Child Protection Policy
Sunrise Project – France
What is a child protection policy?
A child protection policy is an organization’s commitment to protecting children from abuse, exploitation and neglect. This commitment is reflected in the way an organization conducts its business and in the way its representatives behave. Given the diversity of missions covered by Sunrise Project – France, some elements of child protection vary from program to program. This policy establishes a framework for child protection and sets minimum expectations for all members of Sunrise Project – France and its representatives (the Representatives below). Mission leaders must determine how to implement this policy, taking into account local working conditions, cultural differences and applicable laws. Sunrise Project – France makes a clear distinction between acceptable cultural differences and behavior that harms, abuses or exploits a child. Such behavior would be unacceptable within the organization. Although common practice in many countries, child labor is considered a form of abuse. Sunrise Project – France will follow the structure set forth in the ILO (International Labor Organization) Convention 138 on Minimum Age for Admission to Employment (1973), and will not employ individuals under the minimum age requirement (see Appendix 1 for structure details). If it is not possible to meet the minimum requirements (e.g., due to local laws affecting local recruitment), the Executive Director must be informed so that an alternative can be found and solutions found.
What are the goals?
The goals of a child protection policy are:
- To ensure a general understanding of child protection issues
- To ensure effective protection of children in the areas covered by the Sunrise Project – France
- To provide the necessary guidelines to learn how to protect children in our work
- To ensure that Representatives are protected from unfair practices
- To establish a structure to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect children from abuse, exploitation and other harm
Why does Sunrise Project – France have such a policy?
Proximity to children, whether direct or indirect, is an integral part of Sunrise Project – France’s mission. That is why it is necessary to have a policy that guarantees the safety of the children we work with. The risk of child abuse can come from both intentional and unintentional acts.
Unintentional acts occur through a lack of “due diligence” and/or poor organization. Ineffective supervision and lack of instruction regarding the program and activities of the Representatives can lead to critical situations, such as physical injury or even an abduction situation.
Intentional acts come from people who intend to harm the child. It has been shown that malicious offenders often become involved in organizations or jobs that give them easy access to the child
What is a child?
In the policy, the definition of a child is “any human being under the age of 15 years”.
What does this policy cover?
This policy applies to all Sunrise Project Representatives worldwide. The term “Representative” in this policy refers to any person working for Sunrise Project – France, paid or unpaid, full or part time. This includes employees, volunteers, service providers, suppliers, agents and implementing partners. Everyone is responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child, regardless of their role. All members of Sunrise Project – France will be responsible for the implementation of this policy.
Child Protection Coordinator
The Child Protection Coordinator (CPC) is the President of Sunrise Project – France and is the primary contact for child protection issues.
The Child Protection Director is responsible for:
- Assisting the team in the implementation of this policy.
- Acting as the primary contact for the team on child protection issues.
- Establishing a list of local contacts of specialists in child welfare, health, and law enforcement.
- Advise and assist any individual connected with the association with a child protection concern and advise them on how to proceed.
- To take seriously any child protection concerns and inform his/her superiors.
- Delegate appropriate cases to child welfare and/or law enforcement specialists.
- Update protected data and keep it confidential.
- Report to the EPC all issues that arise in relation to child protection
Code of conduct for all individuals attached to the association
These individuals must never:
- Allow an individual to work alone with a child in a secluded area out of sight
- Use physical violence as punishment or retaliation
- Use language that is intended to denigrate, humiliate or degrade the child
- Behaving in a way that may put the child at risk
- Abusing a child (including having sex with anyone under the age of sexual majority)
- Having a child with whom they work in their home unsupervised
- Sleeping in the same bed as a child they work with
- Discriminate against or favor one child to the exclusion of others
- Paying for the sexual services of a child
Individuals attached to the association who come in contact with children must always:
- Create and encourage an atmosphere where complacency is not tolerated and where each member is accountable
- Be aware of situations that may present a danger to the child and try to manage and/or avoid them
- Organize and plan the work and its location to minimize risk
- Be visible when working with children whenever possible and never be alone
- Ensure cultural openness to discuss and resolve any problems or issues that arise
- Ensure that the team has a sense of responsibility to avoid misbehaviour or potential abuse that does not result in a response
- Report any child protection concerns related to this policy