All children have a right to feel safe and their welfare is a high priority. It is especially important for us that children will feel safe while sharing in the activities of the projects we support through challenges, volunteer placements and tours.
We do this through
Prevention: all volunteers are required to provide references and criminal records checks before any project is asked to accept their placements.
Awareness: travellers will be provided with destination-specific codes of conduct, including this Child Protection Policy and that of the relevant project where available. Through awareness and practise, travellers will minimise the risks to children.
Reporting: volunteers will know what steps to take when concerns arise regarding child safety.
Responding: volunteers can rest assured that our local Project Management Teams will take heed of any such reports and will take action as appropriate.
This outlines appropriate standards of behaviour for all volunteers, whether long term or temporary. The Code serves to protect volunteers by avoiding allegations being made. It also serves to protect children and reduce any opportunities for abuse or harm to occur.
Our ground operators, support teams and customers are required to comply with this Code of Conduct.
Inspired Escapes commits to provide full support for volunteers to:
• treat children and young people with respect, listen to and value their ideas and opinions
• listen to children and take relevant and appropriate action to protect their well-being
• report any violations of these standards of behaviour
• be aware of situations which may present risks and manage them effectively
• be visible and not work alone with the children, as far as possible
Customers, volunteers or staff must not
Hit or otherwise physically assault or abuse children
• interact with any child in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative
• seek to use children in any way to meet adult needs
• use prejudice, oppressive behaviour and language with children
• discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability or sexuality
• develop ‘special’ relationships or physical/sexual relationships with children
• give gifts or show favouritism
• take a child on or in any form of transport, without prior agreement by the named CPO
• have a child/children to stay overnight without prior agreement by the child’s parent or guardian
• be alone with a child in a room with the door closed, or spend excessive time alone with children away from others – including any children who may be members at their homestay/guesthouse host’s family or community.
This is not a complete list. The basic understanding is that we will all avoid actions or behaviour which may constitute bad practise or potentially abusive behaviour .
Photography and Video Code of Conduct
Children love having their photograph taken, and travellers enjoy capturing such photographic memories, but we ask volunteers to respect children’s right to privacy. Customers are expected to ask the children if they can take photographs and we ask that they agree to this code of conduct. If photographs or videos are intended for fund-raising or awareness-raising purposes, we ask that travellers discuss this with the local staff, project manager before publishing.
All travellers must
• seek informed consent from the child and/or his/her parents or guardian prior to a recording, photograph or image being taken
• explain how and where this material will be used
• not to use a child’s name on any social networking sites, webpage or printed materials. This is for the child’s protection. Names may be changed and this change indicated.
• not post or publish photographs or videos of individual children in such a manner that might led to that child being identified or put at risk
• not to take images that could be perceived as sexually provocative or degrading
Inspired Escapes will apply due diligence by:
Identifying that a volunteer applicant has experience and / or qualifications relevant to the project
Discuss in advance a volunteer applicant’s motivation to work with children
Require information about relevant life experience
Require relevant criminal records screening
Take up at least two reference checks by email and / or by phone
Share all relevant information about the volunteer with the local PMT
Provide volunteers with as much information as possible about the project and local context, including the PMT’s Code of Conduct for volunteers
Provide a placement outline and agree the volunteer’s role with them
Require volunteers to abide by and sign the Child Protection Policy Code of Conduct Local Project Management Teams will:
Discuss a volunteer application with the relevant project
Require the project’s acceptance of the volunteer applicant
Provide Inspired Escapes with an outline placement for the volunteer
Provide local orientation and project introductions
Provide emergency contact names and contact details
Discuss and give appropriate training on child protection issues to accommodation providers.
Meet regularly with the project and volunteers and accommodation hosts
Support the volunteers in their agreed role
Internal Process for Investigating Abuse or Suspected Abuse
1. Any person who has knowledge of, suspects, or has witnessed a potential child protection issue should immediately contact one of the following: local co-worker if appropriate, project principal or manager, PMT designated Child Protection Officer, Inspired Escapes
2. A verbal and / or written report should be made within 24 hours to allow early intervention and prompt investigation.
3. On receipt of the report the designated CPO will begin an internal investigation.
4. The suspect or perpetrator will be informed that an allegation has been made against him / her and they will be given the opportunity to respond.
5. Where appropriate a complaint will be filed with the relevant Police and / or authorities. Full cooperation will be given to the authorities during any external investigation.
6. Where the suspect or perpetrator is an expatriate, the relevant law enforcement authorities will be informed with due regard given to the potential for extraterritorial proceedings by the expatriate’s country of origin.
7. At all times the rights and welfare of the child is of the highest importance. Any investigation will aim to respect the privacy and safety of the child, ensuring that he / she is contacted in a child friendly manner.
Response to Investigation -
1. At the conclusion of the investigation, the suspect or perpetrator, the child and his / her family or guardian should be informed of concerns or allegation, the results of the investigation and what corrective action, if any, will be taken.
2. In the event that an allegation is proven to be untrue, or even fabricated, appropriate steps will be taken for follow-up with the person who has been accused, the child, and the person who reported the incident. Efforts will be made to provide assistance to an associate accused of abuse with children, including counselling or other appropriate forms of support.
3. If abuse is proven by the investigation, every effort will be made to assist the child in coping with any physical or emotional trauma he or she may be experiencing. This may include medical treatment, psychological counselling or any other form of assistance deemed necessary and appropriate.
4. If the investigation concludes that abuse has occurred which is subject to criminal prosecution according to national laws, all findings will be reported to the relevant national police authorities and full co-operation afforded them during an external investigation. If the accused is an expatriate, the relevant law enforcement authorities will also be informed with due regard given to the potential for extraterritorial proceedings by the expatriate’s country of origin.
5. In the event an associate is discharged for proven child abuse, such information will be disclosed as requested by police, etc. Such disclosures will be made in accordance with applicable law and/or customs.