Sporting organisations should put in place strategies to develop child safe environments and minimise opportunities for child abuse including preventing offenders from gaining access to their organisation.
There are no requirements in the Northern Territory for sport and recreation organisations to undertake extra strategies to provide a safe environment for children (e.g., risk management strategies). However, under current legislation it is everybody’s responsibility to implement and maintain child-safe environments.
Vicarious liability describes the principle in law which says that, depending on the circumstances, an organisation can be held responsible for the behaviour of its employees (including staff, volunteers and contractors), unless:
it can be shown that all reasonable steps were taken to prevent the behaviour from happening in the first place
there were appropriate policies and procedures in place for dealing with the behaviour when it occurred.
The same principle applies to governing bodies and clubs.
Sporting personnel need to be aware that because of the large number of children participating in sport and the closeness of relationships formed, they may come across children being abused or who disclose their abuse to them. This abuse may be occurring within or outside of sport.
In the Northern Territory any person who believes that a child is being, or has been, abused or neglected is required by law to report their concerns. This includes paid employees and volunteers who are involved with children in sport.