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Child Protection Policy

Issued by Wherever the Need India Services :Version 2.0 January 2019

Review date: January 2020

Author: Padmapriya T S, Chief Executive Officer

1. Introduction

We at Wherever the Need India Services (hereinafter referred to as “WTNIS”), doing business as Sanitation First India, as per license agreement with Sanitation First, UK, are committed to protect children from harm. We achieve this through compliance with child protection legislation in force in India, as well as by adherence to Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 1989.  Staff under payroll, as well as project staff and trainers accept and recognise their responsibilities towards keeping children safe. We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by Adopting child protection guidelines through a code of behaviour for staff, the term to include project staff working with partners, trainers and volunteers if at any time appointed. Sharing information about child protection and good practice with staff. Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents, and children appropriately. Following carefully the procedures for recruitment and selection of staff.
Providing effective awareness and training for staff along with supervision and support.
We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice every year to factor in changes in our programme direction.

2. Definitions

Child – A child is defined as a person below the age of 18 as per the Children’s’ Act of 1989.
Child Abuse - A child is said to be abused when he/she is neglected, not loved or cared for, when the child is discriminated in terms of gender, ability, intelligence, colour, looks, language, race, nationality, religion or in any other form, when a child is physically abused or witnesses physical abuse and violence, when a child is mentally tortured or harassed, when a child lives in a situation which is stressful or witnesses mental torture-abuse-harassment, when a child experiences or witnesses substance abuse , when a child experiences or witnesses verbal abuse, when a child is sexually abused or witnesses sexual abuse and when a child is exploited or cheated.
Child Protection - Any measure or initiative that prevents children from situations of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. It refers to protecting children from or against any perceived or real danger/risk. It helps to reduce their vulnerability in harmful situations. It also means protecting children against social, psychological and emotional insecurity and distress.

3. Policy Statement

It is the policy of WTNIS to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from all forms of abuse including physical, emotional, neglect and sexual abuse. Wherever the work of WTNIS involves working with children, directly or indirectly, it is committed to creating a safe environment in which young people can feel comfortable and secure while engaged in any of our activities. Personnel should at all time show respect and understanding for children’s rights, safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the ethos and principles of the organisation.

4. Code of conduct for all WTNIS staff

Attitude - Staff are committed to
Treating children and young people with respect and dignity.
Listening to what a child or young person is saying. Valuing each child and young person. Ensure that a sense of accountability exists among staff so that poor practice or potentially abusive behaviour does not go unchallenged.
Not misuse their proximity or position of trust to gain undue advantage with a child.
Action - Staff will endeavour to

Act in a manner that provides a safe environment for children and young people while working in their community or schools.
Use appropriate language with children and young people.
Refrain from making sexually suggestive comments, even for fun.
Strictly refrain from use of alcohol or drugs while working in the community or school where there is a possibility of being witnessed by or interacting with children or young people.
Never leave any obstructions, pits or other hazards in a construction site unattended or leave tools and hazardous equipment on the floor or in the easy reach of children.
Ensure the design and materials used in construction are child friendly and hazard proof.
Ensure speed limits are maintained while driving through school zone and areas where there is likely movement of children.
Proximity - Staff should

Not spend time alone with a child, away from others. They should try to always be visible to others in their contact with children.
In the unlikely event of having to meet with an individual child or young person make every effort to keep this meeting as open as possible.
Physical Contact - Staff should never

Hit or otherwise physically assault or physically abuse children.
Allow, or engage in, inappropriate touching.
Engage in sexually provocative or rough physical activity.
Do things of a personal nature for a child or a young person that they can do for themselves.
General - Staff should 
Be aware that actions may be mis-interpreted no matter how well intentioned, and always be aware and alert.
Never allow themselves to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking situations such as tantrums or crushes.
Never reduce a child to tears, even as a means of control.
Never appoint a person below the age of eighteen, in any manner that they are construed to be the employer.
Never have sex with anyone below the age of eighteen. Never encourage friendship or media interactions with children on social media channels.

5. Safe Recruitment

WTNIS ensures all reasonable steps are taken to prevent any individual gain undue advantage of working closely with children in order to abuse them. 
The following steps are taken to ensure all staff (including project staff, as well as external trainers) are screened and their antecedents verified before being associated with WTNIS. These guidelines will also be adopted by partner organisations that WTNIS works with in implementing its programmes.
Reference and background checks are conducted prior to issue of offer. Two evidences of identity with photographs are requested. While undertaking professional reference check, ensure question about the candidate’s history of working with children and any causes for concern are included. If a candidate is found to have been tried or convicted for child abuse at any time, he/she will automatically stand disqualified from the recruitment process. During interview, the candidate is evaluated on awareness of child protection. 

6. Sharing Information

It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that a proper child protection policy, is available and the contents of the policy are effectively communicated to stakeholders and staff, including project staff. Necessary training will be provided to all our staff and partners to create awareness about child rights, keeping children safe, abuse and reporting.

7. Use of photographic/filming equipment

As far as possible photography and videography of children in schools and communities must be done only by authorised staff/project staff / empanelled vendor in the presence of authorised staff and/or parents. If a child has to be shown individually in a picture, then necessary consent regarding the same, must be obtained from the parent. The programme coordinator will be the custodian of the consent forms and share appropriate pictures for use in the social media channels, reports or website.


A child may choose to disclose an incident of abuse/potential abuse with a member of staff , project staff or trainer due to the trust or confidence experienced by the child. While handling disclosure, staff must listen to the child, rather than question them. Reassure them without threatening or promising anything and escalate the concern to the Chief Executive with as much details as possible about the child and the incident. At no time must the staff member try to intervene or resolve the issue by themselves. The Chief Executive may then discuss the concern / suspicion with the relevant individual, organisation, and, if appropriate, make a direct referral to concerned authorities. 
Whenever a disclosure is made by a child, or if a staff has a concern about the safety of a child, a report of the same must be made within 24 hours. Details must include, as far as practical: 
Name of child or young person Age Home Address (if known) Name/s and Address and phone number of parent/s or person/s with parental responsibility What has prompted the concerns? When did the incident/incidents happen? Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser?

9. Incident Handling

Any report of abuse must be filed within 24 hours, in confidence, by the concerned staff with the Chief Executive who will discuss this in confidence with specialist agencies or experts and determine the course of action to be taken.

10. Alleged Abuse by Staff

When an allegation is received against a member of staff/ project staff, then the allegation must be passed to the Chief Executive who will initiate a formal enquiry involving external specialists/ authorities as may be required. Action, up to the termination of the employee may be taken if evidence is established to prove the staff member guilty of abuse.