DAISI’s safeguard policies on child protection are presented below and are focussed on protecting all children anywhere from harm caused by DAISI employees and affiliates being applicable equally in emergency relief and development aid programmes.
1.0 Child Safeguard Policies and Responsibilities
1.1 Development of relevant Child Safeguard Policies: DAISI Executive and Field Officers are responsible for ensuring the development, implementation and periodic review of relevant Child Safeguard policies. These should be consistent with the standards outlined in this document and in accordance with local laws.
1.2 Awareness: All DAISI employees, volunteers, interns, and Board/Advisory Council members sign an acknowledgement that they know, understand and will follow this Child Safeguards Policy. Signed agreements are kept on file by the relevant office.
1.3 Relevant DAISI People and Affiliates: DAISI equips all employees, interns, volunteers, and Board/Advisory Council members to understand and perform their Child Safeguard obligations. DAISI also applies appropriate standards to external parties, including visitors, community volunteers, contractors, partners, and others affiliated with partners or contractors, to address Child Safeguards relating to their engagement with DAISI’s work. Hereafter, the full range of people for whom all or some of this Policy are relevant (either directly or through contractual arrangements) will be referred to as ‘DAISI employees and/or affiliates’
1.4 Agreements with Contractors: Contractors engaged in situations where they—or their employees or subcontractors—may have access to children in DAISI programmes, or may have access to personal data about such children, require Child Safeguards in their contract with DAISI. In addition, a copy of the Child Safeguards must be attached to the contract. These requirements apply whether the Contractor is being paid for the services, or is providing them for free (‘pro bono’), and is irrespective of the duration of the contract. In the course of performing this contract, Contractor and Contractor’s employees will ensure that:
1.4.1 Any individuals with access to children, or to personal data about such children, will have a National Police Certificate (NPH) check for past criminal activity and a Working With Children Check (WCCC) for offenses against children, to the extent permitted by law (evidence of which will be provided to DAISI upon request); and Any of their interactions with children or with personal data about such children will comply with the attached DAISI Child Safeguards Policies, and with any other reasonable Child Safeguards that DAISI may specify;
1.4.2 Any incidents of harm or risk of harm to children will be reported immediately to DAISI. This can be done by completing the online Incident Reporting form, by contacting the Child Safety Protection Officer, or using the Contact Form on DAISI’s homepage.
If at the time of an incident reporting DAISI is a recipient of DFAT funding, then DAISI will immediately notify DFAT.
If there is sufficient indication or ongoing risk or legal requirement, then the relevant Police Authority will also be notified.
1.4.3 These Child Safeguard obligations will be clearly communicated to, and acknowledged by, all employees who may have access to children or to adult beneficiaries, or to personal data about such persons, and will be extended in identical form to any subcontractors (if any are authorised) engaged to perform this contract.’
1.5 Agreements with Partner Organisations: When engaging a partner for a DAISI programme or programme activity, the agreement (also referred to as, ‘Memorandum Of Understanding’), specifies that before the Partner begins any work on the project, the Partner’s Child Safeguards policy must be provided to DAISI and approved by DAISI as appropriate for the programme at issue. Alternatively, in the absence of such a policy, the Partner can agree to follow DAISI’s local Child Safeguards Policy in carrying out the programme activities. The agreement must ensure that any of the Partner’s personnel working in the DAISI project will have a current clean criminal background check for offenses against children, to the extent permitted by law (evidence of which will be provided to DAISI upon request).
1.6 Safeguards Responsibility Staffing: DAISI appoints a Child Safety Protection Officer to provide leadership to the implementation of child protection safeguards. This person must convey every incident of possible child abuse or exploitation to DAISI’s Chair.
1.7 Training: All DAISI employees, volunteers, interns, and Board/Advisory Council members, as well as partner employees or partner volunteers working within a DAISI project, receive Child Safeguards training at the start of employment or DAISI affiliation. DAISI employees and volunteers receive periodic refresher or other Child Safeguards training at least once every two years thereafter.
