Rafiki Mwema Child Protection Policy
Rafiki Mwema considers the protection of children as its highest priority and we takes seriously our responsibility to promote child safe practices and protect children from harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation in any form. This policy outlines the systems and processes Rafiki Mwema will use to ensure that children’s safety and dignity is protected during their involvement with our organisation.
This policy applies to all staff and/or volunteers (including Committee members) of Rafiki Mwema. While Rafiki Mwema exists to support the activities of Rafiki Mwema and Play Kenya in Kenya, it should be noted that the two organisations are separate and distinct. Despite this, Rafiki Mwema considers the protection of children as its highest priority, therefore everyone working for or associated with Rafiki Mwema must be aware of and adhere to the provisions of this policy.
This policy is informed by a set of principles that are derived from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and include:
- All children have equal rights safety and protection from abuse and exploitation.
- Rafiki Mwema will treat all children equally, irrespective of gender, nationality or ethnic origin, religious or political beliefs, age, physical or mental health, sexual preference and gender identity, family, socio-economic and cultural background, or any history of conflict with the law.
- Rafiki Mwema has an obligation to conduct its business in a way that protects the safety and promotes the dignity and resilience of children. No child must come to harm as a result of their engagement with Rafiki Mwema as a sponsored child, or as part of any Rafiki Mwema fundraising or advocacy campaign.
- These particular responsibilities extend to those individuals or organisations that are associated with Rafiki Mwema Therefore, everyone working for or associated with Rafiki Mwema must be aware of and adhere to the provisions of this policy.
The Committee, under the leadership of the President, is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy.
If a conflict of interest occurs (e.g. a complain is made against the President), the association will nominate an independent delegate to investigate and resolve the complaint. The independent delegate will be nominated by the Committee by way of a unanimous vote.=
4.2 Recruitment of Staff and Volunteers
- Rafiki Mwema will ensure that all staff and/or volunteers hold a current Working with Children Check or equivalent clearence.
- All staff/volunteers of Rafiki Mwema will sign the Rafiki Mwema Child Protection Code of Conduct (Annex 1).
- Rafiki Mwema will not engage any person to work for the organisation if it believes that they pose an unacceptable risk to children.
4.3 Training of Staff and Volunteers
- Rafiki Mwema will host at least one professional development opportunity on child protection issues (workshop, information session, e-learning course etc.) for staff and/or volunteers every year.
4.4 Use of Images and Personal Information for Advocacy and Fundraising
- Rafiki Mwema regularly uses images (photographs/film) and personal stories of children in its advocacy and fundraising campaigns, including on social media. The use of photos and stories is an important fundraising strategy for Rafiki Mwema.
- Rafiki Mwema acknowledges that all children have the right to privacy and control over how their personal information is used.
- Rafiki Mwema also acknowledges that sharing images and information of children can, in some instances, place them at increased risk of violence and neglect.
- Rafiki Mwema will, to the absolute best of its ability, ensure that the informed consent of the child and their parent/guardian has been obtained prior to using images or film of children for advocacy and fundraising purposes.
- Rafiki Mwema will ensure images or film present children in a dignified and respectful manner and not in a vulnerable or submissive manner.
- In images or film, children will always be adequately clothed and will never be photographed of filmed in poses that could be seen as sexually suggestive.
- Rafiki Mwema will ensure file labels, meta data or text descriptions do not reveal identifying information about a child when sending images electronically or publishing images/stories in any form.
- Rafiki Mwema will always use false names when using images/personal stories of children and the words ‘name changed to protect privacy’ will be added whenever a false name is used.
- Rafiki Mwema will always ensure images and stories are honest representations of the context and the facts.
- Rafiki Mwema acknowledges that descriptions and physical and sexual violence can be traumatic for some people. Stories that involve descriptions of physical/sexual violence will include the words ‘This story includes descriptions of physical/sexual violence and may be upsetting to some readers. Reader discretion is advised’.
- Rafiki Mwema will never post a child’s personal story and an identifiable photo of the child (or any other child) simultaneously.
- If a member of the public, including staff/volunteers of Rafiki Mwema, believes this child protection policy has been breached, they can make a written complaint to [email protected]
- Rafiki Mwema will respond to complaints within 48 hours and will attempt to resolve the issue in its entirety within 14 days. The complainant will be notified of the outcome of the complaint in writing.
- Minor breaches of this policy and code of conduct (i.e. those that do not place a child at direct risk of harm) will be responded to with a verbal warning. Three verbal warnings will constitute dismissal.
- Serious breaches of this policy (i.e. those that place a child at direct risk of harm) will be responded to with immediate dismissal.
- Where a breach of this policy contravenes the law (in Australia or another country), the incidence will be reported to the police immediately.
- If a legitimate concern about suspected breach of this policy and/or code of conduct 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.
- This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Directors annually or more frequently if required.