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Safeguarding is the practise by authorities and communities of "protecting the interests" of children and others who they judge to be "vulnerable". It can therefore be seen as an ongoing "protective" influence on behalf of children, without their input or consent.

The term has become particularly common in the UK, where it is used by local authorities to legitimise a range of protective measures, a number of which may come under scrutiny if made individually accountable. The term is arguably part of an array of obfuscatory terms used by governments to legitimise suspect powers they have over the running of everyday life.