2.0 Behaviour Protocols
2.1 Child Safeguard Responsibilities Protocols: DAISI employees and affiliates behave in ways that protect children and prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, and prevent any other intentional or unintentional harm to the people DAISI serves or works amongst. Rules of behaviour are based on local and culturally appropriate interactions (provided these meet or exceed the minimum protocols below) with children, members of the opposite sex, and other vulnerable adults, and are included in each contextualised Child Safeguard Policy. All DAISI employees and affiliates abide by these protocols in their activities with DAISI, for all children anywhere (see Definitions).
Acceptable Behaviour – DAISI employees and affiliates:
2.1.1 create and maintain an environment which prevents sexual exploitation and abuse of children and promotes the implementation of these Behaviour Protocols;
2.1.2 are careful about perception and appearance in their language, actions and relationships with children. Their behaviour—including in person and on digital platforms, both online and offline—demonstrates a respect for children and their rights; c) ensure that all physical and online contact with children is appropriate in the local culture;
2.1.3 use positive, non-violent methods to manage children’s behaviour;
2.1.4 accept responsibility for personal behaviour and actions as a representative of the organisation;
2.1.5 are always accountable for their response to a child’s behaviour, even if a child behaves in a sexually inappropriate manner; adults avoid being placed in a compromising or vulnerable position with children;
2.1.6 where possible and practical, follow the ‘two-adult’ rule while conducting DAISI work, wherein two or more adults supervise all activities that involve children, and are visible and present at all times;
2.1.7 comply with Child Safeguard Responsibility-related investigations (internal and external) and make available any documentary or other information necessary for the completion of the investigation;
2.1.8 comply with applicable data privacy laws and with relevant DAISI data privacy and information security policies, including DAISI digital child safeguarding protocols, when handling any personal data about individual children noting in general that collecting or using such data must be limited to the minimum necessary, and that such data must be maintained and transferred in a secure, confidential manner;
2.1.9 immediately report through established reporting mechanisms any known or suspected Child Safeguard incident or breach of this Policy by a DAISI employee or affiliate, or a humanitarian aid worker from any other agency.
Unacceptable Behaviour – DAISI employees and affiliates do not:
2.1.10 behave in an inappropriate physical manner, or develop a sexual relationship with a child (under 18 years old), regardless of the country specific legal age of consent or age of majority. This also includes consenting or condoning the above behaviour (including fostering or condoning child marriage (under 18 years old));
2.1.11 develop or seek a sexual relationship with any beneficiary of any age; such relationships are not acceptable and will not be tolerated since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics. Such relationships undermine the credibility and integrity of DAISI’s humanitarian aid or development work;
2.1.12 sexually exploit or abuse any beneficiaries (adult or child); such behaviour constitutes an act of gross misconduct;
2.1.13 exchange money, employment, goods, or services for sex (including sexual favours, other forms of humiliating, degrading, or exploitative behaviour, or hiring sex workers) or other exploitative demands is strictly prohibited. This includes exchange of assistance that is already due to beneficiaries;
2.1.14 fondle, hold, kiss, hug or touch children in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive way;
2.1.15 use language, make suggestions or offer advice to a child which is inappropriate or abusive, including language that causes shame or humiliation, or is belittling or degrading;
2.1.16 spend excessive or unnecessary time alone with a child away from others or behind closed doors or in a secluded area;
2.1.17 condone or participate in behaviour with children which is illegal, unsafe or abusive; including harmful traditional practices, spiritual or ritualistic abuse;
2.1.18 hire children in any form of child labour (including as “house help”) unless it is within the best interest of the child and in alignment with local law and international standards (‘Child labour’ is work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children, or that interferes with their schooling. ‘Child work’ in contrast may be beneficial if permitted by International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions and puts the child’s interests ahead of any benefits gained by adults);
2.1.19 hit or use other corporal punishment against a child while the child is in DAISI care or the DAISI employee or affiliate is conducting DAISI work;
2.1.20 take a child alone in a vehicle for DAISI work, unless it is absolutely necessary, and with parental/guardian and managerial consent;
2.1.21 misuse or be careless with personal data about individual children; m) communicate with a child in DAISI’s program areas via digital platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), via mobile technology (e.g. texting, Whatsapp, Skype, Zoom), or online without consent and knowledge of his/her parents. Further, DAISI employees or affiliates never communicate on mobile, digital or online platforms with children in ways that are inappropriate or sexual; n) stay silent, cover up, or enable any known or suspected Child Safeguard incident or breach of the related Policy by a DAISI employee or affiliate.
