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Child Protection Policy & Code Conduct

Part 1

Child Protection Policy

1. Introduction

A Child Protection Policy (CPP) is the best tool to protect children from all forms of child abuse. Abuse cases have been reported with a high rate which can occur everywhere, at all times and in different ways. The child abuse can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and negligence (the definition these types of child abuse are mentioned in 1.12 of this policy).

The development of the child protection policy and procedures is also to promote child protection with all of relevant stakeholders and promote dignity and safety for children. In the formulation of this CPP, and the effectiveness tool, CVCD has been working closely with relevant stakeholders such as the Board of Directors’ members, government agencies, and community members through consultative meetings at different levels.

The CPP has been developed with all relevant stakeholders including, CVCD’s staff, Board of Directors’ members, community teachers and members, visitors and government agencies whose works involves with children.

CVCD approaches the sharing of the Child Protection Policy to the community members, local authorities, government agencies, and individual target groups by widely disseminating it through organizing workshops to train the full time staff and with a clear schedule of refreshment orientation sessions. Newly recruited staff, volunteers, and visitors are required to attend induction session in order to let them acknowledge and follow the policy and its code of conduct. CVCD also requires staff, volunteers and visitors to sign with statements in a code of conduct which expresses their responsibilities in not harming any children. In addition, CVCD assigns a team who plays an important role to follow up and track the complaint against child abuse with a strong reporting system.

2. Goal

To ensure that all children who are involved with the CVCDs programs are prevented from abuse and kept in a safe environment, receiving attention and protection in response to the needs for their development.

Objective:

To prevent abuse of children by ensuring the standard is established and by creating safe environment for children.

To promote understanding of child rights amongst staff, volunteers, visiting adults, children, families, caregivers and communities.

To guide staff in caring and protecting children so as to set an example,thus playing role models for others.

When abuse has occurred, minimize impact to the Child and legal procedures on child rights are followed.

To ensure good practice by maintaining the reputation and trust of all staff in the organization.

3. Scope of the Child Protection Policy

This policy applies to all staff of CVCD and stakeholders of various program activities involved with children at all times during their work for CVCD.

Type 1:

Type 2:

Type 3:

Type 4:

Type 5:

Staff of CVCD Members of the Board of Directors of CVCD

Volunteers in CVCD (those who work without pay) Working groups involving with CVCD such as student’s parents

committee,   members of credit, self-help group committee.

Visitors to CVCD’s program such as media officers, donors, staff from relevant institution and others.

           Type 6: Casual staff of CVCD including translators

4. Context for the Policy Implementation

CVCD applies this policy to provide protection for the following children groups:

  • Children involved with CVCD and children in communities.
  • Children not involved with CVCD but who come into contact with CVCD’s staff or stakeholders for assistance.

5. Recruitment

Staff recruitment and management: staff who will be recruited/selected and current staff are screened to make sure that the organization will never employ staff members who might cause harm/danger to children.

For staff who will have contact with children in their work, CVCD will:Ensure a minimum of two verbal referee checks are conducted;

Require a current police clearance certificate for Cambodian staff (or home country police for foreign volunteers). Where that is not possible, a local authority (e.g., a village or commune chief) can submit a signed written statement that the person has not committed any crimes with children

Ask at least one question during recruitment interviews that presents a hypothetical scenario relating to child protection which the applicant must respond to;

6. Training

CVCD is committed to strengthening the capacity of our staff. We will provide an induction session with all new staff to introduce the child protection policy and expected behaviours, including all contracted staff and volunteers

CVCD will strengthen the capacity of children and communities and advocate and support for child rights through collaboration with the government and promotion in communities.

Capacity building on child protection: child protection officers will promote understanding on child protection among staff and implementers of relevant work through the enforcement of the policy, cooperation, advocacy, education and training.

7. Reporting

Staff and volunteers must report to a Senior Manager when they have a reasonable belief that a child has been harmed or is at potential risk of harm when it is due to the actions of a staff member or volunteer. Harm includes, but is not limited to, the forms of child abuse defined in this policy.

Concerns that must be reported include:

  • An observation or disclosure of actual harm or abuse to a child;
  • An observation or disclosure of potential risk of harm to a child;
  • A breach of the Child Protection Policy or Code of Conduct; – An observation of possession of child exploitation material.

Reporting procedures for allegations or suspicions of child abuse: the report will be used professionally with confidentiality and urgency, and in accordance with required terms of the state’s law or the local authority. Any employee who intentionally and knowingly makes false reports/accusations will be subjected to disciplinary procedures.

8. Preventing and Responding to Abuse

Risk management: effective preventative strategies on child abuse will be included in program activity planning and all quick responses within the organization.

