1.1. MD is committed to the welfare of children, youth and vulnerable adults and is opposed to all forms of exploitation and abuse, including child sexual abuse.
1.2. Overseas staff members are to have CRB checks. Volunteers may not have such screening and the following Behavioural Protocols will therefore apply to all work with children and vulnerable adults.
1.3. The different forms of abuse are described:
1.3.1. Physical Abuse: Actual or likely physical injury to a child or vulnerable adult, or failure to prevent physical injury, or suffering, to a child or vulnerable adult, including deliberate hitting, beating, shaking, throwing, burning, drowning, suffocating or poisoning.
1.3.2. Mental/Emotional Abuse: Actual or likely severe adverse effect on the emotional and behavioural development of a child or vulnerable adult caused but persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection. May involve conveying to the child or vulnerable adult that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate and cause children or vulnerable adults to feel frightened, in danger and corrupted.
1.3.3. Neglect: The persistent or severe neglect of a child or vulnerable adult or the failure to protect a child or vulnerable adult from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold and starvation, or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the child or vulnerable adult’s health of development, including non-organic failure to thrive.
1.3.4. Sexual Abuse: Actual or likely exploitation of a child, adolescent or vulnerable adult, representing the involvement of dependent, developmentally immature children, adolescents and vulnerable adults in sexual activities they do not truly comprehend, to which they are unable to give informed consent or that violate social taboos or family rules, such as touching a child’s or vulnerable adult’s genitals, forcing a child or vulnerable adult to watch or take part in pornography or coercing the child or vulnerable adult to have sex.
1.4. A child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
To be explained to volunteers at a training session in country prior to working with
children or vulnerable adults
2.1. MD expects all its Overseas and National Staff and Volunteers to give respect and dignity to all children and vulnerable adults associated with the work of MD.
2.2. Volunteers will not usually be left with children or vulnerable adults unsupervised by MD Staff.
2.3. MD Staff & Volunteers must never be alone with children or vulnerable adults who are not their own offspring in a private place that cannot be readily seen by other responsible adults.
2.4. National children or vulnerable adults will not stay overnight in the residence of MD Staff or Volunteer, unless accompanied by a parent or adult family member and approved by the Country Manager.
2.5. MD Staff and Volunteers will not touch a child or vulnerable adult in a way that is against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. (A general guideline is not to touch children in areas that would normally be covered by shorts and t-shirt, but also includes kissing and tickling in an inappropriate way.)
2.6. MD Staff and Volunteers will not discipline a child in a way that is against the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
2.7. MD Staff and Volunteers will not use a child in a way that is against the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
2.8. MD drivers will not take a child or vulnerable adult home without at least one other person being present in the vehicle, unless the child or vulnerable adult is a family member.
2.9. MD Staff and Volunteers will not visit a child or vulnerable adult at their own home, while they are at home alone.
2.10. Adults will always be responsible for their behaviour and cannot blame the child or vulnerable adult, even if they “provoke” or act in a “seductive” way.
2.11. If protocols are broken, the person involved will be disciplined.
2.12. Abuse and exploitation of children and vulnerable adults is wrong. Keeping silent is also wrong; if it is known beyond doubt that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused or exploited it is essential to speak out to an appropriate authority.
2.13. MD Staff and Volunteers are encouraged to be open in discussing the potential of abuse.
By ticking the box I declare that: