What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding generally refers to the measures and actions taken to protect individuals, particularly vulnerable populations such as children, elderly people, and those with disabilities, from harm, abuse, exploitation, or neglect. It involves creating environments where people feel safe, respected, and supported, and it often includes policies, procedures, and practices aimed at preventing and responding to safeguarding concerns. In various contexts, such as healthcare, education, social services, and humanitarian aid, safeguarding plays a critical role in promoting the well-being and dignity of individuals and ensuring their rights are upheld.

What proportion of the UK population are vulnerable?

Determining the proportion of the UK population that is vulnerable can be challenging due to the complex and varied nature of vulnerability. Vulnerability can arise from a range of factors including age, health status, socioeconomic circumstances, disability, and life events. As a result, vulnerability can be temporary or permanent, and individuals may experience varying degrees of vulnerability throughout their lives.

For example, in the UK, approximately 20% of the population is considered to be living with a disability according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Additionally, certain groups such as children, elderly individuals, refugees, and those experiencing homelessness are often considered to be more vulnerable due to their specific circumstances.

Overall, while it’s difficult to provide a precise figure, it’s clear that a significant proportion of the UK population can be considered vulnerable in one way or another, highlighting the importance of safeguarding measures and support systems to protect their well-being.