Compliance: staff and implementers of relevant work are required to sign the written statement, stating his/her agreement to implement the child protection policy and code of conduct.

The purpose of the child protection policy aims at preventing staff from child abuse at all

places and times.

Child abuse may take place when children attend meetings, training, campaigns (dissemination meetings to gather children to school, study tours or trips). Children could be threatened, beaten, exploited, sexually abused, neglected by staff members or by caregivers, or others. Child abuse can take place on the internet.

Children and community members with whom CVCD work will receive information about ways to make a report of concerns relevant to child abuse or about CVCD’s staff and stakeholders.

All reports will be treated professionally and confidentially. Confidentiality in this context means that reports to external bodies will only be made for the purpose of protecting children.

All reports should be made considering the best interests of the child. CVCD will ensure the protection of staff who have honestly reported concerns of child abuse. Staff who make allegations, not in good faith, will be subjected to disciplinary actions.

The rights and well being of children are most important. All attempts should be made to protect the rights and safety of children.

CVCD has assigned (name the roles) as the responsible persons and has a clear plan for regular follow-up/evaluation of the policy implementation.

9. Statement to be signed by staff

Staff and implementer of relevant work will need to sign a written statement, stating his/her agreement to comply with the policy and the code of conduct, and agreeing to accept the applied procedures.

The statement signed by staff and implementer of relevant work will be handed over to the

head administrator of CVCD to keep on file.

10. When to review this policy

CVCD will review this policy due to remarkable changes in the organization or in the state

law of the Kingdom of Cambodia, at least once in three years.

11. Definitions

Children

in this policy is defined as those under the age of 18, complying to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Child abuse refers to all forms of abuse including physical and emotional/mental abuse, negligence, trafficking or exploitation which cause actual harm to health, life, development or dignity of a child. Children can be abused within the family, institution or community by people they know, or in rare case by a stranger. Abuse can occur through the internet. There are four main types of abuse as follows:

Physical abuse:

refers to activities which cause harm/danger to the body of a child. This can be made by adult to a child or by a child to another child. e.g. by beating, slapping, kicking, pulling hair or burning.

Emotional abuse

refers to activities which do not affect the body but negatively affect the intelligence, emotional or mental development of a child such as witnessing domestic violence, sarcasm, uses of sexual language, discrimination, threatening or scaring, etc. This kind of abuse may happen when an adult laughs at or humiliates a child in front of other children only because he/she has done something wrong, which in fact was beyond his/her ability.

This abuse negatively and intensely affects long-term mental development of children. This can also make a child perceive that he/she is not worthy or believe that no one loves him/her, not valued enough, or is valued only when he/she could fulfill the needs of the others.

Sexual abuse refers to any sexual relationship by forcing or tempting a child into sexual activities, including sexual threatening when a child might know or does not know what was happening. Sexual abuse is a form of molesting, showing sexual organs, using tempting language, causing sexual excitement/feeling, kissing, penetrating the vagina or anus, demanding a child to suck sexual organs, bring a child into sexual intercourse, showing children pornography or making child pornography. Sexual abuse can occur in person or through means such as the internet.

Negligence

Ignoring the physical and mental needs of a child which can cause damage to the child’s health such as the failure to report child abuse or pay no attention while child abuse is taking place.

Vulnerable factors of abuses

While this policy has been applied to protect all children and been accepted that all children have the rights to protection from abuses we also need to know of various factors which can make some children more vulnerable to abuse than other children. We must pay attention to mental, behavioral and medical indicators on all children and we must pay special attention to the following groups of children:

Vulnerable children

CVCD’s program focuses on safeguarding and protecting orphans and vulnerable children because of their vulnerability to abuse and their problems. CVCD has defined these children groups as the following:

  • Children who are abused, neglected or trafficked
  • Poorest children
  • Malnourished children
  • Disabled children
  • Children living with domestic violence
  • Children in prostitution
  • Children whose parents have got AIDs
  • Children whose family member(s) have got AIDs
  • Orphans caused by AIDs or other causes
  • Other vulnerable children
  • CVCD is also committed to protecting students (children) who visit from overseas

Children associated with prostitution are victims of sexual abuse Whether they perceive it or not.

Roles of caring

The conditions for “the roles of caring” have been set forth in the code of conduct and responsibilities in accordance with the law for all organizations working with children, directly or indirectly – they must protect children under their care from intentional or unintentional harm.

The responsibility of protection includes preventing abuse by creating a safe environment for children which could minimize the danger of abuse, and by responding to all child abuse quickly and appropriately.

Child protection

Protecting children is a broad message which defines philosophy, policy, standards and procedures to protect children from danger, intentional or unintentional.

In this document, CVCD focuses on the tasks of all staff who work with children, especially for those working directly with children under their care.

