Putting child safety first
First and foremost: children and youth are at the centre of everything we do. We communicate openly and transparently about the results of our programmes. There has been some recent media attention on safeguarding systems within NGOs. In response to this attention, we believe it’s important to outline how we deal with child safeguarding as an organisation.
Child safeguarding policy
A strict Child Safeguarding Policy applies to everyone who works at or represents our organisation. This policy applies to all employees, interns, volunteers and partners from external organisations who are involved with our work.
The Child Safeguarding Policy outlines how to behave towards and around children - and also actions that are specifically forbidden. This policy is supported by our network of Child Protection Focal Points. If one of these officers receives a report of a possible breach of our policy, a thorough investigation follows.
Code of conduct
In order to reach our objectives, it is very important for us to act with integrity and respect. Therefore, everyone contracted by War Child must adhere to our Code of Conduct. The code outlines what professional and ethical standards of behaviour are expected from our employees, interns, volunteers, partners and anyone else contracted by War Child.
Our employees represent War Child not only during work hours but also in their private lives. Furthermore, the Code of Conduct includes rules that ensure the safety of children.
Declaration of Behaviour (VOG)
Anyone formally contracted by War Child has to submit a ‘Declaration on Behaviour’ (Verklaring omtrent Gedrag). This document is an official statement declaring how an individual’s past behaviour doesn’t pose an impediment to fulfilling a specific task or function within society.
In addition, the backgrounds of potential new staff members are thoroughly examined, and recent references are requested and checked. When someone visits our project countries on behalf of War Child, they will receive mandatory training on our Child Safeguarding Policy, our Code of Conduct and related safety measures.
Employees of War Child have a duty to report any violation (or suspicion thereof) of our codes of conduct (within 24 hours) to the designated confidential counsellor (Child Protection Focal Points). These suspicions and violations are treated very seriously by a dedicated team, who will always take action to ensure the safety of children.
War Child has a zero-tolerance policy with regard to these codes of conduct, as outlined in our Annual Report.