Wahoe Commune Volunteer Programs
Helping Local Communities in India and Nepal.

Wahoe Commune Child Protection Policy

Wahoe Commune wishes to develop and maintain a high standard in regard to the protection of children’s right .As such we have developed and are implementing a comprehensive policy as stated below.

1. Principles
In developing this child protection policy, the following set of principles is recognized (as derived from the UN convention on the right of a child :
+ All children have equal right to protection from abuse and exploitation
+ All children should encouraged to fulfill their potential and inequalities should be challenged.
+ Everybody has a responsibility to support the care and protection of children
+ Community have a duty of care to children with whom they work and with whom their representative work
+ If agencies work through partners they have a responsibility to meet minimum standards of protection for the children in their partner’s Programs (wahoe commune) is seeking to promote a child – safe environment through active adoption of this policy at all levels, demonstrated through a clear understanding of the purpose and principles behind development of a child protection policy and through understanding of the responsibilities of wahoe commune as an organization and as individuals who comprise wahoe commune in recognition that the welfare of children is paramount.

2. Application
This document is prepared for broad application throughout wahoe commune program and importantly where a program’s targeted beneficiaries (direct of indirect) include individuals under the age of 18.

3. This policy is applied to:
+ All staff , national and international
+ All volunteers , visitors and interns
+ All contractors .e.g., consultants
+ All board members
+ The policy is to be reviewed at a minimum of every 3 years and as necessary. The review team shall comprise personnel who are actively involved programs targeting children / minors (individual under 18 year) and wahoe commune management. All policy statements and revisions shall be approved by wahoe commune board.

4. Implementation
Protection of children from abuse and safeguarding the right of children will be addressed through the following steps.
4.1 Awareness Raising
There is awareness of child protection issues and understanding of the right of the child. Problem of child abuse and risks to children.
+ Education is provided for wahoe commune personal is issues of child protection including understanding of the rights of the child, child exploitation abuse and neglect.
+ Wahoe commune personnel are made fully aware of contents of this policy, expected codes of conduct and have an active understanding of procedures and system in place to safeguard children.
+ Wahoe commune personal who work in programs whose targeted beneficiaries are under 18 year of age are to have signed that they have read and understood this child protection policy and will adhere to wahoe commune child protection codes of conduct.

4.2 prevention
The prevention of child abuse through awareness, application of protocols and code of conduct is integral to wahoe commune wishes to develop and maintain a high standard In regard to the protection of children’s safeguarding the rights of the child.
+ Appropriate measures are taken during recruitment to ensure that known offenders through interviews and reference checks specifically query child protection issues.
+ All new futures personal are required to sign that they will adhere to wahoe commune child protection policy and child protection codes of conduct.
+ Project specific application of preventative measures should be developed in order to address activity specific needs for child protection. This should be developed using the framework of awareness and prevention.