Child protection policy

This child protection policy is agreed and applied to all of CVCD’s staff members, and forms an agreement with donors as the organization’s mission with children.

The child protection policy is the statement highlighting the determination in protecting children from danger and demonstrating key points on child protection to the public. In addition, this policy helps create safe and positive environments for children, and to show that the organization has fulfilled its tasks and responsibilities in safeguarding children with the utmost diligence.

 

 

Part 2

Code of Conduct

2. Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct below highlights the appropriate behaviors and inappropriate ones of adults to children, the behaviors of children toward adults and the behaviors of children to children in order to protect children from abuses and to protect staff from any groundless evidences on child abuse.

Staff members need to demonstrate this code of conduct with transparency and in good will, and by considering the best interest of the child.

2.1 Adults’ behaviors to children

Must not:

  • Physical
  • Use violence, cause harm to children or abuse to children’s bodies
  • Abuse, exploit children that affect children’s body such as child labor
  • Ask a child to work at home or other work which is inappropriate to his/her age, or their physical and mental/intellectual stages of development, thus negatively affect their education, or could put a child in danger.
  • Hide a child to work at home or other work which is inappropriate to their age or their developmental stages, affecting their time for education and recreation, or dispose a child to hazardous injury.
  • Conduct any activities which hinder child development.
  • Mental
  • Use requesting language, inappropriate advices, orhumiliating wordsthat could make a child in resentment.
  • Act in a way which may cause shame, loss of face or looking-down on children or any criminal act as forms of mental abuse.
  • Disseminate information of about a child which affects his/her honor/reputation and cause shame.
  • Discriminate (sex, ethnic group, race, color of the skin, social status), take sides and/or reject others.
  • Deny child’s participation.
  • Make a child feel disvalued or unloved.
  • Conduct any activities which negatively affect children’s mental development.
  • Use the internet to cause any of the above.
  • Sexual abuse
  • Spend too much time with a child, away from the others.
  • Stay only with a child (same or opposite sex) in a harmful place or out of sight of the others, including taking a child away from work and/or set an appointment separately with the child. In case of a need to be with a child alone, other staff must be informed and door should be open (if in a room).
  • Bring a child and/or other children you work with to stay at home over night without proper supervision or permission from your manager.
  • Stay on a bed with a child and/or other children you work with in an unnecessary situation.
  • Help a child with tasks they can do themselves such as dressing and bathing, etc.
  • Make any inappropriate contact or sexual relationship with a child, or other means of contact relating to exploitation or child abuse.
  • Behave inappropriately, eg. molesting, holding hand, embracing, kissing or touching, or behaving in a suggestive way to provoke sexual feeling or making sexual contact with a child.
  • Show private parts to a child, acting or creating a game which is provoking sexual arousal with a child.
  • Behave and/or relate with a child for which others may see as inappropriate, such as riding a moto with child of opposite sex alone unnecessarily.
  • Use the organization’s computer, camera, mobile phone or other digital/electronic equipments for activities that affect child rights, dignity and honor of children, such as taking child pornography regardless of agreement, copying child pornography for self review or sharing with others, or by allowing a child to view it.
  • Use the internet to make contact with children who have been met through CVCD program or employment.
  • Hide a child to act or serve sexual activity, including paying for the sexual service. Miscalculating a child’s age is not an acceptable defence.
  • Negligence
  • Forget or leave a child alone without fulfilling the child’s needs and not paying enough attention to the child.
  • Let a child stay in a hazardous or risky situation without protecting the child from predicatable negative impacts.
  • Fail to report suspicions of child-abused to child protection officers or any member of the management staff.
  • Allow or join with a child to conduct illegal or unsafe behaviors.

Must do:

Be aware that things that seem innocent may be stressful to children (such as photographing or interviewing children). These things can occur in accordance with the CPP and proper risk management. Set up work plan, prepare the work and working place which help reduce harm to children.

Empower children by   discussing with children about the rights of the children for children to know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, and about what could be done if a problem occurs.

Notice and pay attention to abnormalities in the mental, behavioral and medical conditions of a child that may be caused by abuse.

Introduce to a child people who could offer help when he/she faces with abuse and encourage him/her to talk of their concerns including abuses.

Need to report concerns or incidents of abuse to responsible staff or authorities.

Take part in open discussion in order to know about problems and/or concerns of children. Think of the best interest and safety of children while working with children or when visiting children, and make sure that it does not go against the child protection policy and the code of conduct of the organization.

Hold motivation and responsibility according to the law and the organization’s management in the case that an incident happens to a child as stipulated in the policy and the code of conduct for staff and stakeholders.

Provide children with their rights to express ideas relevant to their own problems or problems of their community.

Provide all children with love and treatment without bias and discrimination to their ethnicity, skin color, sex, language, religion/belief, especially disability and other factors. Be a role model to children you work with and to other staff members who work with children.