2.2 Disciplinary Action: Failure to follow DAISI’s Child Safeguard Behaviour Protocols, failure to follow any other part of this Policy, other inappropriate behaviour toward children, or failing to report a known or suspected Child Safeguard Responsibility incident committed by a DAISI employee or affiliate, is grounds for discipline, up to and including termination of the employment or other affiliation with DAISI.
3.1 Screening: DAISI takes diligent measures to screen out all people who might seek to use DAISI to harm children or whose past actions indicate an unacceptable risk of such harm. These measures include addressing Child Safeguard Responsibilities in job advertisements (when feasible), applications, interviews and references. Safeguarding screening measures are applied to staff and volunteer applicants including asking of past criminal record and previous child offence charges in all application forms, and mandating that any volunteer, DAISI member or employee have a current National Police Certificate (NPH) and Working With Children Certificate (WWCC). All DAISI members, volunteers and employees will have a screening interview. During the interview process, applicants are asked about previous work with children. For references supplied by applicants, questions are asked regarding the suitability of the candidate to work with children or for a child-focused agency. Documentation of references, NPH and WWCC certificates are all kept on file.
3.2 Similar safeguarding screening measures are applied to individual contractors who will have access to children or to their personal data.
3,3 Note that major grant donors may have specific screening requirements for work they fund, so relevant grant terms and regulations should be checked.
3.4 Identity and Background Checks: Candidates for employment, Board/Advisory Council members, volunteers, and interns—as well as relevant personnel of contractors and partners—have an identification check and an appropriate criminal record/police background check, to the extent permitted by law, prior to employment or engagement with DAISI, and periodically thereafter as required by law or appropriate for the context. Formal Global Centre exemption approval is required for alternatives to police background checks in contexts where they are not feasible or trustworthy or lawful. People with a prior conviction for any crime against children or sexual exploitation or abuse against an adult are not hired or engaged by DAISI, to the extent permitted by applicable law, and in any case will not be placed in a position with access to children or to their personal data.
4.0 Visits to DAISI Projects
4.1 Visitors: Visitors subject to this Policy include people going to a DAISI field programme or meeting with a DAISI beneficiary child(ren). This includes sponsors, donors, and other delegations from Support Offices such as bloggers, celebrity supporters, or journalists invited by DAISI. Government officials or institutional donors (government, multilateral) based in the hosting country do NOT require Child Safeguard Responsibility clearance, but are accompanied by a DAISI employee(s).
4.2 Visit Preparation: Visits by all sponsors and private donors, and other international visitors are pre-approved by both the sending and the hosting office. Support Offices and Field Offices with National Resource Development programmes conduct police background checks on potential sponsor or donor visitors prior to any field visit, where permitted by law. Unannounced visits to sponsored children or DAISI project communities are not permitted.
4.3 Visitor Orientation to Child Safeguards: Each DAISI Entity is diligent to ensure that visitors uphold the relevant sections of this Policy. The following requirements apply to visitors who visit a project or have direct contact with community members in DAISI programming areas. a) Visitors from other DAISI offices who are employees or Board Members: The hosting office provides a brief orientation to any distinctive Child Safeguards Responsibility Behaviour Protocols that apply in that context, as well as local customs regarding adult interaction with children. b) Visitors who are not DAISI employees or Board Members: All such visitors are briefed on DAISI’s Child Safeguards Responsibilities Behaviour Protocols (Section 2.1) and Prevention of Harm in Communications (Section 5.4) by the sending office prior to the visit. Upon arrival, visitors receive a brief written or oral orientation and sign acknowledgement of receipt of the protocols. The signed acknowledgement is kept on file by the hosting entity. Non-employee or Board visitors are accompanied by a DAISI employee when visiting projects.
