Child Protection Policy

  1. Introduction:
Komar Rikreay Association commits to provide security and a safe environment to all children and staff. Komar Rikreay’s Child Protection Policy aims at preventing and protecting any child from abuse.
  1. Principles, values and beliefs:
Komar Rikreay is an organisation that promots the safety of children and guarantee that there is no exploitation.  All children have the right to be protected from abuse and it is the responsibility of the staff, board members, donors, and volunteers to prevent it.
  1. Policy scope:
All staff in any position, board of directors, volunteers, donors, and visitors are responsible for the safety of children and must understand and follow the Child Protection Policy.  The Executive Director of Komar Rikreay and her Child Protection Officer (CPO) will read and explain the Child Protection Policy to the staff, foster care families, and children during the next monthly meeting. The Child Protection Policy will be sent and signed to Komar Rikreay’s donors. Finally, the Child Protection Policy will be read and signed by visitors before entering Komar Rikreay’s office.
  1. Definitions:

Child protection:Child protection is any activity or initiative designed to protect children from any form of harm, particularly arising from child abuse and exploitation. Child protection activities or initiatives can prevent and also respond to harm done to children. The goal of child protection is to promote, protect and fulfill children’s rights to protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.

Child abuse: Child abuse includes all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, development or dignity. “ The World Health Organization.

Types of Child abuse:

Physical abuse: use of physical force against a child (including hitting, shaking, punching, kicking, burning and poisoning) that causes harm to a child.

Emotional abuse:  verbal or other acts towards a child which can damage a child’s self esteem or confidence.

Neglect or negligent treatment: failure to provide a child (where they are in a position to do so) with the conditions that are culturally accepted as being essential for their development and well being.

Sexual abuse: use of children for sexual benefit by an adult or older child or teenager, including using children in child pornography. Sexually abusive behaviors can involve fondling genitals, masturbation, oral sex, vaginal or anal penetration by penis, finger or any other object, fondling breasts, voyeurism, and exhibitionism or exposing the child to, or involving the child in pornography. Both boys and girls can be victims of child sexual abuse.
Exploitation: using children for profit, labor, sexual benefit, or for other personal or financial advantage. Includes producing, obtaining or distributing child exploitation material.