4.3 procedures and systems
Systems of communication, reporting and responding are in place and fully understood in order to minimize risk to the child and to promptly address areas of concern.
+ Communication: appropriate and wide communication of wahoe commune commitment to child protection and the implementation steps in place to ensure child protection In wahoe commune programs is necessary for the policy to be effective and to ensure a child – safe environment. appropriate communication measures are as follows:
+ wahoe commune commitment to child protection is made know through open display and available to all
+ Children is wahoe commune care have been informed of their right to be safe from abuse.
+ Information on child protection is available in the appropriate format and language to be accessible by all staff children and caress.
+ All staff and children are aware of the designated person responsible for child protection and how to contact them.
+ Reporting: prompt and properly treated and documented reporting is important for future investigation of the incident. it is important that all reported concerns are duly considered and that the appropriate measures are taken in accordance with this policy .
+ Incident reporting: wahoe commune personal are required to report immediately any know incident or suspected concern of child abuse. The report should be made to the director.
+ Any report made to wahoe commune personal by the child should be treated seriously immediate steps should be taken to ensure the child’s protection. Family caress should be informed of the issue and of the action proposed and consulted as the incident is dealt with by wahoe commune.
+ Documentation: within 24 hour a full written report should be prepared which details all aspects of the alleged of the alleged incident / concern. this should give full details of person /s involved times place witnesses and what occurred
+ Confidentiality: all parties to the incident should be guaranteed full confidentiality. This include the victim the alleged perpetrator and the individual reporting the incident. Only those required to deal with the situation shall be privy to the details if the incident.
+ Responding: a prompt and appropriate response ensures that the situation is not perpetuated and that all individuals involved are clear on issues and action to be taken. the following steps outline the appropriate responses to be taken
+ Distance the parties: the first step to be taken when an incident is reported is to distance the victim and the suspected abuse. This would normally involve suspending the staff member from their employment immediately subject to investigation with no presupposition of guilt or innocence. The staff member shall be informed of the allegations and participate in the investigation as desired.
+ Formal complaint process, investigation and determination: once the incident has been reported to the appropriate personnel the director shall commence internal investigation of incident.
+ This shall involve interviews of all parties involves including witnesses to gather all relevant details of the allegation such a process shall be documented fully. Should the allegations be found to be true then appropriate disciplinary measures potentially involving termination from employment and necessary legal recourse will be taken. Appropriate details regarding this incident should be providing to future potential employers seeking references on the individual. Should allegation found to be without base then appropriate steps should be taken with all parties to minimize damage to the reputation of the individual accused and ensure that all parties are satisfied with the findings.
+ Legal recourse : physical and / or sexual abuse of a child is considered a crime and shall be treated as such On completion of the investigation a decision shall be made by the investigation team to determine whether substantive evidence is given for criminal behavior requiring informing the relevant authorities / policy should expatriates be involved as perpetrators there may be legal recourse to be taken in this situation.
+ Counseling support. It is recognized that parties to the child abuse would need appropriate counseling support. Counselors shall be identified to provide this service to the victim and as appropriate to the perpetrator and other involved.

4.4 use of child photos and information
The use of child photos and information on the child is to be strictly regulated to ensure protection of the child from exploitation.

Any communications about children should use picture that are decent respectful and culturally appropriate.Image and information relation to children will be made available for communication purpose only where there is complete understanding and agreement as to their usage No images/ information shall be provided where there is any possibility that the communication may compromise the safety and protection of the child.In communications no personal details identifying the child specific location shall be provided.

5. Definition and terms.
Child abuse can be physical abuse emotional abuse neglect or sexual abuse.

5.1 physical abuse
physical abuse occurs when a person purposefully injures or threatens to injure a child or young person this may take the form of slapping punching shaking kicking burning shoving or grabbing . The injury may take the form of bruises cuts burns or fractures.

5.2 Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is a chronic attack on a child or young person self esteem it can take the form of name calling threatening ridiculing intimidating or isolating the child or young person.

5.3 neglect
Neglect is the failure to provide the child with the basic necessities of life such as food clothing shelter and supervision to the extent that the child health and development are at risk.

5.4 child sexual abuse
sexual abuse is when a child or young person is used by an older or bigger child adolescent or adult for this or her own sexual stimulation or gratification or economic gain

6 Acceptance of child protection code of conduct
As a staff member or volunteer (or other agent) of wahoe commune.

+ To respect the right of the child for protection from abuse and exploitation.
+ That it is my responsibility to support the care and protection of children.
+ That I have a duty of care to the children with whom I work
+ To always act appropriately and in a culturally sensitive manner with children understanding the importance of my behavior with children and the potential perception that+ May follow from my action or words this includes behaviors’ that cannot be considered abuse in any sense of the term
+ That as an adult I am fully responsible for my action and any interaction between my self and any child regardless of the behavior of the child
+ That I am fully aware of understand and agree to follow wahoe commune child protection policy including any disciplinary action as specified and I understand the protocols in place for addressing potential concerns of child abuse and agree to immediately report any incidences/ concerns that I may be aware of.