Board and Activist Codes of Conduct

  • Engaging safely with adults at risk for Amnesty - do’s and don’ts

  • AIUK Shops Operational Handbook

  • AIUK Social Media Guidelines

How is this policy shared?

This policy is shared on our website, with staff and volunteers and lead activists.

Copyright and legal information

This policy is for information only, and therefore is not a binding contract and does not confer legal rights on any person. Amnesty International UK reserves all rights (including copyright) in any information and materials provided under this policy.


Listening and responding to feedback from our supporters and members is very important to Amnesty International UK. We will acknowledge a complaint about any aspect of our safeguarding policy or procedure within 5 working days and aim to resolve complaints within 10 working days of receipt. If you are dissatisfied with our response to your enquiry or complaint, please contact the Feedback Oversight Panel at

Who is responsible for this policy?

Amnesty International UK’s Director is ultimately responsible for compliance with this policy, with the support of Amnesty International UK’s Senior Management Team.

Author/policy contact:

Kerry Moscogiuri and Sharon Lovell

Sign off:


Approved by/approval level:

AIUK Section Board and AIUK Charitable Trust Board

Date effective:

September 2018

Last reviewed or updated:

New policy

Frequency of review:

Annual Next Review Date September 2019


This is a new policy