Protect the children’s dignity and basic rights
Summary / Purpose
As an Indian child-centered community development organization whose work is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), HEALDS is committed to promoting the rights of children including their right to be protected from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation. HEALDS takes active measures to ensure children’s rights to protection are fully realized.
HEALDS acknowledges its expectation that its employees and other who work with HEALDS have Children’s best interests at the heart of their involvement with HEALDS.
This child protection policy is HEALDS statement of the intent that demonstration our commitment to safeguarding children from harms and makes clear to all in the organization and who come into contact with us what is required in relation to the protection of children, and that child abuse in any form is unacceptable to HEALDS.
HEALDS vision for Child Protection
We aim to create ‘child safe’ Environment, both internally and externally, where children are respected, protected, empowerment and active in their own protection, and where staff are skilled, confident, competent and well supported in meeting their protection responsibilities.
HEALDS is committed to actively safeguarding children from harm and ensuring children’s rights to protection are fully realized. We take seriously our responsibility to promote child safe practices and protect children from harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation in any form. In addition, we will take positive action to prevent child abusers from becoming involved with HEALDS in any way and take stringent measures against any HEALDS’s staff and / or Associate NGO Networking member who abuses a child. Our decisions and actions in response to child protection concerns will be guided by the principle of ‘the best interests of the child’.
Definitions under the child protection policy
A child is defined as any person under the age of 18 years.
Child Abuse is defined as all forms of physical abuse, emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse and exploitation, neglect or negligent treatment, commercial or other exploitation of a child and includes any actions that result in actual or potential to a child.Child abuse may be a deliberate act or it may be failing to act to prevent harm. Child abuse Consists of anything which individuals, institutions or processes do or fail to do, intentionally Or unintentionally, which harms a child or damages their prospect of safe and healthy.Development into adulthood.
Child Protection within the scope of this policy, is defined as the responsibilities, measure and activities that HEALDS undertakes to safeguard children from both intentional and unintentional harm.
Scope of the child protection policy
The child protection policy applies to everyone working for or associated with HEALDS. It encompasses the whole of HEALDS and includes without limitation.
Staff at all levels - in office, in field or elsewhere
HEALDS Associatesthese includes board members, volunteers, community volunteers, sponsors, consultants and NGO networking member. Also, the staff and/or representatives of partner organizations and local government who have been brought into contact with children or are party to HEALDS child sensitive data while working for or with HEALDS.
HEALDS visitorswho may come into contact with children through HEALDS are also bound by this policy.
Responsibilities under the child protection policy
HEALDS staff, associates and visitors must:
Never abuse and/ or exploit a child or act / behave in any way that places a child at risk of harm
Report any child abuse and protection concerns they have in accordance with applicable local office procedures. This is a mandatory requirement for staff. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
Respond to a child who may have been abused or exploited in accordance with applicable local office procedure.
Cooperate fully and confidentially in any investigation of concerns and allegations.
Contribute to an environment where children are respected and encouraged to discuss their concerns and rights.
Always ask permission children (or , in the case of young children, their parent or guardian) before taking images (e.g. photographs, videos) of them. Respect their decision to say no an image being taken. Ensure that any image taken of children are respectful(for example : children should have adequate clothing that covers up the sexual organs. Image of children in sexually suggestive poses or those in any way impact negatively on their dignity or privacy are not acceptable). Stories and images of children should be based on the child’s best interest.
Be aware that where concerns exits about the conduct of staff or associates in relation to child protection and/ or where there has been a breach of the child protection policy, this will be investigated under this policy either: by consideration of referral to statutory authorities for criminal investigation under local laws with in India and /or by HEALDS in accordance with disciplinary procedures. This may result in disciplinary sanctions and/ or dismissal for staff.
Be aware that plan will server all relations with any HEALDS associate are visitor who is proven to have committed child abuse.
Be aware that, if a legitimate concern about suspected child abuse is raised, which who proves to be unfounded on investigation, no action will be taken against the reporter. However, any employee who makes false and malicious accusations will face disciplinary action.
Be aware that HEALDS will take appropriate legal or other action against HEALDS’s Associates and visitors who make false and malicious accusations will face disciplinary action.
HEALDS Staff must not
Disclose information that identifies sponsored families or children or make it available to the general public unless that disclosure is in accordance with standard HEALDS policies and procedures.
Disclose information that identifies sponsored families or children or make it available to the general public without explicit consent from HEALDS.
All Directors, Senior Program Managers, District Covenors and Program managers must
Ensure that each office has in place local procedures that are consistent with the global child protection policy and with the document reporting and responding to child protection issues in HEALDS to respond to incidents of child abuse. Local procedure should be developed with assistance of advisers in accordance with the local law. Any deviation there from must have prior formal approval from the State Convenor / Director of Secretariat, ensure that local procedures are available in local languages.
Personal Conduct outside Work
We are committed to ensuring that our staff and representatives apply high standards of behavior towards children within both their professional and their private lives HEALDS does not intend to dictate the belief and value systems by which HEALDS’s employees conduct their personal lives. HEALDS position is dependent, however, on maintaining good relations and upholding its reputation as a child – focused community development organization with numerous organizations. Unlawful or other conduct by HEALDS’s employees which jeopardizes HEALDS reputation or position whether during or after business hours will not permitted. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to: any unlawful activity related to sexual abuse; any other unlawful activity; sexual harassment; physically / verbally abusive behavior; and public disorderly conduct.
Staff and Associates are required to bear in mind the principles of the Child Protection Policy and heighten their awareness of how their behaviour may be perceived both at work and outside work.