Child protection policy

The abuse of children is happening worldwide in all parts of society, also in institutions that work with children and/or take care of them.

The UN convention on children’s rights declares that

* all children have the same right for protection against abuse and exploitation.
* everybody has the responsibility to support care and protection for children
* people in power have to prevent any kind of child abuse.

“Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia“ acknowledges these principles and wants to make
sure that the children who are in its care are protected against any kind of abuse.

Definition:
A child is a person who is under 18 years old. Child abuse is defined as sexual abuse or any other physical or mental pain brought to a child. The child protection directive is a pledge to save the children from any harm. It describes all requisitions necessary for child protection. This guideline should help to create a positive environment for the children and show that the organisation takes its
responsibility serious. The directive protects children from abuse and adults from false allegations.

Self-commitment obligation
The first priority of our organisation is the security and the well-being of all children who are in our care. We commit ourselves to a strict child protection directive in order to make sure that children do not experience abuse, exploitation, violence or negligence. This directive is in accordance with the general principles of the UN convention on children’s rights.

Child well-being
The well-being of the children is at the centre of our actions. All decisions and interventions affecting the children, should serve their well-being. We will always take the repercussions of our decisions on the children into account and will strive to choose the option that is most beneficial to the child.

Equal treatment
We will enforce the rule of equal treatment at all times. All children will be treated with the same respect and affection.

Autonomy
We will respect the child’s right to let his/her opinion be heard in important life decision – appropriate to his/her development age. Children will get the opportunity to tell their ideas and opinions and they will be heard regarding their affairs. We will try to incorporate the wishes of the child (and that of it’s legal guardian) during the decision-making process. All children have the right to autonomy.

Our goal is to create a secure and friendly environment in which the children can grow up in a
healthy way and develop themselves.

We will
* respect the dignity and the rights of children, families, communities with which we work and always act in the interest of the child’s well-being.
* work with the children in a cooperative and fair way, based on equal trust and respect.
* work with the children in a way that strengthens their talents and develops their capabilities.
* actively stand up against child abuse.

* take positive measures to prevent that any person working with “Tani – perspectives for
children in Cambodia” is involved in abuse.
* take immediate and strong actions against any employee, volunteer, visitor at “Tani –
perspectives for children in Cambodia” who abuses children.

“Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” commits itself to respecting
* the UN convention on children’s rights
* the Cambodian constitution
* Cambodian law and instruments for the protection of children’s rights
* positive traditional customs and practices

This directive applies to all employees, interns, volunteers, incoming employees, consultants, suppliers, members of partner organisations and visitors at “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia”.

Employees
The Child Protection Officer (CPO) of “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” has to make sure that all employees are aware of the child protection policy and understand it. He/She has to ensure that all employees respect their duties regarding the policy. “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” will strive to respect the policy and always think of the risks the children face. If
necessary, changes to the policy should be made. The CPO and/or the director of “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are responsible for the successful implementation of the policy and will consult the employees.

1. Visitors
Before entering the village, visitors need the approval of the director of “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia”. They are not allowed to be on the premises alone or with children. Before  taking pictures, they have to ask the director or the CPO for permission. If a child is picked up by a relative, the relative has to accept the child protection policy in the name of the whole family with his/her signature. Visitors need the approval of the board and of the director to sleep in the village “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia”.

2. Human resources
Job advertisements have to explicitly state that “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” is obligated to the protection of the children and that an employment is only possible for candidates who accept and respect this policy. All future employees of “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” will be informed about the child protection policy during the recruitment process. The selection has to be based on the written application or a personal interview. If possible and in line with the law of the country, the organisation will request a criminal record to look for possible child abuse convictions or other relevant sentences. Foreigners will have to go through the same process, if possible in their home country.

“Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” reserves the right to terminate a working contract, if the check reveals that the person is not suitable to the work with children or if there are other reasons, which endanger the well-being of the children. The CPO has to make sure that all new employees give a written confirmation that they received the policy. The signed confirmation is kept in the personal file of the employee.

Code of conduct
The code of conduct contains guidelines for adequate behaviour regarding the children and ensures their safety. It should also protect all employees, interns, volunteers, incoming employees, consultants, suppliers, members of partner organisations and visitors of “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” from false allegations of inappropriate behaviour or abuse.

1. No child is allowed to drive on a motorbike or tuk-tuk without the prior approval of the director or the CPO of “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia”.

2. No child is allowed in the room of an employee, intern, volunteer, visitor or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” without the prior approval of the director or the CPO of “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia”.

3. Employees of “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are not allowed to have social relations with the children outside the premises of the village. Exceptions have to be approved by the director or the CPO.

4. Employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are not allowed to take a child to a restaurant without prior approval.

5. Before buying a gift for the children you have to get the approval of the director or CPO.

6. Employees, interns, volunteers or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” have to talk and work with the children in an adequate way. Special care should be given to the reputation of female employees and girls. Language and behaviour have to reflect a respectful relationship between the sexes and be in line with the Cambodian culture.

7. Employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are not allowed to ask the children for help with work, unless they have the approval of the director. This is to make sure that the working conditions are
appropriate for the children’s age and fulfil the guidelines of “MOSALVY” and other relevant working laws. These laws allow the employment of underaged children only at the age of 12 and restrict the working hours of children. Furthermore, the children have to have access to education. Employees who do not comply with this rule are acting against the law and will be charged for child abuse and/or exploitation.

8. It is forbidden to humiliate or mentally abuse children.

9. It is forbidden to hug, kiss or touch the children in a culturally insensitive way. Every form of body contact that could be regarded as sexually advancing is strongly forbidden.

10. Employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are not allowed to use physical or mental force on the children: push, hit, beat or any other behaviour that frightens the children is prohibited.

11. Employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are always responsible for their behaviour and their reaction to the behaviour of the kids. They have to be aware that they are working with children who may try to gain special attention from adults because of their personal background and possible abuse in the past.

12. Humiliating situations have to be avoided. Every form of sexual contact through a child has to be reported to the director.

13. Wherever possible and sensible, employees, interns, volunteers and other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” should keep to the “two-adults-rule”, which means that kids are always supervised by at least two adults. If for some reason a one- on-one talk is necessary, another adult should stay in eye-contact.

14. Visitors have to be accompanied by an employee on the premises of the village.

15. Except for the housemothers it is forbidden for any employee, intern, volunteer, visitor or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” to enter the children’s houses.

16. E-Mail contact with the kids has to be approved by the director and should be supervised by an authorised employee.

17. Employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are not allowed to use pictures of the kids on the internet, in print products or other media without asking the director first. Before being published, the
pictures have to be approved by the director.

18. Employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” have to refrain from wrong behaviour and have to anticipate situations that could lead to violence against the kids.

19. Employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are not allowed to behave abusively or to organize any activities that could put the kids at danger of being physically abused.

20. Employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are not allowed to help kids with personal hygiene that they are able to do themselves e.g. wash, put on clothes, go to the toilet etc.

21. Employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are not allowed to approve or even attend activities which could lead to violent or illegal behaviour of the kids.

Inappropriate behaviour toward the kids and disrespect of the mentioned behavioural guidelines will
be sanctioned and could lead to dismissal and law enforcement.

Creating awareness and information
1. The association “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” has to inform all employees about the topic “child protection” and the policy.

2. All employees, interns, volunteers, visitors or other people involved with “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” as well as communities nearby have to have the opportunity to inform themselves on child protection, to detect abuse and to react in the right way.

3. Wherever possible, children have to be educated about self defense in order to counteract physical and sexual abuse. The children have to know that they can defend themselves, if an adult or another child acts in a way that frightens them or if they feel uncomfortable.

4. The director will enable the employees to talk openly about questions regarding child protection and to give feedback. From time to time there should be meetings with supervision to get support in this matter.

5. Posters and leaflets with information regarding child protection will be distributed to the children in Tani.

Information exchange regarding the children

1. Every exchange of information regarding the children from “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” has to respect their privacy and dignity and serve their well-being.

2. When pictures or videos are taken. The child, its parents and legal guardian have to know about the reason and have to give their consent. If possible, the children and their families should see the pictures.

3. Children have to be properly clothed for pictures and videos. It is forbidden to take pictures of them in offensive or ambiguous situations.

4. The full name of the children should be kept anonymous.

Report abuse or suspected abuse

“Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” takes child abuse very seriously. Many of the children have already been the victim of abuse in their families. The association offers them a save and secure place as a new home. Every form of child abuse – may it be physical, mental or sexual – is a severe crime which threatens the image of the child, of the accused employee and the association.
Therefore, every charge will be proceeded with all legal measures.

An environment where all employees are educated, recognize suspicious behaviour and report it, will help to prevent any abuse. Everyone, who knows about abuse of a child at “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” suspects or sees it, has to inform the CPO or the director immediately. A notice has to be given within 24 hours in order to enable early intervention and investigation. After a
verbal notice, there a written statement has to be handed in within 48 hours. Not informing the director about child abuse will lead to sanctions.

As soon as the report has been noticed, the CPO or the director will start an internal investigation and if necessary, file a complaint at the police. During an external investigation the association will cooperate with the officials. The internal investigation will start within 48 hours of the notice and will be executed by the CPO and/or the director.

If the complaint is about the CPO or the director himself, the board has to be involved in the investigation. If the board deems it necessary, the employee can be suspended (while still being paid) for the time of the investigation. The employee will be informed about the allegations and can give a statement. The rights and the well-being of the children at “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” are central to the organization. Therefore, the investigation will be executed as comfortable as possible, in order to respect the privacy of the child.

If the accused person is a foreigner, the respective authorities will be informed. It has to be noticed that the authorities can start an investigation in his/her home country.

Reactions to the results of the internal investigation

1. After finalizing the investigation, the employee, the child and his family have to be informed about the accusations, the result of the investigation and about the measures being taken.

2. If the accusations turned out to be wrong or invented, the people involved (accused, child, person who reported the issue) have to take all necessary further steps. A person who was wrongly accused has the right to get psychological counselling and other support.

3. If there has been abuse, the association takes all necessary steps to help the child to overcome any physical or mental trauma. This support involves medical support, psychological counselling and every other form of help that is deemed necessary and appropriate for the child.

4. If a child abuse has happened that is not legally relevant “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” will take disciplinary measures against the employee. These may also involve the dismissal of the employee.

5. If there has been child abuse that is legally relevant under Cambodian law, all results of the internal investigation will be forwarded to the authorities. If there is an external investigation the association will cooperate fully.

6. If an employee has to be dismissed because he has abused children, “Tani – perspectives for children in Cambodia” will share this information with the police and future employers. Forwarding this information will happen in the way that respects the law and customs.

7. The media is likely to report if there are concerns or allegations regarding any abuse at “Tani
– perspectives for children in Cambodia”. Only the director and the board will get into contact with the media and answer any questions.

Hermann Gmeiner

 "I know nothing better to help a child, than to give him a mother, siblings, a house and a village."

Tani wird unterstützt von

 About us:

 

 

The aim of the project "Tani - perspectives for children in Cambodia" is to offer orphans and children in need a life in a secure home,
access to education and the possibility to grow up in a child-oriented environment.