PMGY recognise that we have a fundamental duty of care towards children and vulnerable adults. We acknowledge our responsibilities to keep them safe while engaged in our programmes and activities.
PMGY are committed to the welfare of children and vulnerable adults around the world. We oppose all forms of abuse (including physical, sexual, emotional, and intentional neglect), discrimination, exploitation, and manipulation of children as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The guidelines set out in the PMGY Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy aim to protect both children and vulnerable adults from abuse, and also volunteers from false accusation of abuse.
The PMGY Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy extends to all people involved in our network and statement of intent. This includes all PMGY staff, both in the UK and around the world, the staff at the projects we support and our volunteers.
We also recognise that PMGY does not hold sole responsibility for protecting these members of society and identifies that their protection is also the responsibility of other stakeholders such as government agencies, family groups and non-government organisations.
Within this policy, a child is defined as any person under the age of 16. A vulnerable adult is considered to be someone who may be in need of additional community support for reasons of disability, illness or socio-economic conditions.
The terms outlined below are guidelines for all PMGY volunteers and staff members to follow when interacting with children and vulnerable adults. Following these guidelines not only protects the people that we work with but also volunteers from false accusations of inappropriate behaviour or abuse.
Responsibility: Recognising that child and vulnerable adult protection is our responsibility, whether or not our individual roles involve working directly with children and youth.
Accountability: Actively holding ourselves and other Right To Play Team Members accountable to Right To Play child protection standards.
Behaviour: Acting as role models of child-friendly behaviours and practices. This includes using appropriate language and adopting a dress code that is fitting with the local culture.
Equality: Treating all children and youth equally with respect and fairness regardless of age, culture, caste, nationality, creed, ethnicity, health status (e.g. AIDS), physical and psychological ability, family situation, sex, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and /or sexual orientation.
Participation: Ensuring that children are supported to practice their right to express views on all matters, which affect them and their surroundings. Their views will be adequately taken into consideration.
Practices: Prohibiting corporal punishment, offensive or abusive language (including teasing and taunting), and the use of gestures or symbols that could be interpreted as insulting or provocative. We encourage positive strategies to manage children.
Confidentiality: Keeping details of the victims of abuse in reported cases of abuse confidential.
Partnership: Working in partnership with governments, communities, partner agencies, children and families to promote the welfare, health and development of children, and to protect them from harm.
Funding: Ensuring adequate funding is available to realise our child protection commitments.
– Respond to and report actual or suspected concerns, suspicions or violations regarding any kind of abuse or exploitation by a colleague, family member or community partner.
– Keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
– Ensure that all lessons and activities are safe and risks have been assessed in advance.
– Always work in an open environment and avoid being alone with one child. Ensure any private conversation with a child is in plain view of others.
– Where possible, obtain written parental or guardian consent if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment.
– Always obtain permission in advance if you intend to take a child or vulnerable adult outside of the placement site.
– You should never take a child or vulnerable adult to your accommodation.
– Gifts should not be given to the children without seeking approval or discussing the idea with the PMGY local team. We discourage the direct giving of gifts as it creates expectations and negative stereotypes.
– Photography and videography of children or vulnerable adults is only permitted with permission from the placement staff and photos/videos should not be taken in a way intended to belittle or degrade any placement participant. We actively discourage photography and videography at the placements.
* This is not an exhaustive or exclusive list. The principle underlying this policy is that volunteers and staff should avoid actions or behaviour, which may constitute poor practice or potential abuse and exploitation.
Each and every PMGY volunteer views a copy of the Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy in the Volunteer Handbook, as well as a physical copy during their in-country orientation, which they are required to read in full before signing to show agreement.
Failure to meet the requirements of the policy is considered a breach of PMGY’s Terms and Conditions. Inappropriate conduct toward children and vulnerable adults, including failure to follow the behaviour standards stated above, is grounds for discipline, up to and including dismissal from the PMGY programme and/or police notification and legal action.