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Child Protection Policy
Our mission is to encourage and enable children and young people to promote the holistic health,
well-being and development of themselves, their families and their communities worldwide. We
believe in children’s active participation and in respecting their freedom of expression and
communication, which are advocated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We believe that child protection is crucial to ensuring that children under 18 years of age have the
rights, confidence and environment in which they can make choices, express their views and
communicate effectively with other children and adults. Children cannot become empowered
change agents to improve their lives and that of their families and communities if they are not
safeguarded from abuse, discrimination and harm of any kind, be it physical, sexual, emotional or
While this document relates to the Child-to-Child Trust UK, it will be necessary in the future for all of
our international partners to develop a Child Protection Policy that is appropriate to their own culture
and legal system (taking into account the universal human rights standards of the Convention on the
Rights of the Child).
For the purposes of this policy, a “child” is defined as anyone under the age of 18, in line with the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child.
• According to the World Health Organisation, “Child abuse” or “maltreatment” constitutes ‘all
forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment
or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health,
survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or
• NSPCC similarly specify “cruelty to children” or “child abuse” as ‘behaviour that causes
significant harm to a child. It also includes when someone knowingly fails to prevent serious
harm to a child. All forms of cruelty are damaging – it can be harder to recover from the emotional impact than from the physical effects.’ 2
• These definitions therefore point to four types of cruelty:
o Physical abuse: including hurting or injuring a child, inflicting pain, poisoning,
drowning, or smothering.
o Sexual abuse: including direct or indirect sexual exploitation or corruption of children
by involving them (or threatening to involve them) in inappropriate sexual activities.
o Emotional abuse: repeatedly rejecting children, humiliating them or denying their
worth and rights as human beings.
o Neglect: the persistent lack of appropriate care of children, including love,
stimulation, safety, nourishment, warmth, education, and medical attention.
• A child who is being abused may experience more than one type of cruelty.
• Discrimination, harassment, and bullying are also abusive and can harm a child, both
physically and emotionally.
A broad term to describe philosophies, policies, standards, guidelines and procedures to protect
children from both intentional and unintentional harm. In the current context, it applies particularly to
the duty of Child-to-Child – and individuals associated with Child-to-Child – towards children in their
Direct contact with children
Being in the physical presence of a child or children in the context of Child-to-Child’s work, whether
contact is occasional or regular, short or long term. In the UK this could involve delivering talks to
schools, churches and youth groups. Overseas this could involve project/site visits and attending
conferences at which children are also present. [N.B. this list of examples is not exhaustive].
Indirect contact with children
1) Having access to information on children in the context of Child-to-Child’s work, such as
children’s names, locations (addresses of individuals or projects), photographs and case
2) Providing funding for organisations that work ‘directly’ with children. Albeit indirectly, this
nonetheless has an impact on children, and therefore confers upon the donor organisation
responsibility for child protection issues. [N.B. this list of examples is not exhaustive].
For the purposes of this policy:
3) An overseas organisation that receives funding from Child-to-Child, whether funding is
occasional or regular, short or long term, for a specific project or towards core costs and
regardless of the amount of money involved.
4) An overseas organisation involved in project work with Child-to-Child, whether the project relationship is short or long term, a one-off or regular/ongoing arrangement, and
regardless of whether or not any funding is involved.
‘A statement of intent that demonstrates a commitment to safeguard children from harm and makes
clear to all what is required in relation to the protection of children. It helps to create a safe and
positive environment for children and to show that the organisation is taking its duty and
responsibility of care seriously.’ [Setting the Standard: A common approach to Child Protection for international NGOs, Standard 1 (Policy).]
2. Child-to-Child’s core child protection principles and values
• The legal basis – the UNCRC: Child-to-Child’s Child Protection Policy is firmly based on the
principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Taken holistically, the CRC
provides a comprehensive framework for the protection, provision and participation of all children without discrimination to ensure their survival and development to the maximum
extent possible. On the understanding that the CRC must be read as a whole, the following
articles nevertheless form the specific basis of child protection: 1 (definition of ‘child’), 2 (non-discrimination),
3.1 (the best interests of the child), 3.2 (duty of care and protection), 3.3
(standards of care), 6 (survival and development), 12 (participation), 13 (freedom of
expression), 19 (protection from violence), 25 (periodic review of placements), 32, 33, 34, 36,
37(a) (protection from economic exploitation, substance abuse, sexual abuse and
exploitation, ‘all other forms of exploitation’; torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment), 39 (physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration).
• The moral basis – a non-negotiable duty: Child-to-Child believes that NGOs working for
street children’s rights have an absolute duty to protect this already vulnerable group from
abuse, mistreatment, and exploitation from within organisations intended for their benefit.
This duty is imperative and non-negotiable. Without adequate standards and mechanisms of
protection in place, an organisation is not only failing in its primary duty of care, but may also
be negligently or recklessly fostering an environment of abuse.
• An end to silence: Silence breeds abuse and exploitation of children. Paedophiles will seek
out organisations with weak communication structures and thrive where secrecy and shame
prevail. Furthermore, without proper policies and explicit procedures in place, NGOs are
extremely vulnerable to false allegations of child abuse. Child-to-Child therefore believes in:
o creating an environment where issues of child protection are discussed openly and
are understood between children and adults;
o promoting open lines of communication both internally and externally within and
between organisations to improve awareness and implementation of child protection
policies and practices;
o creating a framework to deal openly, consistently and fairly with allegations
concerning both direct and indirect abuse.
