CIVIL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION – CDO
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
This document outlines the policies and procedures established to ensure that
Children who come into contact with CDO and its Programs are safeguarded to the maximum extent from child abuse and sexual exploitation.
Everyone associated with CDO must be fully aware of the problem and risks of child abuse and sexual exploitation
All representatives of CDO must demonstrate the highest standards of behavior towards children both in their private and professional lives. They must not abuse the position of trust that comes with being a part of the CDO family. They must do all that they can to prevent, report and respond appropriately to such issues.
The Policy includes mandatory requirements that apply to everyone in all aspects of the CDO International’s work whether in advocacy and campaigns, development programs or humanitarian and emergency responses.
A child is defined as anyone under the age of 18 years
Child abuse consists of anything which individuals, institutions or processes do or fail to do which directly or indirectly harms children or damages their prospect of safe and healthy development into adulthood
Sexual exploitation means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.
THIS POLICY APPLIES TO:
CDO staff, whether national, international, full time, part time or engaged on short-term contracts, e.g. consultants, researchers etc.
Volunteers, trustees and board members of CDO, Civil Development members and other representatives.
Staff and representatives of partner agencies and any other individuals, groups or organizations who have a formal/contractual relationship with CDO that involves any contact with children (unless it is formally agreed that a partner organization may enforce its own safeguarding or protection policy).
Donors, journalists, celebrities, politicians and other people who visit CDO programs or offices in order to make contact with children must be made aware that this Protocol applies to them while visiting our programs or offices.
All of the above must act in accordance with this Protocol in both their professional and their personal lives.
All staff and partners are expected to abide by this policy in their personal and professional life. Failure to do so can lead to disciplinary action including termination of contract.
Staff, consultants, contractors, partners and other representatives must never:
1. Hit or otherwise physically assault or physically abuse children
2. Engage in sexual activity or have a sexual relationship with anyone under the age of 18 years regardless of the age of majority/consent or custom locally. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defense.
3. Develop relationships with children which could in any way be deemed exploitative or abusive.
4. Act in ways that may be abusive in any way or may place a child at risk of abuse.
5. Use language, make suggestions or offer advice which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive
6. Behave physically in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative
7. Sleep in the same bed as a child with whom they are working.
8. Work or stay in the same room alone with a child whom they are working unless exceptional circumstances apply and previous permission has been obtained from their line manager.
9. Do things for children of a personal nature that they can do themselves.
10. Condone, or participate in, behavior of children which is illegal, unsafe or abusive
11. Act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade children, or otherwise perpetrate any form of emotional abuse.
12. Discriminate against, show unfair differential treatment or favor to particular children to the exclusion of others.
13. Spend excessive time alone with children away from others
14. Place themselves in a position where they are made vulnerable to allegations of misconduct
This is not an exhaustive or exclusive list. Staff, consultants, contractors, partners and other representatives should at all times avoid actions or behavior which may allow behavior to be misrepresented, constitute poor practice or potentially abusive behavior.
It is important for all staff, consultants, contractors, volunteers, partners and other representatives in contact with children to:
1. Be aware of situations which may present risks and manage these
2. Plan and organize the work and the workplace so as to minimize risks
3. As far as possible, be visible in working with children
4. Ensure that a culture of openness exists to enable any issues or concerns to be raised and discussed
5. Ensure that a sense of accountability exists between staff so that poor practice or potentially abusive behavior does not go unchallenged
6. Talk to children about their contact with staff or others and encourage them to raise any concerns
7. Empower children – discuss with them their rights, what is acceptable and unacceptable, and what they can do if there is a problem.
8. Maintain high personal and professional standards.
9. Respect the rights of children and treat them fairly, honestly and with dignity and respect
10. Encourage participatory practice with children which develops their own safeguarding capacity
REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO CONCERNS
All CDO, other representatives and staff of partner agencies must report all concerns including both specific reports and unconfirmed concerns regarding child abuse or sexual exploitation where the alleged perpetrator is a member of staff, other representative or staff of a partner agency.
The first priority of any staff member to whom child protection concerns are reported must be the immediate safety and welfare of the child.
There are no exceptions to child protection policy. Any breach of this policy is investigated in accordance with Local Procedures and this Child Protection Policy and is stated to be a disciplinary offense which can result in dismissal in all staff contracts.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT OF CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
I affirm that I have read and understood the CDO Child protection policy.
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