5.0 Communications, Social Media and Digital Technology
5.1 Dignity: DAISI takes care to ensure local traditions or restrictions for reproducing personal images are adhered to before photographing or filming a subject, and DAISI ensures images are honest representations of the context and the facts. In all forms of communication, children are treated and portrayed with dignity and not as helpless victims or in sexually suggestive poses.
5.2 Consent: Children who are primary subjects of text, photo and/or video resource gathering by DAISI employees must provide informed consent. Informed consent means the subject has a general understanding of the purpose of the reporting or photography, and gives verbal or written permission thereof. If the primary subject is a child, written consent is also collected from the parent, guardian, or other legally required entity or individual. In the following situations, written consent is collected from the child (as appropriate for age): a) a child could be personally identified or b) the sensitive nature of their personal disclosure or situation could possibly cause damage to their privacy, dignity, safety or reputation, or c) where otherwise required by applicable law.
5.3 Digital Awareness: DAISI actively supports Registered Children (RCs) and their parents/caregivers—as well as any children participating in DAISI organised Information and Communication Technology (ICT) activities—to understand how to safely and appropriately utilise social media and digital technology, while avoiding risks and appropriately responding to threats or incidents.
5.4 Prevention of Harm in Communications: DAISI is committed to storytelling that raises awareness of and promotes solutions to ending violence and abuse against children. DAISI takes the following steps to prevent harm through communications, social media and digital technology (including photographs/videos/audio clips, stories, articles, or any other communication materials):
5.4.1 Personal child and information that is captured, stored or sent through electronic, on-line or mobile devices is password protected. In addition, data is handled in accordance with DAISI’s current information security standards for personal data, which may include encryption and other requirements.
5.4.2 Wherever possible, measures are taken to prevent electronic copying of photographs without DAISI permission (utilising digital water-marking and right-click disable functions in accordance with the DAISI Partnership Minimum Standards for Internet Presence).
5.4.3 Recognising the special vulnerability of children, material posted on social medial or digital technology does not contain a child’s family name, sponsorship ID number, or child’s personal location/address.
5.4.4 Material with a child or children is not geo-tagged to precise locations if it contains any part of the child’s name. An acceptable alternative is to retag photos with the child’s first name only to the Area Programme or project office location.
5.4.5 DAISI discourages direct, unfacilitated, undocumented communication through social media without DAISI’s knowledge between a child and any DAISI member or affiliate.
5.4.6 DAISI provides reporting and response options so that children or their caregivers can report any incident(s) where either party feels uncomfortable or threatened.
5.4.7 DAISI websites, domains and social media platform profile pages contain reporting options for child protection concerns or incidents.
5.5 Reporting Communications, Social Media and Digital Technology Policy Violations: All violations of this policy should be reported to the national Child Protection and Legal Officer (https://daisi.com.au/contact-daisis-child-protection-and-legal-officer/)
6.0 Child Safeguards Responsibilities, Incidents and Response Protocols
6.1 Responding to Child Safety Incidents: DAISI Entities are required to investigate and respond to reports of child abuse in DAISI programmes in ways which are consistent with local law. DAISI uses three levels of Safety protection Incidents to determine DAISI’s response, which is based on the seriousness of the incident and DAISI’s role.
6.2 Level 1 Child Safeguard Incidents: Abuse of or harm to a child, in a community where DAISI has programme operations and that is not committed by DAISI employees or affiliates, is a Level 1 Incident. Field offices must report Level 1 DAISI’s Child Protection and Legal Officer in cases of serious harm that threaten the child victim’s survival, safety or development.
6.3 Level 3 Child Safeguard Incidents: Level 2 Incidents are defined as any violation of this Policy which puts children or adult beneficiaries in direct risk of potential harm, but where no actual harm is believed to have occurred. DAISI Entities report Level 2 Incidents to DAISI’s Child Protection and Legal Officer .
