Con “Child Protection Policy” si intende l’insieme di procedure e pratiche volte a garantire che i/le minori che frequentano attività organizzate o in qualche modo gestite dallo staff e dai volontari della associazione Le Nius siano sempre tutelati/e e rispettati. Il personale che collabora con l’associazione e viene in contatto con i minori è informato e formato – tramite la Child Protection Policy adottata da Le Nius – e lavora per contribuire alla diffusione di una cultura di rispetto e tutela dei diritti dei minori. Ogni bambino, bambina e adolescente ha il diritto di essere protetto/a da ogni forma di maltrattamento, trascuratezza, sfruttamento e violenza.
Ci impegniamo quotidianamente affinché i/le minori che frequentano contesti educativi formali o informali siano sempre tutelati/e da possibili maltrattamenti e abusi.
Per garantire il diritto alla protezione l’associazione Le Nius si è dotata di una policy e alcuni standard minimi di tutela, qui di seguito riportati in lingua inglese:
Child Protection Policy Le Nius
This document outlines Le Nius’ commitment to protecting children. For the purposes of this policy and associated procedures a child is recognised as someone under the age of 18 years. The policy reflects the rights of children to protection from abuse and exploitation as outlined in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and is based on the following principles:
- All children have equal rights to protection from harm.
- Everybody has a responsibility to support the protection of children.
- Organisations have a duty of care to children with whom they work, are in contact with, or who are affected by their work and operations.
- All actions on child safeguarding are taken in the best interests of the child, which are paramount.
Le Nius is engaged in informative, promotional, educational and civic activities that also involve children, mainly pre-adolescents and adolescents, as a target group. Le Nius therefore recognises the responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. The policy aims to protect the dignity, rights and interests of minors involved in Le Nius’ activities by defining a guarantee procedure for their protection and a code of conduct. The protection refers to all minors regardless of age, gender, disability, ethnicity, geographical origin, socio-economic background, and faith. The specific objectives are:
- Prevent situations of violence, mistreatment or abuse of children in the context of the activities carried out by Le Nius.
- Make children aware of their rights and develop an active role in their own protection and that of their peers.
- Inform children, staff, consultants, volunteers, associates, managers, trainees and partners about the child protection policy and related procedures.
- Encourage all those who work in contact with children to act in the interest of their development and protection.
- Ensure that all employees work in appropriate conditions to contribute to the well-being and protection of children.
- Activate safe and transparent listening channels that guarantee all interlocutors the right to be heard.
To pursue these objectives, Le Nius commits at:
- Doing a risk assessment before every activity that involves children, with connected risk mitigation measures.
- Carry out activities with minors in safe and healthy locations.
- Promote the right to adequate and non-discriminatory education. We are committed to provide educational and training activities that do not exclude anyone and promote gender equality.
- Obtain informed consent from both children and parents/legally authorised representatives explaining in details the proposed activities and their objectives.
- Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of children in all communication activities. Texts, images and videos that represent children or tell stories related to them are selected in respect of the best interests of the child and are published only after having received the consent of the parents or legally authorised representatives. In the use of communication, especially digital communication, Le Nius pays the utmost attention to ensuring that children and all vulnerable individuals are not exposed to any risk.
This policy applies to the entire organisation’s staff, associates, consultants, collaborators, trainees and volunteers. Everyone connected to the organisation is informed about the policy and has appropriate learning opportunities to develop and maintain the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge to keep children safe. All staff and associates including volunteers should agree to the code of conduct when they are employed and/or start their job.
When a new activity involving contact with children is activated, Le Nius ensures that the employed staff is aware of this policy and of the procedures to be activated in case of dangerous situations for minors. In recruiting new staff, Le Nius analyses the role considering the issue of child safeguarding in the job. If the job involves contact with children, a relevant experience in working with them is among the selection criteria and the commitment to keeping children safe is included in the mandate for job candidates. During job interviews, specific questions to draw out people’s attitudes and values in relation to the protection of children are asked. Further background checks are conducted. At the beginning of each new collaboration relationship, Le Nius provides this policy for acknowledgment and ensures that this is adopted by the new collaborator.
The legal representative of Le Nius has full responsibility for creating a work environment that favours the implementation of this policy. All personnel in relation to their functions have a responsibility to contribute to creating the same working environment. The legal representative is also responsible for delegating the responsibilities of this policy, by identifying a Focal Point.
In particular, the figures involved with different degrees of responsibility are the person in charge of the project management and training activities in Le Nius and the person in charge of the specific projects – such as Digital Bees – that involves carrying out activities with minors.
