CHILD PROTECTION POLICY Kinderhilfe Kambodscha e.V. Aachen - KKEV Cambodia / K.K.e.V. Germany
For the purpose of this policy, a child will be considered to be a person under the age of 18 years.
The policy applies to:
all volunteers including interns
all contractors, e.g., consultants
all members and board members of the German association (K.K.e.V.)
Managers are asked to encourage all partnership organisations to adhere to these standards and guidelines.
1 Statement of Responsibility
This policy statement affirms our commitment to the welfare of children and their protection from abuse and exploitation.
We are seeking to promote a child safe culture that is open and dynamic where staff both in Germany and in Cambodia, donors and donor recipients have an experience of policy and procedures in action. The real strength of a child safe culture is the capacity and willingness of an organisation and its staff to bring this policy to life through a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities, open communication and active participation.
We recognise that the abuse and exploitation of children happens in all countries and societies across the world. All child abuse involves the violation of children’s rights.
The situation of all children must be improved through promotion of their rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This includes the right to freedom from abuse and exploitation.
Child abuse is never acceptable and a commitment to children’s rights in general also means a commitment to safeguard the children with whom we are in contact.
We also support the rights and well being of our staff and volunteers and encourage their active participation in building and maintaining a secure environment for all participants.
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2 Action Statement
We will meet our commitment to safeguard children through the following means:
Awareness: Ensuring that all staff and others are aware of the problem of child abuse and the risks to children.
Prevention: Ensuring, through awareness and personal and professional conduct, that staff and others minimise the risk to children.
Reporting: Ensuring that staff and others are clear what steps to take where concerns arise regarding the safety of children.
Responding: Ensuring that action is taken to support and protect children where concerns arise regarding possible abuse.
In order that the above standards of reporting and responding are met, we will ensure that we:
take seriously any concerns raised
take positive steps to ensure the protection of children who are the subject of
support children, staff or other adults who raise concerns or who are the
subject of concerns
act appropriately and effectively in instigating or co-operating with any
subsequent process of investigation
demonstrate responsibility to and respect for children by being sensitive in our
communications that involve them
This is supported by stringent recruitment and selection measures that have been designed to minimise the possibility of recruiting persons who may pose a risk to children.
3 Child Abuse
Definitions and terms
Child abuse can be physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect or sexual abuse..
a) Physical abuse
Physical abuse occurs when a person purposefully injures or threatens to injure a child or young person. This may take the form of slapping, punching, shaking, kicking, burning, shoving or grabbing. The injury may take the form of bruises, cuts, burns or fractures.
b) Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is a chronic attack on a child or young person's self esteem. It can take the form of name calling, threatening, ridiculing, intimidating or isolating the child or young person.
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Neglect is the failure to provide the child with the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, shelter and supervision to the extent that the child's health and development are at risk.
d) Child Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is when a child or young person is used by an older r bigger child, adolescent or adult for his or her own sexual stimulation or gratification, or economic gain.
4 KKEV’s Commitment as a Child Safe Organisation – Implementation and Process
KKEV commits itself to a number of processes in adopting a child safe culture. These are:
4.1 Vigilance in Recruitment and Selection
Human Resources adheres by strict guidelines in the recruiting process of new staff. The recruitment guidelines will be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that they accurately reflect child safe recruiting and screening standards. This will include:
A clear and bold statement that confirms KKEV’s commitment to child protection in all advertising
Adopting ‘best practice‘ recruitment and selection techniques
Conducting reference checks
Conducting national police checks where ever feasible
4.2 Police Checks
All successful applicants including volunteers will be asked to sign an Authority for a Police Check.
The Police Check will be requested for all full-time, part-time and casual employees including long-term contract appointments, regardless of where they conduct the practice of their position.
4.3 Training and Development
Staff will be trained as appropriate and depending on their area of responsibility, for awareness of issues related to the protection of children from abuse and violation. All staff will receive information relating to KKEV Cambodia's Child Protection Policy during the induction process. Further training will be provided at a departmental level, tailored to the needs of the department.
4.4 Raising and reporting Concerns of child abuse
a) Incident reporting
It is mandatory for any allegation, belief or suspicion of sexual or physical abuse (Past or present) by a KKEV employee, volunteer, consultant, donor or board-- member to be reported immediately to the Country Director and the Country Representative.
If a child reports an incident to you, the child/young person must be taken seriously and listened to carefully. Once an allegation is made there should be an immediate
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response that protects the child from further potential abuse or victimisation. The family of the child victim should be informed of the allegation and action proposed and they should be consulted where possible as to the process to be followed.
b) Distance the alleged perpetrator
The best interests of the child/young person warrant the standing down of a staff member or volunteer while an investigation commences. Staff members stood down receive full pay and are entitled to a just process that does not pre-suppose guilt or innocence. The allegations should not be discussed or communicated to other people until such have been considered and a decision made by management. The decision made should be documented and filed.
c) Document the incident
As soon as possible (within a period of 24 hours of the disclosure), the staff member receiving the disclosure needs to have fully documented the allegation, including the time, place, witnesses. This report will possibly be used in court if charges are forthcoming.
Confidentiality is crucial to a fair and effective reporting procedure. It is unacceptable and potentially defamatory for concerns of child abuse (and abusers) to be spread throughout the organisation rather than being directed through a formal complaints process. All participants must understand the importance of following the set reporting lines when concerns arise. Confidentiality protects the child, the notifier, the respondent and the organisation, and ensures a fair and proper process.
e) Investigation of Complaints
Physical and/or sexual abuse of a child is a crime. Organisations may be required to notify authorities when there are reasonable grounds for reporting abuse.
Internal investigations will consider a confidential, thorough, impartial and prompt process. The investigation may consist of interviews with witnesses and others as appropriate, collection of information about the alleged conduct, gathering of documentation, or other procedures as appropriate. The individual alleged to have violated this KKEV policy would have the opportunity to present his or her view of the events in question. KKEV will hold its determination until the investigation is completed.
KKEV will not tolerate any form of coercion, intimidation, reprisal or retaliation against any employee who reports any form of abuse or exploitation, provides any information or other assistance in an investigation.
g) Counselling support
Professional counselling support will be made available to all staff/participants involved.
4 Use of Child Photos and Information
Pictures, images, or other likenesses of children and/or information related to children that could compromise their care and protection will not be made available through any form of communication media without proper protection and understanding of their use.
Moreover, any images of children should not be accompanied by detailed information relating to their place of residence. Images with corresponding text which may identify a child should be removed.
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