Empathise about the pain a child is experiencing from any form of child abuse.Carry out work activities with children in public environment, in the eyes of the others. Avoid a situation where you and a child being at a place, not observed by the others.

Work in partnership with parents or caregivers and with professionals so as to ensure protection to children.

2.2 Children’s behaviors to adultsMust not:

  • Use inappropriate language eg, cursing/menacing, talking with discrimination and/or not appropriate with age/status).
  • Lie, cheat, slander
  • Act inappropriately that may affect the adult’s honor
  • Go out of home without informing parents, guardian or supervisor.
  • Hide any abuse happened to him/herself and to other children
  • ‘Go for walk’, quitting school and home
  • Take any materials of adult without prior permission/notice
  • Use violence against adults (older people, beggars)   Use the internet to encourage inappropriate behaviour.

Must do:

  • Respect older people, using appropriate language and behaviors
  • Speak the truth
  • Inform parents, guardian or supervisor when leaving for a place
  • Be obedient to parents, guardian and supervisor
  • Dare to tell people who can help about abuse
  • Study hard and help with house work

2.3 Children’s behaviors to children Must not:

  • Persuade friends or other children to do anything that negatively influence their study and become bad children (going out a lot, using alcohol/drugs)
  • Tell lie and cheat other children for own interest
  • Use inappropriate language to other children
  • Influence other children to make abuse (beating other children, sexual activities)
  • Persuade friends or other children to use debauchery (gambling, karaoke, prostitution)
  • Persuade other children to go out for walk, forget school and home Use the internet to encourage inappropriate behaviour.

Must do:

  • Influence other children to do the right things, trying hard to earn
  • Treat other children with honesty
  • Introduce moral/code of conduct to other children
  • Help others in emergency
  • Teach and share good lessons to each other

2.4 Photography and Media with children

Must ask for permission from children, parents/guardian or organization in charge of the children prior to any public dissemination of children’s photo, video, text or other information (both of abused child and general children) for the purpose of fund raising or for public awareness.

Must not promise to give things to children as a gift in return for photo taken

Children in a photo must be dressed appropriately and must not be in a sexually suggestive behavior.   Children are encouraged to express their own opinion as much as possible, than being represented by another.

Take children’s pictures with respect and honor and must not treat them as victims

Make sure that a child’s photo is not interpreted as being abused or set in a situation of abuse.

Information showing the location of a child that may put the child in danger must not be put in communication text.

Protect the safety and confidentiality for children and their family by not using the same or similar words in media or internet, or using pictures as a means to tell about the place they live.

Photo, information and text can be used only by control and agreement from CVCD in case the content is under the organization’s management.

Reporters, video producers and other media must respect the child protection policy and the code of conduct.

Staff Member’s Statement

Child Protection Policy of CVCD

I (name)_________________________ have read and understood the content of this child protection policy. I agree with this policy and fully agree to comply with the standards and procedure stipulated while working for CVCD.

Name: _____________________________________________

Position: __________________________________________

Signature: ___________________________________________

Date: _________________________________________

2.5 Visitors

Individuals who have the intention to visit CVCD’s program and if their visit has direct contact with a child personally need to abide by the following procedures in order to ensure their appropriate behavior. It is the responsibility of the host organization to prepare and monitor the steps below.

           Before visiting a visitor must:

  • Read the child protection policy of CVCD
  • Sign the statement which will be kept: one copy in safe by the CVCD’s administration and another copy for the visitor.

During the visit:

  • Behave in accordance with the child protection policy while in contact with children.
  • Respect the standards for communication with children (photo, text) if they want to take photos or write any information about a child.
  • Keep confidentiality for a child they met (by not discussing about the child or matters relevant to the child’s situation to any individual outside the organization).
  • Report concerns they might have about children they meet immediately to the staff.
  • Usually visitors are accompanied by CVCD’s staff, there will be no circumstance where a visitor if left unattended alone with a child.

Visitor’s Statement

Child Protection Policy of CVCD

I _________________________ have read and understood the content of this child protection policy. I agree with this policy and will comply with it during my visit to CVCD’s program. I agree to the following:

Behave in accordance with the child protection code of conduct while in contact with children.

Respect the standards for communication with children (photo, text)

Maintain confidentiality of any child I meet (by not discussing the child or matters relevant to the child’s situation to any individual outside the organization).

Report immediately to the staff any concerns relevant to any children so that investigation is carried out according to the organization’s standards and procedures.

Name: _______________________________________________________________________

Position (and institution if available):

         ____________________________________________________________

Reason for the visit:

_____________________________________________________________________________

Signature: _____________________________________________________________________

Date: ___________________________________________________________________