Youth Protection

Rotary has a long history of providing service to youth. Each year, more than 300,000 young people participate in Rotary programs like Interact, Rotary Youth Exchange, and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Many club and district mentoring programs, immunization efforts, job training programs, literacy projects, and other initiatives also help young people or other vulnerable populations.

Unfortunately, no organization or program is invulnerable to abuse or crises. They can and do occur in even the most seemingly positive settings. Predators often seek teaching, coaching, or other positions that give them access to children and teenagers. Others who are committed to working with youth sometimes find it hard to believe that some adults will abuse the trust placed in them, so they may not notice the signs.

Rotary takes youth protection very seriously, and it relies on our members to foster safe environments that prevent abuse and to respond appropriately when it occurs. (Youth Protection Handbook)

Statement of Conduct for Working With Youth

The statement of conduct provides the basic principle to follow when working with young people in any capacity:

Rotary International strives to create and maintain a safe environment for all youth who participate in Rotary activities. To the best of their ability, Rotarians, Rotarians’ spouses and partners, and other volunteers must safeguard the children and young people with whom they come into contact and protect them from physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.

Rotary reinforces the “Statement of Conduct for Working With Youth” with additional policies that set the safety of young people as our first priority. They require districts and clubs to adhere to local youth protection laws and procedures and to set expectations for responding to any concerns or allegations that arise. These policies apply to any Rotary activity or program that involves youth.


Rotary 5080 Youth Exchange Chair

Pat Carson

Rotary 5080 Youth Exchange Youth Protection Officer USA

Joel Hastings

Rotary 5080 Youth Exchange Youth Protection Officer Canada

John Ferguson

Electronic/Online safety considerations

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