Child Protection Policy Hope for One / Hope Clubs
With this agreement, you are hereby establishing a partnership with Hope for One e.V. The goal is to see children from all conceivable circumstances around the world change by meeting with God as leaders for the next generations. We want to give hope and build the future because we know that every person is precious and loved by God. Many children have not heard or know that, and we want to change this. This will be achieved by meeting them where they are (their environment) and invest personally in their lives. We teach God’s love in a fun and creative way that creates the basis for hope, a future, and a responsible life. As partners we support each other in effective action to achieve these goals.
1. Rights of Children
The 19th article of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child from 1989 addresses the question of child rights and declares that “States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child."
1.1 Basic Rights
The rights of children can be summarized by four basic rights as follows:
- Right to Life: This refers to the child’s basic right to life. It ensures the fulfilment of his or her basic needs in terms of name, nationality, family, food, protection, clothing, and medicine.
- Right to individual development: The child has the right to mental, spiritual, physical, emotional, and psychological development.
- Protection: This combines a number of rights meant to protect the child from war, mistreatment and exploitation. Children should be surrounded by a safe and positive development environment.
- Participation: This ensures children’s access to information and communities, in which they can contribute their ideas and opinions. Children should also receive the opportunity for supportive counsel, where they can share their problems in regards to family, school, church, or other larger contexts.
2. Declaration of Commitment
- Hope Clubs is bound to upholding of the rights and wellbeing of its participating children. Hope Clubs declares that every child taking part in the program or activities will be treated with respect, regardless of their social background, skin color, sex, mother tongue, beliefs, political views, or disabilities. This includes the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Hope Clubs commits itself to training all staff members in the matter of child rights and upholding child protection policies in order to foster a safe environment for personnel and the children.
- Hope Clubs obligates itself to observe relevant national and regional laws regarding the wellbeing of children. This includes laws concerning child labor with the ultimate goal of protecting the child’s wellbeing.
- Hope Clubs commits itself to requiring that staff members treat every child in their care with respect and dignity. The employees are encouraged to be positive role models and to listen to the children.
2.1 Child mistreatment is differentiated as follows:
- Physical Mistreatment: Includes any use of physical violence, such as beating, kicking, as well as forced labor. Such acts deliberately endanger the physical wellbeing of the child.
- Mental/ Emotional Mistreatment: Any behavior (e.g. gestures and words) that knowingly harms the wellbeing of the child. In this case, examples would include spreading fear, purposeful molestation, irritation, or discouragement of a child.
- Neglect: Any inactivity of legal guardians or of those persons morally responsible in a given situation. This also includes knowingly avoiding the realization of a child’s four basic needs (the right to life, the right to education, the right to participate, and the right to report).
- Sexual Mistreatment: Any sexual or obscene interaction with children. Forcing a child to watch pornographic material, or to participate in any kind of pornography. These actions are sexual mistreatment, regardless of whether or not the child or the legal guardian have provided consent.
- Spiritual Mistreatment: Abuse of power by a spiritual leader or an authority figure in an organization, church, or family. Misuse of power strengthens the position of the authority figure or his needs at the cost of the child.
3. Our Main Concerns:
- Hope Clubs aims to inform children, authority figures, and the public about the issue of child abuse. Silent tolerance or failure to report observed child abuse is considered wrong.
- Ensuring the wellbeing of children and the promotion of a healthy environment is fundamental for the education and development of children.
- Hope Clubs informs and trains its staff in order to avoid the mistreatment of children by its own members or external persons.
- Children will be involved in decision making processes as representatives, because Hope Clubs firmly believes that they have the right to be heard and to listen. Children will learn more about their own rights through increased involvement and should be encouraged to cooperatively exchange information as well as actively work towards common interests.
- Hope Clubs commits itself to conducting regular trainings, examinations, and evaluations concerning the protection of children and to compile behavioral protocols. Please direct any concerns towards the leadership of the organization in written form.
4. Code of Conduct:
Hope Clubs expects all partner churches and organizations, staff members, interns, volunteers, visitors, and sponsors to treat every child with respect and dignity.
- All partner churches and organizations, staff members, interns, volunteers, visitors, and sponsors that work in direct contact with projects or children must take note of and sign the following code of conduct. They are thereby acknowledging that they have read the rules and declare to follow them at all times. Violation of this code or inappropriate behavior will be met with disciplinary consequences. This includes the dismissal of the respective party as well as the immediate termination of the collaboration with the respective organisation.
- All partner churches and organizations, staff members, interns, volunteers, visitors, and sponsors may not take photos or create video recordings of the children without prior consent from Hope Clubs.
- Any technical devices such as computers, tablets, mobile telephones, digital cameras, or devices with similar technical functions will be used appropriately and never for the purpose of molestation or exploitation of children, or for the consummation of childpornographic content.
- Partner churches and organizations, staff members, interns, volunteers, visitors, and sponsors of Hope Clubs must be aware that they may be working with abused children that want to use a relationship for special attention. The authority figure is responsible in every situation (even if the child is the provocateur) and should avoid any situation that seems suspicious, compromising, or endangering.
- Inappropriate behavior in regards to the children, the violation of the code of conduct, or sexual abuse of a child are all reasons for disciplinary action that can result in the dismissal of a worker, or the termination of collaboration. The guilty worker must be immediately reported to the responsible authorities.
- Positive behavior and character traits are expected of all partner churches and organizations, staff members, interns, volunteers, visitors, and sponsors of Hope Clubs, especially in the presence of children.
4.1 Behavioral Standards for Staff
It is a policy and promise of Hope Clubs that all children and youths in our care will be protected and supervised in a transparent manner. Therefore, all staff members are forbidden from doing the following:
- Accompanying children to the toilet or other isolated areas by themselves
- Greeting the children in a manner that could seem misplaced
- Touching areas of a child’s body that would usually be covered by a bathing suit
- Wrestling with the children, or treating them in an otherwise rough fashion
- Other actions that are similar to those listed above
4.2 Guidelines in the case of suspected abuse
- Any suspicion regarding child abuse is to be reported to the leadership immediately. If the suspected staff is part of the leadership team, then it is to be reported to whoever is responsible for child protection.
- No worker, intern, or volunteer should attempt to solve the situation by themselves.
- If the investigation concludes that the suspicion is justified, then the child’s parents or legal guardian must be contacted as well as the responsible officials (usually the youth welfare service), who will then file a suit, if the situation calls for it.
- The suspected worker will be temporarily dismissed from any contact with the children until the procedure is completed.
- The suspect and victim will be treated with respect at all times.
- The child’s account is to be considered the truth until the opposite is proven. Children should receive additional protection during the transitional period that precedes the clarification of the incident.
- All of the facts regarding the incident should be written out in form of a report and handed in confidentially. The reports should be made accessible to the suspect so that he or she may then prove and verify the facts.
- Hope Clubs will cooperate with other organizations in case the child requires additional protection.
This is to be signed by all committee members, staff, interns, volunteers, visitors, sponsors, partner churches and organisations of Hope Clubs. A copy can be found in the Hope Clubs main office. All partner churches and organizations, committee members, staff members, interns, volunteers, visitors, and sponsors of Hope Clubs understand and accept this policy. The policy will be reviewed every two years.
I hereby declare that:
- I have read and understand the Hope Clubs child protection policy.
- I will abide by the rules and procedures of this policy.
- I have never been accused or convicted because of a crime that endangered a child’s wellbeing, either physically or sexually.
- I obligate myself to cooperation in the case that suspicion arises against me and will act transparently during the process of clarification.
By agreeing to our partnership agreement you declare you also agree to the Child Protection Policy.