A child of any sex, race, religion and socioeconomic background can suffer a child abuse and neglect. The impact of child abuse can last a lifetime. It can also include physical, emotional, psychological harm and death, including suicide.
  1. Child rights:
According to UN Convention of the Rights of the Child in Cambodia. The four basic rights of all children are:
  1. The right to survival through food security, nutrition and health
  2. The right to protection from exploitation and abuse
  3. The right to basic education
  4. The right to equality within the family through education and child rights training [1]
  1. Laws references:
According to constitution of the kingdom of Cambodia, Article 48 stated that  “The State shall assure the protection of children’s rights as enshrined in the Convention on Children, especially, the right to life, the right to education, the right to protection during wartime and the right to protection from economic or sexual exploitation. The State shall protect children from all kinds of labor that can be detrimental to their education and their schooling,  or to their health or their welfare.”[2]
Policy Procedural guidelines:
  1. Child protection Code of Conduct:
Staff, volunteers, visitors, board of members, donors and any stakeholders involved with children must not:
  • Use inappropriate language with children such as obscene, insulting, scorning, and suspicious. (eg: pig, dog ,person with lobster brain, foolish like your parents …)
  • Use inappropriate behaviors with children such as ignorance, discrimination, violence, physical abuse, sexual abuse, threatening, punishment and starring.
  • Use physical punishment on children.
  • Hire children for domestic or other labour: which is inappropriate given their age or developmental stage; which interferes with their time available for education and recreational activities; or which places them at significant risk of injury.
  • Engage children in any form of sexual intercourse or sexual activity, including paying for sexual services.
  • Allow children to stay alone without surveillance.
  • Be alone with a child in a quiet place.
  • Go alone to visit family.
  • Invite unaccompanied children into private residences, unless they are at immediate risk of injury or in physical danger.
  • Sleep close to unsupervised children unless absolutely necessary, in which case the supervisor’s permission must be obtained, and ensuring that another adult is present if possible.
  • Use any computers, mobiles phones, video cameras, cameras or social media to exploit or harass children, or access child exploitation material through any medium.
Staff, volunteers, visitors, board of members, donors must:
  • Report immediately any break of the Child Protection Policy.
  • Disclose all charges, convictions and other outcomes of an offence that relates to child exploitation and abuse.
  • Be aware of behavior and avoid actions or behaviors that could be perceived by others as child exploitation and abuse.
  • Treat all children with respect: provide support when children face problems. Behave with no discrimination, provide all children with attention and warmth, encourage children, be patient, speak morally and ethically, be committed in helping children.
  • Respect confidentiality and privacy of children (not spreading background and no pictures).
  • Ensure that children are not staying without the presence of adults.
  • Comply with all relevant local legislation, including labour laws in relation to child labour.
  1. Various Alerts of child abuse
All behaviors of children which are suspicious should be reported to the children protection officer are as follow:
  • Children have unexplained injuries, including bruises, welts, or cuts.
  • Children is always watchful and “on alert”.
  • Children are avoiding one specific person.
  • Children have a STD or pregnancy.
  • Children have trouble walking or witting.
  • Children like being alone, silent, crying, no talking, and being lonely.
  • Children behave violently, being aggressive, causing argument, disobeying order, don’t listen social workers and staff.
  • Children don’t want to be involved in any activities and prefer a silent place.
  • Children don’t want to eat, to perform any tasks, don’t sleep well, sleepwalking, have urinary disorders or unusual behavior.
  • Children act either like an adult (taking care of other children) or inappropriately young (rocking, thumb-sucking, a lot of anger).
  • Children steal other’s possession, hiding weapons, destroy properties of the Association, and act against the state of the law and the center’s policy.
  • Children argue and use secret words.
  • Children play with genital parts of others children, have unusual sexual behavior (charming, try to attract others people, …).
  • Children try to commit suicide, to run away, or to threaten others person.
  1. Ways to respond to child abuse:
Staff must follow the following strategies when they try to help a child that has been harmed:
  • Try to keep calm and give the child your attention.
  • Let the child take his or her time.
  • Reassure the child that it is the right thing to tell.
  • Let the child use his or her own words to tell.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
  • Let the child know what you will do next.
  • Don’t confront the person who has allegedly harmed the child (this can put yourself and the child in danger)
  1. Photography:
  • Visitors don’t have the right to take photography of the children.
  • Komar Rikreay staff must obtain an informed consent from the child and parent or guardian of the child before photographing or filming a child. The staff need to explain why the picture of the child is necessary,
  • Take care to ensure local traditions or restrictions for reproducing personal images are adhered to before photographing or filming a child.
  • Ensure photographs, films, videos and DVDs present children in a dignified and respectful manner and not in a vulnerable or submissive manner. Ensure children have clothes, are not devalued.
  • Ensure images are honest representations of the context and the facts.
  • Ensure file labels, meta data or text descriptions do not reveal identifying information about a child when sending images electronically or publishing images in any form.
  1. Confidentiality:
  • Keep background information of the children, staff, volunteers in a safe place, with key locked.
12.Recruitment procedures:
Komar Rikreay recruitment aims to prevent any risks of child abuse:
  • During the interview, Komar Rikreay must mention the Child Protection Policy and the potential staff must agree with the Child Protection Policy. For any roles that have contact with children, recruitment interviews should include behavioral – based interview questions.
  • Potential staff must provide a copy of their passport to Komar Rikreay (to make sure about the information they provide)
  • Potential staff must provide a criminal record to komar Rikreay. Personal can also sign a Statutory.
  • Potential staff must provide at least 2 previous employers references.
  • Human resource staff must call and ask questions related to child abuse to the references.
  • The following child protection reference must be include in the work contract : “ Personnel can be suspended or transferred to other duties if they are under investigation or dismissed if it is found out that they have breached the Child Protection Code of Conduct”.
  1. Visitors:
