ADRA China adheres to statutory laws in China and foreign countries regarding child exploitation, and has policies in place to protect the rights of children in all aspects of its program. This policy aims to provide guidance and direction to all ADRA China personnel and volunteers so that:
- The rights of children in China are protected and enhanced through programs and projects.
- Personnel and volunteers understand issues of child protection, and are aware of the problem of child abuse.
- Organizational risks and duty of care are covered through implementing program procedures in recruitment, placement and management of projects designed to safeguard children through good practice.
Child Protection Protocols
ADRA China expects that its Partners will have a similar policy as given above. In addition, the protocol given below must be signed by all people (paid or voluntary) working on any project funded and/or implemented by ADRA China. It should be signed as part of project personnel orientation procedures.
ADRA China Child Protection Protocol Statement
A minor is any person who is less than 18 years old. The “Personnel” includes all people who are working under contract on a paid or voluntary basis on any project funded and/or implemented by ADRA China.
The Protocols below applies to all minors who the Contractor comes into contact with while working on ADRA China projects. This will include (but is not limited to):
- Minors living in or around communities/camps in which the Contractor is working;
- Minors Visiting Communities/camps for any reason;
- Minors living in or around the project site;
- Minors who approach project personnel while they are working; and
- Minors who are also employed as personnel on ADRA China implemented and/or funded projects.
The ADRA China Child Protection Behavior Protocols are as follows:
- Personnel must not fondle and kiss minors in any way;
- Personnel must not hold and touch minors without parents’ or guardian’s permission;
- Personnel must avoid flirting, unwelcome flattering, or making suggestive comments to minors;
- Personnel must not stay overnight alone with one or more non-related minors;
- Personnel must not hire minors as “house help” or provide shelter for minors in the Contractor’s home;
- Personnel must not be alone with minors at any time; and
- Personnel must not employ children under 16 years of age to perform labour.
The following inappropriate conduct towards minors will not be tolerated and will constitute grounds for termination of a contract by ADRA China:
- Verbal conduct such as derogatory comments or sexual advances, invitations, or using power and authority to persuade a child to act in ways that may sexually gratify the adult;
- Visual conduct such as derogatory posters, pornography of any kind, cartoons, drawings or gestures, any form of written/verbal communication;
- Physical conduct such as well as taking a child off the project site;
- Threats or demands to the child to submit to sexual requests in order to receive project benefits; and
- Involvement in one-on-one counseling with minors and children concerning personal problems must be avoided.
All project personnel on ADRA China implemented and/or funded projects must ensure that the following core principles are applied:
- Exploitation and abuse by project personnel constitute acts of gross misconduct and are therefore grounds for termination of contract;
- Sexual activity with minors is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defence;
- Exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex, including
- sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitation is prohibited. This includes exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries;
- Sexual relationships between project personnel and beneficiaries are strongly discouraged since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics;
- Where project personnel develop concerns or suspicions regarding abuse or exploitation by a fellow worker, she/he must report such concerns to the project director/manager, the Country Director or the ADRA China Board Chair; and
- Project Personnel are obliged to support the creation and maintenance of and environment which prevents exploitation and abuse of children when carrying out its work under the contract.