6.4 Level 3 Child Safeguard Incidents: A Level 3 Incident is an allegation or accusation of harm or abuse to a child by a DAISI employee or affiliate. If a child is involved, two additional types of incidents qualify: death or serious injury of a child while participating in or at a DAISI activity or caused directly by a DAISI-related person, and/or a road traffic accident involving a DAISI vehicle or driver affiliated with DAISI in which a child is injured or killed. DAISI Entities report actual or alleged Level 3 Incidents to DAISI Safeguarding within 24 hours of first notice. Response is implemented by the national entity with oversight by and accountability to the DAISI Child Protection Officer and support from the Regional Safeguarding focal point.
6.5 All DAISI employees and affiliates are responsible and obligated to report any suspicions of child abuse (or other safeguarding concerns, including any violations of this Policy) that is connected to DAISI or its programmes. In addition, any credible concern or suspicion of sexual abuse or exploitation by a humanitarian worker outside DAISI is immediately reported. Where interagency mechanisms are established, these are utilised to report the incident, in consultation with the DAISI Child Protection and Legal Officer.
6.6 Reports can be made by DAISI employees or affiliates by contacting DAISI’s Child Protection & Legal Officer or any member of the DAISI Executive.
6.7 Disclosure: Whilst DAISI maintains appropriate confidentiality for individuals in Child Safeguard Incidents, DAISI may disclose information about incidents, when lawfully permitted, in order to support prosecution of suspected criminal activity, meet donor or regulatory requirements, support learning and accountability, advocate to prevent future incidents, or as required by law.
6.8 Information in ongoing investigations of Child Safeguard Incidents, and information about past incidents, is shared only with those on a ‘need-to-know’ basis, as deemed necessary by the national office or regional office or DAISI Child Protection and Legal Officer. If it is likely that sensitive information about survivors or about violence against children or adults will not be kept confidential, and would put people at risk if accessed by unauthorised parties, such information is not collected.
6.9 Detailed personal information, in particular health information, is not obtained or maintained by DAISI, except for the minimum necessary to ensure DAISI handles the matter appropriately. Such personal data is kept strictly confidential and protected in accordance with the applicable data protection and informational security standards.
6.10 Reporting to Authorities: DAISI Entities shall evaluate reporting Child Safeguard violations to appropriate legal authorities, assessing any legal obligations to report, as well as the interests of the survivor(s). Generally reports are made, unless a report is judged likely to cause greater harm to existing victims or potential future victims.
7.0 Programming Considerations for Child and Vulnerable Adult Safety Protection.
7.1 Child Safeguards Essentials in Programming: DAISI seeks to do no harm to children, to keep the interests of community members—especially children—at the centre of its activities, and to utilise opportunities to help children be safer within their families and communities. This includes consideration during programme design of local child protection threats and issues, and influencing local actors and groups to be safer organisations for children. In emergency programme designs, humanitarian protection threats are considered in addition to child protection threats.
7.2 Community Feedback and Complaints Mechanisms: Children, parents, and other adults are aware of established complaint mechanisms in DAISI projects and their right to be safe from abuse and exploitation in DAISI programmes. Every community-level DAISI programme: a) works with children in the community to help them recognise inappropriate conduct by DAISI employees or affiliates, and to develop safe and contextually appropriate community feedback mechanisms by which community members can report both general suggestions and any serious incidents of misconduct by DAISI employees or affiliates. b) provides information on how to report child abuse, sexual exploitation and abuse, or other breaches of Behaviour Protocols by DAISI employees or affiliates.
7.3 Institutionalisation and Adoption: DAISI does not facilitate the adoption of children or support programming within long term institutions in ways that perpetuate the institutionalisation of children.
8.0 Safe Child Participation
8.1 Prevention of Harm in Child Participation: DAISI works to empower children as citizens and participants in their own well-being, and to minimise any risk of harm or negative consequence resulting from participation in activities promoted by DAISI. Child participation programmes and activities are based on context analysis with clearly identified needs and expected results, along with how the project will measure progress towards achievement while mitigating risks through risk assessments.
8.2 Ethics: Child participation activities are designed and implemented to adhere to principles and ethics which keep the best interests of children as the top priority.
