Child Protection Policy
1. Policy Goals
The Diplomacy Training Program’s (DTP) Human Rights and Advocacy Programs provide training for community advocates and human rights defenders who are aged 18 years and over.
Whilst children do not typically participate in DTP’s programs and their engagement with DTP in any other capacity is limited, DTP is committed to promoting the principles enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other human rights standards and principles relevant to child protection. DTP recognises that preventing child exploitation and abuse is a shared responsibility and is committed to a child safe environment for any children who, as a result of DTP’s programs, come into contact with DTP personnel.
To that end, the purpose of this Policy is to:
- Outline the structures that DTP has in place to ensure that it maintains an organisational culture that promotes child safety
- Outline the processes that DTP has in place to ensure that DTP Personnel:
- are aware of and comply with internal and external obligations for reporting concerns for a child’s safety and wellbeing; and
- undergo the necessary screening to determine their suitability for working with children, consistent with applicable legal requirements.
- Provide a clear statement to all DTP Personnel and any other adults associated with DTP’s programs, as to the standards expected of them when interacting with children in association with DTP’s programs, including a clear statement that child abuse or any other harm to or mistreatment of children, will not be tolerated, will be fully investigated and disciplinary processes exercised.
- Affirm DTP’s commitment to the safety and protection of children and to the realisation of children’s rights as recognised in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other human rights instruments.
DTP believes that it is the responsibility of all DTP Personnel, to ensure the safety of children who come into contact with DTP programs. This Policy therefore applies to all DTP Personnel and anyone representing DTP in a formal capacity.
- All DTP Personnel must be aware of, comply with and sign an acknowledgment that they are aware of and will comply with this Policy and the Child Protection Code of Conduct.
- All Partner Organisations, and Employees or Volunteers of Partner Organisations who will be involved in conducting DTP programs, courses, activities or events, must be aware of and comply with this Policy and the Code of Conduct and may be asked to sign an acknowledgment that they are aware of and will comply with this Policy and the Code of Conduct.
DTP is committed to a child safe environment and will ensure that:
- All DTP Personnel are familiar with this Child Protection Policy (Policy) and the Child Protection Code of Conduct (Code of Conduct) annexed to this Policy, and understand their obligations under the Policy and Code of Conduct.
- Personnel who may come into contact with children during the delivery of DTP programs undergo the relevant recruitment screening processes, including criminal record checks before engagement, verbal referee checks and requesting that the applicant disclose whether they have been charged with child exploitation offences and recording their response.
- DTP will consider risks to children when designing and delivering its operations and will prevent DTP Personnel from working with children if they pose an unacceptable risk to children.
- An assessment of child protection risk and risk management is undertaken for all DTP programs. DTP will undertake a Child Protection Risk Assessment as part of the Program Risk Assessment and Management planning. As part of that Risk Assessment, DTP will consider:
- whether the activity involves DTP Personnel having contact with children;
- if so, whether children will be at risk of harm, including an unacceptable risk of harm; and
- if children are at any risk of harm, the measures DTP can implement to reduce or remove the risk to children.
- All DTP Personnel are provided with information and guidance on recognising and avoiding inappropriate behaviours with children, and recognising when the safety of a child may be at risk.
- A clear reporting procedure is available to all personnel involved in DTP programs. Personnel are aware that it is mandatory to report immediately any concerns, suspicions or allegations of harm to a child and/or breaches of DTP’s Child Protection Policy or Code of Conduct by any DTP Personnel to DTP’s Executive Director, Child Protection Officer or Program Coordinator.
- If the report relates to a DFAT funded project, DTP’s ED or Child Protection Officer will immediately report to DFAT’s Conduct and Ethics Unit via [email protected]
- Where DTP Personnel have already reported to DTP or DTP has already reported to DFAT, and they become aware of additional information, DTP Personnel and DTP must also make a further report in relation to that additional information.
- Any concerns, suspicions or allegations of harm to a child and/or breaches of DTP’s Child Protection Policy are thoroughly investigated and notified to the appropriate authorities including to the appropriate police force if criminal offences may be involved.
- DTP will ensure that any personnel under investigation for offences relating to child exploitation and abuse are suspended from duty or transferred to duties that do not involve contact with children during an investigation.
- When responding to allegations, both during the investigation and any disciplinary process, the rights of each individual, including their rights to privacy and procedural fairness, will be respected.
- In the event that an allegation of harm to a child is proved DTP will terminate the employment, contract and/or association with the perpetrator.
- DTP takes any breach of its Child Protection Policy or Code of Conduct very seriously. If such a breach is proved, DTP is likely to take disciplinary action against the relevant DTP Personnel. Depending on the severity of the breach and the level of harm or risk to children, this may include suspension or termination of the employment, contract and/or association with the relevant DTP Personnel.
- Appropriate support will be provided to children who are the victims of harm associated with contact with DTP Personnel.
- The Executive Director [ED] of DTP has ultimate responsibility for ensuring that DTP has effective policies and procedures in place for the safeguarding of children and for reporting concerns to the appropriate authorities.
- The Executive Director may determine that the responsibilities associated with this policy can be discharged by them personally or may determine that it is appropriate to delegate the day-to-day responsibilities for child protection and safeguarding to an appointed Child Protection Officer.
5. Reviewing this policy
DTP will regularly review this Policy and its Code of Conduct to determine what modifications may be necessary to improve the protection of children involved with it. It will consider the opinions of children in refining and developing this Policy and its Code of Conduct.
Date of Adoption: 19th November 2019
Renewed: 19th November 2021