Stefania Cardinale, Vice President, is in charge of overseeing the implementation of the policy, she is the designated person responsible for making sure that the child safeguarding measures are integrated throughout the organisation and is therefore responsible of the Focal Point. If any issue regarding the implementation of the policy arises, she is the contact person. The coordinator of projects involving activities with children is responsible for those specific activities in that project.
The operating procedures envisaged by this policy to activate a report of violation of the same are as follows.
Who can make a report
All those involved in the activities: children, parents, family members, Le Nius staff, staff of other organizations involved in the activities, trainees and volunteers involved, partners. Le Nius undertakes in every way to accept reports made by anyone who does not belong to the categories listed above.
Subject of the report
Any situation of real or potential danger for children can be the subject of reporting: suspected abuse, mistreatment, exploitation, any concern about the safety of children, both physical and psychological, both specifically relating to Le Nius’ activities and relating to other contexts but that manifests itself during the activities conducted by Le Nius.
How to report
The report can be sent by any means: face-to-face interview, phone call, message, email, formal letter and any other valid method.
Who to report to
The referent of the Focal Point is Stefania Cardinale, Vice President of Le Nius Association – info @ lenius.it.
The report can be forwarded directly to her or to the person in charge of the specific project that involves carrying out activities with minors.
Once the report is received, the Focal Point initiates the investigation procedures for:
- Collect in-depth information and existing documentation on the incident.
- Collect statements from witnesses.
- Ensuring that the victim receives psychological and social protection and support (if and to an extent needed).
- Temporarily suspend the person being reported, if he/she is a member of Le Nius staff.
- Inform the person concerned of the accusations that have been made against him, giving him/her the opportunity to present his/her version.
- Maintain the utmost confidentiality on the investigation, by informing only the legal representative.
- Report to the competent authority if a hypothesis of crime arises.
The procedure for reporting violations of this policy responds in any case to two key values:
- Confidentiality: the name of the people who made the report, the subject of the report and the identity of the accused person must not be made public, and are only communicated to the competent authorities.
- Loyalty: if the accused person is part of the Le Nius staff she will find support from the organization to the fullest of his abilities and possibilities and, by virtue of the legal principle of not guilty, he will be found innocent until proven otherwise, provided that the organisation has the right to suspend and remove the worker from the activity with minors as a precaution while awaiting the necessary investigations.
Monitoring activities on the implementation of the policy are carried out regularly during the ordinary monitoring of activities involving children. Questionnaires are submitted to participants, and interviews are organised with staff involved in the activities and relevant stakeholders (e.g. teachers, school managers, educators). Drawing on the monitoring activities, a yearly report is drafted and the policy is reviewed if needed.
Code of Conduct
The staff, consultants, associates, collaborators, trainees, volunteers of Le Nius must comply with this code of conduct. The code prohibits the following behaviours and warns against taking the following actions, under penalty of disciplinary action and reporting to the competent judicial authority in the event that the conduct constitutes a hypothesis of crime.
- Physically assaulting, or physically or psychologically abusing a child.
- Having attitudes towards minors that can negatively affect their development.
- Acting with behaviours that are negative examples for minors.
- Having relationships with minors that can be considered exploitation, mistreatment or abuse.
- Acting in ways that could put children at risk of exploitation, mistreatment or abuse.
- Use language, make inappropriate, offensive or abusive suggestions or advice.
- Giving money or goods or other benefits to a minor outside the parameters and purposes established by the project activities or without his/her responsible persons being aware of it.
- Tolerate or participate in behaviour by minors that are illegal or abusive or that jeopardize their safety.
- Acting in a way that humiliates, belittles or despises a child, or perpetrates any other form of emotional abuse.
- Discriminate, treat differently or favour some minors while excluding others.
The code of conduct also encourages the staff, consultants, associates, collaborators, trainees, and volunteers of Le Nius to:
- Be vigilant in identifying situations that may involve risks for minors.
- Report any concern, suspicion or certainty about a possible abuse or mistreatment of a minor according to the procedures established in this policy.
- Organize the work in such a way as to minimize the risks for children.
- Make sure all staff members develop a sense of responsibility for their work with children.
- Valuing children’s skills and competences, discussing their rights with them and empowering them to know what to do if any problem arises.
- Encourage the participation of children and their free expression, while respecting their dignity and privacy.
The legal representative, Paolo Maria Dell’Oca
Vice President, Stefania Cardinale