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CHILD PROTECTION POLICY AND CODE OF CONDUCT

FOR WORKING WITH EMPOWERING CHILDREN WITH


DISABILITIES.

April 2017

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Contents
1. PREAMBLE ....................................................................................................................... 3
2. DEFINITIONS OF TERMS .................................................................................................. 4
2.1. Child................................................................................................................................ 4
2.2. Child abuse...................................................................................................................... 4
Sexual abuse....................................................................................................................... 4
Physical abuse .................................................................................................................... 4
Neglect ............................................................................................................................... 5
Emotional abuse ................................................................................................................. 5
2.3. Discrimination: ............................................................................................................... 5
2.4. Child protection .............................................................................................................. 5
3.Scope of the Child Protection Policy ...................................................................................... 6
4.The Child Protection Policy…………………………………… ............................................ 6
5. Prevention - safeguarding children ..................................................................................... 6
6. ECD CHILD PROTECTION CODE OF CONDUCT .......................................................... 6
7. CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER ........................................................................................ 7
8. REPORTING PROCEDURE IN RESPECT OF CHILD ABUSE.................................... 8
In cases of emergency, a report should be made immediately to the relevant authorities
such as the police or social welfare.................................................................................... 9
9.ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN WHEN AN ALLEGATION IS MADE AGAINST A STAFF
MEMBER .................................................................................................................................. 9
10.CHILD SAFETY AND PROTECTION COMPLAINT PROCEDURE............................ 10
11.RECORD KEEPING .......................................................................................................... 10
APPENDIX ONE..................................................................................................................... 11
FORM ON REPORTING CHILD RIGHTS VIOLATION. ................................................... 11
APPENDIX TWO .................................................................................................................... 13

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1. PREAMBLE
Reference is made to the Rwandan constitution of June 4th , 2003 as it is amended in its article
40. Another reference is made to ratified international conventions like Convention on child
rights of 1989; African Charter on Welfare and child rights of 1990; Convention of rights of
disabled persons of 2006 ratified in 2013 by Rwanda and basing of law of child rights; ECD is
committed to the prevention of all sorts of exploitation, neglect, abuse and other forms of
violence affecting children. Guided by the legal provision together with the spirit of humanity
and good moral, we seek to enable fulfilment of child’s rights protection from all forms of
abuse and violence within families, schools, institutions and communities.

Together with partners, we support prevention of exploitation, harmful traditional practices


and violence affecting children with disabilities in their family, community and protection of
those who are living in risky situations in communities and restoration of children who have
been abused, neglected or exploited.

ECD is committed to promoting and facilitating the full participation of children and young
people in our work. We aim to create a safe and healthy environment for the young people
with whom we work. We are committed at all times to ensuring their safety and welfare and
in promoting the rights of the child including the participation of children and young people
in matters that affect them. (Article 12 of CRC (Respect for the views of the child): As our
mission is oriented to disabled children, all staff and associated workers of ECD must work
out their tasks free from discrimination towards children with disabilities as it was re-
affirmed by law No 54/2011on the protection of child’s rights in its article 5.
Terms like illegitimate, legitimate or natural or any other form of discrimination of children
basing on the circumstances in which they are born shall be prohibited.

This guideline aims to provide information and promote good practice for those involved in
working with Children with disabilities in ECD so that staff will be aware of what to do in
situations where the safety or welfare of a child may be at risk. Our policy has been
developed with the help and co-operation of others to whom we are very grateful. We would
like to acknowledge the following organizations’ policies from which we have drawn helpful
material: Chance for childhood, Collectif Tubakunde, VSO, World Vision.

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2. DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

2.1. Child
According to Rwandan law relating to the protection of children, a child is any person
Under the age of eighteen (18) years. Notwithstanding to the definition of law, ECD in so
programs, we work with young people aged between 18 -25. This Child Protection Policy
therefore includes these young people as well, irrespective of their age, as we regard their
status as vulnerable young adults worthy of recognition and protection.

