Thursday, 06 June 2024 19:50

Child Safeguarding Policy Mainstreaming Child Safe in organizational culture, structures and work

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Over recent years, there has been increasing recognition of the way in which children, young people and vulnerable adults can be at risk of discrimination, neglect, abuse and exploitation by those who are in positions of trust and power over them, including through international development activities. As a consequence, there has been a significant increase in the efforts made by development organizations to ensure that no harm results from the contact their employees, volunteers and other representatives have with their target populations or communities.

In activities of HEfDA, employees, employees of partner organizations and volunteers may engage with young people and vulnerable adults either directly or indirectly. HEfDA recognizes it has an obligation to put in place all reasonable safeguarding measures to ensure, as far as possible, the safety and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults, including those with whom we work and those in the communities where HEfDA work is undertaken. So the mandate of HEfDA is to promote a vision of a world where all children can grow up free from violence, leaving no child behind. This policy is in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, its Optional Protocols and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The purpose of this policy and associated procedures is to provide clarity to all on how they should engage with children, young people and vulnerable adults when working for, on behalf of, or in partnership with HEfDA. It is also to help us make sure that employees, volunteers and other representatives are protected. It is intended to help us to have a common understanding of safeguarding issues, develop good practice across the diverse and complex areas in which we operate and thereby increase accountability in this crucial aspect of our work.

This policy constitutes HEfDA’s global policy. Whilst it is recognized that local legislation may vary from country to country, this policy identifies our minimum standards and may exceed the requirements of local legislation. Any breach of this policy will be treated as a disciplinary matter, which may result in immediate termination of employment or contract, withdrawal of volunteer status, and reporting to the police, relevant regulatory authority or other body

  1. Policy Statement

HEfDA has zero tolerance against abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people. HEfDA also recognizes that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and that it has an obligation to put in place reasonable measures to ensure, as far as possible, the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people with whom we work and those in the communities in which we live.

HEfDA works to the following key principles to protect vulnerable people:

  • Everyone has an equal right to protection from abuse and exploitation regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or having a child, gender reassignment, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
  • The best interests of the vulnerable person are paramount and shall be the primary consideration in our decision making.
  • HEfDA will take responsibility to meet our obligations regarding our duty of care towards vulnerable people, and take action where we believe that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is at risk or is actually harmed.
  • HEfDA will ensure that employees and volunteers are inducted in our Safeguarding Standards and procedures as a key part of the recruitment and on boarding process.
  • HEfDA will ensure that all partners are informed and in compliance with our Safeguarding Standards.
  • When working with or through partners or sub contracted agencies, HEfDA will ensure that their safeguarding procedures are consistent and in line with the principles and approaches set out in this policy.
  • HEfDA recognizes that an element of risk exists, and while we may never be able to totally remove this, we need to do all we can to reduce it or limit its impact.
  • HEfDA respects confidentiality and has a responsibility to protect sensitive personal data. Information should only be shared and handled on a need to know basis, that is, access to the information must be necessary for the conduct of one's official duties. Only individuals who have legitimate reasons to access the information are allowed to receive it.
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