• Children’s participation – a space and a voice: Creating a space where children feel able
and willing to speak out about abuse, free from abusers, empowers them to become actors
in their own protection without further discrimination or shame. “Children have the right to
communication – to enable them to receive information, to ask questions, to make choices,
and to make decisions.”[Quoted from Sense International Child Protection Policy, Section 2.1.2] Child-to-Child believes that helping children to find a voice is an
essential step to helping them to claim their individual rights. Children will only benefit from
this policy if they are aware of their rights and are given the proper environment in which to
• Taking it further: Child protection is not just about reading and signing a piece of paper: the
policy sets out guidelines and standards that must be put into practice. These include,
amongst other measures: recruitment procedures, review of management structures,
creation of a space for children to speak out, staff training, and development of transparent
protocols. ‘Above all, it must be remembered that it is the children, not the standards, that
are sacrosanct; and although abuse must never be tolerated, the standards are no more
than a tool in the service of promoting the welfare of children.’ [Setting the Standard: A common approach to Child Protection for international NGOs, anonymous INGO
•Challenging complacency: Resistance to addressing child protection issues may come
from lack of understanding of the nature of child abuse, lack of commitment to the
organisation/programme, and a sense that child abuse happens elsewhere. Organisations
should ask themselves: “If safety and well being of children are not at the centre of the
organisation’s programme/activities, then why not?” ‘It is unfortunate and unacceptable that it
will take an horrendous incident to shock some organisations into action’. Child-to-Child will
challenge complacency as a matter of course .[Adapted, with selected quotations, from ECPAT Australia, Choose with Care, p.34.]
• These principles underpin all of the following standards set out in this document.
3. The need for a Child Protection Policy
‘Any international NGO should have a Child Protection Policy if its direct or indirect beneficiaries
include individuals under the age of 18’ [ Setting the Standard: A common approach to Child Protection for international NGOs, Standard 1 (Policy).]
• It is the duty of Child-to-Child to ensure that the promotion of children’s rights includes
specifically protecting children from accidental harm as well as deliberate abuse within
organisations intended for their benefit. This policy will assist in fulfilling this duty.
• Street-involved children are especially vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and ill-treatment at
the hands of carers, other project workers, and those with access to their personal
information. In the case of children who have run away from home, many have already
experienced ruptured relationships of trust or abuse of an adult-child relationship in the form
of physical, psychological or sexual abuse.
• Organisations working with vulnerable children have been, are and will continue to be
vulnerable to harbouring abuse until the issues are brought into the open.
• Organisations without protection policies, guidelines and systems are more vulnerable to
false or malicious accusations of abuse.
• Without proper policies, guidelines and procedures in place, allegations of abuse, whether
founded or unfounded, can destroy an organisation’s reputation. This will have serious
implications for fundraising (thus undermining an organisation’s entire portfolio of work, even
beyond the scope of the particular project concerned) as well as damaging the reputation of
the street children NGO sector as a whole.
4. The Child-To-Child Child Protection Policy
Staff and Personnel
As a condition of working with our organisation, all trustees, employees, officers, staff, interns,
volunteers, researchers, consultants, and advisers of the Child-to-Child Trust UK are required to
undergo the following:
1. Satisfactory clearance through a police check conducted by the Criminal Records Bureau.
2. Both acceptance of and commitment to our Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct for
working with children.
3. Signing a personal declaration stating any criminal convictions, including spent convictions.
4. Providing the name and contact information of two character references they have known for
no less than two years, excluding family members.
Dr. Tashmin Kassam-Khamis is our designated Child Protection Officer and she is responsible for
the day-to-day implementation, supervision and monitoring of the Child Protection Policy in the
Child-to-Child Trust UK. The disclosure of personal information about children, including legal
cases, will be limited to those employees, contractors, trustees, officers, interns and volunteers who
need to know. The Board of Trustees will have the overall responsibility to oversee and ensure the
Training and Education
Training and education are essential to implementing the Child Protection Policy. Dr. Tashmin
Kassam-Khamis will ensure that orientation training about the Child Protection Policy is given to all
staff and personnel, which will include training on behaviour guidelines for those in direct contact
with children, and guidance on the acceptable and unacceptable sharing of information on children.
In conjunction with the Consortium for Street Children, opportunities for staff to learn about,
recognise and respond to child abuse will also be available to all representatives.
Any trustee, employee, officer, staff member, intern, volunteer, researcher, consultant, or adviser
who has direct contact with children either in the UK or overseas will be fully informed of Child-to-Child’s
Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct includes guidance on appropriate behaviour of
adults towards children and of children towards children (see full document).
Communications about Children
All publications and the website that include images and text related to children will not contain the
Manipulated or sensationalised text and/or images
• Discriminatory and degrading language
• Images in which children are inappropriately clothed
• Information that could be used to identify the location of the child and cause them to be put
Photos of children that will be included on the website or any of our publications must be taken with
the child’s verbal permission. In addition, all information relating to children is limited to those
members of staff who need to know and will be treated as confidential.
All witnessed, suspected or alleged violations of the Child Protection Policy will be immediately
reported to the designated Child Protection Officer, who will record and act on these in a confidential
manner in accordance with the standardised process developed by Child-to-Child and the best
interests of the child. The Child-to-Child Trust will take appropriate action to protect the child/children
in question from further harm and others in the organisation during and following an incident or
allegation. The relevant contact details for child protection services, local social services department,
police, emergency medical help and help lines (e.g. NSPCC) will also be readily available and easily
Ramifications of Misconduct
We will immediately suspend any employee, adviser, consultant, trustee, intern or volunteer who is
alleged to have violated the Child Protection Policy, pending the outcome of an investigation. Child-to-
Child reserves the right to take any disciplinary action against any of the above who have been
proven guilty in an investigation, which may include reporting the incident to the police.
Click here to download our
Child Protection Policy