Child Safeguarding Policy of Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries
Protecting children from abuse and exploitation is important to Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries. This also means that we do everything we can to protect children from harm within our own organisation.
We ensure that:
Staff, volunteers, partners and others such as visitors who come into direct contact with children or their personal data through Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries are committed to safeguarding children in their respective areas of operation. Staff and volunteers are sensitised to the rights and protection of children.
Children and their families are made aware of existing reporting and complaints mechanisms and the rights they entail that suspected cases are reported and resolved confidentially for all parties.
The basis for this is our Child Safeguarding Policy. All measures that we derive from this policy are intended to preventively minimise any risks for children in the context of our work and to provide security of action. If suspicious cases arise, it should ensure that they are fully investigated so that all those affected and their environment are protected at all times, for example from further assaults or defamation.
Our Child Safeguarding Policy applies to the following groups of people:
Staff of Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries including leaders, members, support staff, volunteers and honorary staff.
Employees of government donors, corporate and implementing partners, foundations and other partners who come into direct contact with children or their personal data through Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries or through a partner.
Visitors, in particular to sponsored children, projects, programmes, events and activities promoted or organised and carried out by Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries and its partners.
Note: If your country requires a police clearance or check for persons working with children, we ask you to complete the police check in your home country and submit it with your application and bring the original with you when you start your trip.
We aim to ensure the best possible protection of children from abuse and exploitation throughout the organisation’s work. This includes adhering to clear behavioural guidelines when dealing with children in Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries projects and programmes. They are intended to provide everyone with safeguards and support in creating an environment that is safe for the children.
The following are the guidelines of conduct for all staff, volunteers of Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries and its partners:
- Please take care to behave appropriately when physically interacting with children.
- Please ask permission before posting photos of children on social media or the internet.
- Please do not smoke, take drugs or drink alcohol on the premises of our projects.
- Always have another adult present when you are in the children’s rooms.
- Always have another adult present when bathing the children.
- Never have children in your bedroom for your own protection.
- Please do not take children off the premises of our organisation without prior permission.
- Please interact with children only in public spaces.
- Please do not favour any one child and do not give excessive gifts to children to avoid ill-will.
- Please do not give money to children. All children should be treated equally.
- Inform our staff on site if you observe or suspect inappropriate behaviour.
- Do not use physical force (e.g. slapping) on children.
Communication and media guidelines
Reporting on children and their rights is an important concern for Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries. At the same time, the protection of children is of paramount importance in the media sector. We ask you to respect their privacy. Always seek prior consent for any publication of interviews and images, including any private dissemination, for example via social media such as Facebook.
Declaration of commitment
I have read and understood the Code of Conduct and undertake to act in accordance with it:
- I respect the rights of children and comply with the relevant international, European and national legislation.
- I undertake to do everything possible to protect children from neglect and from physical, psychological and sexual abuse and exploitation.
- I refrain from verbally and non-verbally violent, discriminatory, racist and sexist behaviour towards and in the presence of children.
- I treat children as independent personalities and treat them with respect – regardless of age, gender, origin, language, religion, skin colour, disability or political views.
- Respect children’s opinions and concerns and allow them to participate appropriately in all matters that affect them according to their age and maturity.
- I take care to let children do personal things for themselves that they can manage on their own – such as going to the toilet or changing clothes.
- I undertake not to share photos and video footage of children and their families from our organisation on social media, the internet or print media without prior permission.
- I am careful and transparent with my role towards children and their families and do not abuse the power imbalance between aid agencies and beneficiaries and adults and children.
- I play my part in creating a culture of mutual accountability in the workplace that enables any suspicions that arise to be reported and kept confidential for all parties.
- I will confidentially report any allegations that come to my attention in the course of my work for Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries to the appropriate contact person within 24 hours.
- I undertake to do everything possible to protect children from neglect and physical, psychological and sexual abuse and exploitation.
I understand that Okoa Hero’s Child Ministries and its partners will report any offence to the relevant police, and that any offence that is not a criminal offence may result in internal action including termination of the contract or cooperation.
Place, Date Name, Signature