2.2. Child abuse


“Child abuse” or “maltreatment” constitutes ‘all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-
treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation,
resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in
the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power. Child abuse can be manifested
in the following forms:

Sexual abuse
The actual or likely sexual exploitation of a child. This involves forcing or enticing a
child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is
happening or gives consent. The activities may involve physical contact, including
penetrative (e.g. rape) or non-penetrative acts.
They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at,
or in the production of, pornographic materials or watching sexual activities, or
encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Including direct or
indirect sexual exploitation or corruption of children by involving them (or threatening
to involve them) in inappropriate sexual activities.

Physical abuse
The actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury
or suffering to a child. Including hurting a child, inflicting pain, poisoning, drowning,
or smothering.

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Neglect
This is the persistent failure to meet the child’s basic physical and / or psychological
needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s physical or cognitive
development.the persistent lack of appropriate care of children, including love,
stimulation, safety, nourishment, warmth, education, and medical attention.

Emotional abuse
The actual or likely adverse effect on the emotional and behavioural development of
a child caused by persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection. Repeatedly
rejecting children, humiliating them or denying their worth and rights as human beings.
Or Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of
abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behaviour that may result
in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress
disorder.
2.3. Discrimination:
Discrimination refers to unfair or unequal treatment of an individual (or group) based on
certain characteristics, including: Age, Disability, Ethnicity, Gender, Marital status ,National
origin, Race, Religion, and Sexual orientation. Children with disabilities are mostly exposed
to different kind of discriminations in area of education home, transport, and government
benefit services.

2.4. Child protection


A broad term to describe philosophies, policies, standards, guidelines and procedures to
protect children from both intentional and unintentional harm. In the current context, it
applies particularly to the duty of Child-to-Child – and individuals associated with Child-to-
Child towards children in their care. Child protection can be defined in another sense as set of
usually government-run services designed to protect children and young people who are
underage and to encourage family stability in awareness of the rights of children.
It is clear from the above definitions that abuse can be caused by both actions and
omissions and can take place both within the context of the family and in the context of other
agencies and carers. Child Protection prevents and responds to exploitation, neglect, abuse,
and other forms of violence affecting children. Guided by child rights legal basis, we seek to
enable fulfilment of children’s rights to protection from all forms of abuse and violence
within families, schools, institutions and communities. With framework and purpose of the
project bellow persons are bound by the child protection policy under ECD.

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Staff: all paid staff of any part of ECD (permanent staff or workers).
ECD Associates: these include board members, volunteers (including community
volunteers), sponsors, and staff of centres, consultants and contractors. Also, the Staff and/or
representatives of partner organizations and local governments who have been brought into
contact with children or are party to ECD child sensitive data while working for or with EEE.

ECD Visitors - (e.g. donors, journalists, media, researchers, etc.) who may meet children
through ECD are also bound by this policy.

3. SCOPE OF THE CHILD PROTECTION POLICY


The Child Protection Policy applies to all staff, associates and visitors of ECD (see
definitions above). They are expected to know of its requirements, commit to its obligations
and understand the sanctions applied for breaches of the policy and failing to act upon its
mandatory requirement to be aware of laws that protect child rights.

4.RESPONSIBILITIES OF CONCERNED PEOPLE UNDER THE


SCOPE OF THE CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Everyone who works with and engages with ECD has a responsibility to ensure children are
protected. The following responsibilities are mandatory for those who fall within the scope of
the policy. Breaches of this policy and failure to comply with these responsibilities will incur
the following sanctions:

• Staff - Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or suspension

• ECD associates or visitors - Severance of all relations with ECD

• Where relevant - Appropriate legal or other such actions in case of criminal act.

5. PREVENTION - SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN


The following forms a code of conduct for ECD staff, associates and volunteers. Failure to
follow the code may lead to withdrawal of volunteer status, disciplinary action for staff a
legal action if necessary.