8.3 Informed Consent in Child Participation: Child participation activities are voluntary and inclusive (especially of the most vulnerable children), and both children and parents/caregivers make informed decisions regarding participation, including due consideration of the benefits and risks that could be associated with the activity.
8.4 Child Travel: When it is in the best interests of children, DAISI sometimes helps children travel to events, activities or other opportunities. In such cases the parents or caregivers, or other legally required entity or individual, give informed consent prior to the travel. The child’s health, safety, well-being, and meaningful participation are the most important priorities during travel supported by DAISI. DAISI does not facilitate visits of children outside of their country to their sponsor.
9.0 Introductory and Ongoing Training
9.1 Introductory and ongoing training is provided to all DAISI staff members, employees, volunteers, project partners, and visitors. Existing staff will have annual training and refresher courses, ensuring minimum understanding and competencies are met.
Beneficiary: In regards to Child Safeguards Policies, DAISI uses a broad, working definition of ‘beneficiary’ to include not only direct beneficiaries of a particular project, but also any child or adult who might suffer harm caused by DAISI employees or affiliates as part of DAISI programme presence5.
Child: Any person below the age of 18. The Child Safeguards Management Policy covers interactions by DAISI employees and affiliates with all children anywhere (not only beneficiaries).
Child protection: All measures taken to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation and all other forms of violence against children. A World Vision global sector, together with child participation.
Contractor: DAISI regularly contracts with non-employee individuals and organisations to perform services for DAISI. These non-employee individuals and organisations may also be referred to as ‘independent contractors’, ‘consultants,’ or ‘vendors’, and are referred to in this document as ‘Contractors’. Contractors are distinguished from organisations with which DAISI partners to carry out programme activity (including subgrantees). See Partner, below.
Partner: A partner organisation, for Child Safeguards purposes, is a Non-Governmental Organisation, Community-Based Organisation, for-profit enterprise, or other entity implementing a programme or activity on DAISI’s behalf or in collaboration with DAISI, and which has a written agreement with DAISI. The partner may or may not receive funding from DAISI.
Child Safeguards: Preventing, reporting, and responding to harm or abuse of adult beneficiaries and any children or vulnerable adult by DAISI employees and affiliates.
Child Safeguard protection: Preventing, reporting, and responding to harm, abuse or exploitation of any child (< age 18) by a DAISI employee or affiliate. The Safeguarding Management Policy also requires reporting/ referring child abuse cases affecting any child in DAISI programmes, even if not committed by DAISI employees or affiliates.
Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA): The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA): A term used by the United Nations and International Non-Governmental Organisation community to refer to measures taken to protect vulnerable people from sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian aid workers.
Volunteer: A person who is neither employed by DAISI nor legally obliged to work for DAISI, but who on free will and without expectation of payment or other remuneration, contributes their time, skill, knowledge, efforts and expertise to DAISI’s work. ‘Volunteer’ includes a ‘business volunteer’ in a DAISI office or affiliate; a ‘supporter volunteer’ without physical contact with sponsored children or their records; ‘community volunteer’ who volunteers on behalf of their community to fulfil the community’s responsibilities in an ongoing DAISI project; and volunteers or ‘incentive workers’ from groups or communities targeted for humanitarian assistance. All categories of volunteers are subject to applicable Child Safeguard Management Policy, except community volunteers for whom the following apply:
- The community volunteer does not have physical contact with sponsored children or their records as part of their volunteer activities; AND
- Beyond basic training, DAISI does not specify how to complete the relevant activities; AND
- The community does not perceive or consider this person as ‘part of DAISI’s work’ due to their volunteer activities, and if they were to harm a child or adult, would not be expected to hold DAISI responsible.
DAISI employees and affiliates: Refers to the full range of people accountable to DAISI’s Child Safeguard policies and protocols, including all employees, interns, volunteers, and Board/Advisory Council members, as well as external parties, including visitors, community volunteers, contractors, partners, and others affiliated with partners or contractors.
This policy was first created 15th November 2015 and revised on 1st July 2020.