  • Vistors are not allowed to come to Komar Rikreay center or to visit children in their foster care families.
  • Vistors can enter to Komar Rikreay office to ask for information. They need to inform first the guardian the purpose of the visit.
  • Any vistors have to agree and sign the Child Protection Policy before entering to Komar Rikreay office. Administration manager, Child Protection Policy or representative of Komar Rikreay must explain the Child Protection Policy to the visitors before their entrance.
  • Donors may visit Komar Rikreay programs not directly related to the private environment of children. They may visit workshops, trainings, Tuktuk library. They can’t visit children in the center or in there foster care family to see their daily life.
  • Staff must no reveal any children’s private background to visitors.
  1. Procedures for reporting/ responding to child abuse:
  • In all cases, report of any suspicion/child abuse must be forwarded to the child protection officer, program manager, executive director or board of members within 24 hours. Staff must ensure that more than one staff member can receive reports.
  • In case of suspicion, the CEO must investigate.
  • Human resource manager must provide an incident report form. Must be included in the report form a space for writing what was seen or heard and a space for signature and date.
  • In the case of media involvement, CEO (or equivalent position) shall speak to people in charge of media advertisement, particularly, when the investigation is still going on (rights of victim and offender are protected).
  • In case of child abuse, the CEO must report to the local authorities and dismiss the perpetrator.
  • If the CEO commits such a crime, it must be reported to board of director, child protection officer and local authorities.
  • Personal must make a report if they have a reasonable belief that harm to children occurred or could occur.
  • Psychological support must be provided to victim and suspect if requested.
  • All information must be keep confidential from the rest of the team.
  1. Penalty:
A/ Penalty for staff who fails to comply with the above-mentioned statement and protect children is as follows:
  • Offer help and find methods so that staff will be well reminded of Child Protection Policy
  • Staff must receive a written warning with one-month suspension from work.
  • Staff must be given with good recommendations and opportunities for self-correction at least 1 or 2 times between staff and management team/board. However, in the event of severe case, staff dismissal shall be made if staff is not willing to change.
B/ Penalty for failing to report suspicious cases regarding abuse within a period of 24 hours is as follows:
  • Staff will be basically told and reminded with child protection tasks
  • Staff will be directly warned or during a meeting in a written notice to the manager.
  1. Child protection risk review:
Answer Child protection risk review
1.Program at Komar Rikreay Association
2.Risk or Possible harm to children that could happen with these program
3.In order to reduce the risk or possible harm to children for these programs
Reception, Rehabilitation and reintegration.
·         Caretakers ask children to do hard housework that does not fit child age sometimes: Ex: children have been ask by caretakers to clean jar that is bigger than their  height or weight , which can make they drown.
·         Caretakers ask young children to collect some things which are heavy  or dangerous: Ex: ask children to  hold big knife  to cut trees or big hoe to dig the grass to grown tree or flower
·         Caretakers blame children even they just have made a small mistake and don’t encourage  them by heart .Ex: break plate or glasses
·         Caretakers or cleaners ask children to clean place even though not it is not their duties sometimes
·         Children fight each other
·         Children steal other material
·         Elder children ask younger children to clean instead of them by using their power.
·         Children look down other children with bad word.
·         Meeting and education caretaker at least every 3 months.
·         Workshops in parenting skills.
·         Remain to the children their child’s rights.
·         Project officer ,Caretaker or social worker must follow up, investigate and educate children who did mistake in order to stop bad habit
Foster care or group home care
·         Foster mothers ask children to clean or wash their own clothes without helping them.
·         Foster mothers don’t go to follow up children at school or check homework with care.
·         Children fight each other
·         Foster mothers blame children with bad word.
·         Foster mothers ask children to clean or wash their own clothes without helping them.
·         Foster mothers don’t go to follow up children at school or check homework with care.
·         Children fight each other
·         Foster mothers blame children with bad word.
Safe childhood in family
·         Parents left children alone at home or in isolated area, leaving them vulnerable (high risks of rape).
·         Parents sometimes don’t really care when their child tell them what happen in their daily life even if it is bad or good ,children may feel unhappy.
·          Sometimes step mother or father , relative violence beat their step children  or own children.
·         Children may become child labor by go to work to support their family because poverty or many sibling, preventing them to go to school regularly.
·         Parents left children alone at home or in isolated area, leaving them vulnerable (high risks of rape).
·         Parents sometimes don’t really care when their child tell them what happen in their daily life even if it is bad or good ,children may feel unhappy.
·          Sometimes step mother or father , relative violence beat their step children  or own children.
·         Children may become child labor by go to work to support their family because poverty or many sibling, preventing them to go to school regularly.
Any staffs that are suspected to present risks for the safety of the child will not be allowed to work at Komar Rikreay.
  1. Child Protection training and awareness:
Every year, the Eecutive Director and the CPO will read and explain the Child Protection Policy to staff, foster care families, and any stakeholder working or involved with children.
The CEO will remain the child rights to the staff and children twice a year.
Any new staff must follow a child protection training by the CEO or Child protection officer before starting.
  1. Statement of agreement:
  2. I have read and agreed to comply with Child Protection Policy and measure including procedures in compliance with children protection policy of Komar Rikreay Association.
  3. I have never been dismissed from my position or committed any crimes of child abuse in any organization.
  4. I have acknowledged that in the event of child abuse complaint made against me during my work in Komar Rikreay Association, the accusation will be thoroughly investigated in collaboration with authorities in charge. I have also acknowledged that I might get laid off from work or my duty might be renewed during investigation.
Child Protection Policy will be reviewed every 3 years by Komar Rikreay Association and shall be subject to changes.
Battambang June 27, 2018
Chief of Executive Officer
Seen and approved
Battambang, …………………….. 2018
Board of director
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