6. ECD CHILD PROTECTION CODE OF CONDUCT

Staff and volunteers must:


• Immediately report any child abuse and protection concerns they have in accordance
with established procedures (Appendix 1). This is a mandatory requirement for
staff.
• Cooperate fully and confidentially in any investigation of concerns and allegations.

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• Be aware that if a legitimate concern about suspected child abuse is raised, which
proves to be unfounded on investigation no action will be taken against the reporter.
However, appropriate sanctions will be applied in cases of false and malicious
accusations of child abuse.
• Treat children in a manner which is respectful of their rights.
• Respect each child’s boundaries and help them to develop their own sense of their
rights as well as helping them to know what they can do if they feel that there is a
problem.

In general, it is inappropriate (unless they are parents, family or guardians) for


volunteers or program office staff to:
• Make any unsupervised direct/indirect contact (such contact may include but is not
limited to visits and any form of communication via social media, emails, letters etc)
that is intended to establish personal relationships with any child associated with
ECD.
• Take children to your own home, especially where they will be alone with you.
• Have a child/child to stay overnight at their home unsupervised.
• Sleep in the same room or bed as a child.

Staff and volunteers must never:


• Abuse and/or exploit a child or act/behave in any way that places a child at risk.
• Develop relationships with children which could in any way be deemed
exploitative or abusive.
• Act in ways that may be abusive or may place a child at risk of abuse.

Staff and volunteers must avoid actions or behaviours that could be construed as
abusive.
For example, they should never:
• Use language or make suggestions which are inappropriate, offensive or abusive.
• Behave physically in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative
towards a child.
• Smack or hit children.
• Act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade children with
disabilities.

7. CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER


Child Protection Officer (CPO), has the main role of to be the organizational representative
for all matters related to child protection. The CPO has the ultimate responsibility for
ensuring that the child protection and welfare policy of ECD is promoted and implemented.
The responsibilities of the CPO also include: ensuring the Child Protection Policy (CPP)
remains up to date; ensuring that all organizational activity is undertaken in compliance with
the CPP and all related procedures; and scheduling of required training. In the absence of the
CPO, the school head teacher will take full responsibility for child protection issues.

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Within the objectives and aim of ECD all staff, member’s associates, visitors, sponsors and
any other person working with or for ECD must sign the child protection policy to ensure
his/her commitment.

8. REPORTING PROCEDURE IN RESPECT OF CHILD ABUSE


Responsibility to Report Child Abuse
Everyone must be alert to the possibility that children with whom they are in contact may be
experiencing abuse or have been abused in the past. This is an important responsibility for
staff and volunteers when working with children and young people with disabilities under
ECD visions.
The guiding principles in regard to reporting children abuse are summarised as follows:
• The safety and well-being of the child or young person must take priority (best interest
of the child, article 6 of law no 54/2011 on child rights protection)
• Reports should be made without delay to the CPO
• While the basis for concern must be established as comprehensively as possible,
children or parents should not be interviewed in detail about the suspected abuse.

The reporting procedure for dealing with disclosures, concerns or allegations of child abuse is
outlined in the following steps:

• The employee or volunteer who has received a disclosure of child abuse or who has
concerns of abuse should bring it to the attention of the Child Protection Officer
immediately.

• The Child Protection Officer will assess and review the information that has been
provided.

• The Child Protection Officer will then take one of two options:
o Report the allegation, concern or disclosure immediately to the manager of
project.
O Report the allegation, concern or disclosure immediately to the relevant authorities
such as the police or social welfare if necessary.

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In cases of emergency, a report should be made immediately to the relevant authorities such
as the police or social welfare.
Parents/guardians of the child will be informed of the allegation, concern or disclosure unless
doing so is likely to endanger the child or can compromise the procedures. Here down is the
form to be filed by the responsible person under the obligation of confidentiality.

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN WHEN AN ALLEGATION IS MADE


AGAINST A STAFF MEMBER

Where an allegation of abuse is made against an employee of ECD, there are two procedures
that the ECD will put in place:

• The reporting procedure in respect of the child;

• The procedure for dealing with the employee.

In the case of the allegation being against an employee of RCD, the same person (CPO)will
not deal with both the young person and the alleged abuser. Employment/contractual issues
will be dealt with separately. The Child Protection Officer will follow the normal reporting
procedure for ECD.

If there is an allegation or suspicion in relation to the Child Protection Officer, the Head
teacher will deal with all aspects of the case, including the reporting procedure.

If an allegation is made against an employee of the ECD following steps will be taken:

• The Director of ECD will deal with all aspects of the case relating to the employee.

• The allegation will be assessed by the Child Protection Officer to establish if there are
reasonable grounds for concern and whether a formal report will be made to the
statutory authorities, at this point.

• The safety of the child is the priority of ECD and all necessary measures will be taken
to ensure that the child is safe. The measures taken will be proportionate to the level of
risk.

• ECDwill ensure that no other children/young people are at risk during this period and
will inform other relevant agencies or parents/carers as appropriate.

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• The measures which can be taken to ensure the safety of children and young people can
include the following: suspension of duties of the person accused, re-assignment of
duties where the accused will not have contact with children/young people, working
under increased supervision during the period of the investigation or other measures as
deemed appropriate.

• If a formal report is being made the employer will notify the employee that an
allegation has been made and what the nature of the allegation is as it is legally
provided. The employee has a right to respond to this and this response should be
documented and retained not latter in seven days.

• The principle of innocence is guaranteed until proven otherwise.

In the case of an allegation being made against a volunteer within ECD, the Child Protection
Officer will deal with the issue as outlined in the steps above with the addition of
involvement of the volunteer's placement agency, should there be participative

CHILD SAFETY AND PROTECTION COMPLAINT


PROCEDURE

ECD is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of all children/young people with
whom we work. ECD has put in place a complaint procedure to cover any situations which
may arise, when children/young people or their parents/guardians are not happy with the way
the children/young people were treated by ECD Complaints regarding the safety and welfare
of children/young people with disabilities should be directed to the Child Protection Officer
of ECD by a competent person. Other complaints should be directed to the person with whom
the child/young person dealt with or the head of the relevant section in ECD.

RECORD KEEPING
The Child Protection Officer is responsible for keeping the following records related to Child
Protection in a locked filing cabinet. The Child Protection Officer and the Head teacher of
ECD are the only staff who have access to these records but in any necessary case any other
staff may have the same access if it is in the best interest of the child.

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APPENDIX ONE
FORM ON REPORTING CHILD RIGHTS VIOLATION.
As laws guarantees the privacy of the children any staff concern on reporting case must do it
confidentially as an obligation.

a) identifications of reporter

Names:……………………… Your job title:…………………….

Workplace :………………….
Contact details………………………………

b. identification of the abused child.


Child’s names: ……………. Child’s gender: ………………….
Parent’s names: ………………

Child’s address:…………………….

Child’s guardians:……………………….

9. Discription of the case

4 Questions to answer by the reporter

▪ Was the abuse observed or suspected? Yes or non


▪ Is this concern based on first-hand information divulged to you by someone else?
In which case, by whom? Yes or non .
▪ Did the child disclose abuse to you? Yes, or non

Date of the alleged incident :../…./………


Location of the alleged incident:………………..

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c) identification of the suspect
Names:…………… gender:……………………..

Nature of the allegation:…………………..

❖ Your personal observations (visible injuries, child’s emotional state, etc.)


❖ Child statement (in his /her words)

Signed:

Date:

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APPENDIX TWO
FORM OF DECLARATION ON COMMITMENT OF CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Names:……………………………

Date of Birth:/…./ place of birth:…………./……………./………../gender…………..


Job title:…………………….
I have read the child protection policy under ECD and I have no conflicts of interest with it
and I hereby committed to be abide by it provisions entirely.
Signed:……………. Date:……………………………

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