Cufa supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in accordance with Article 25, where “childhood is entitled to special care and assistance, Cufa is committed to ensuring the safety, privacy and well-being of all children.”
This policy deals with the rights of children who are associated with Cufa and/ or are beneficiaries of any of Cufa’s projects. Cufa aims to create a safe and respectful workplace and the following guidelines outline the responsibilities and behaviour of all board members, employees, interns, volunteers, contractors or agents (“representatives”) of Cufa when working with children.Underlying Principles
- For the purpose of this policy, the definition of a child is any person under the age of 18; and
- Cufa supports and endorses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), expressly committing to Article 3, where “the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration” in all actions concerning children.
This policy applies to:
- Directors, employees and volunteers of Cufa;
- Contractors to Cufa;
- Employees of contractors to Cufa; and
- Partners of Cufa.
Cufa requires all partners to agree to, and adhere to our Child Protection Policy. This policy will be a standard provision of any partnership arrangement, including but not limited to through MoU’s or other agreements. Cufa also commits to making the Child Protection Policy publicly available on our website.
Staff Recruitment and Screening for Child Related Employment
- All prospective representatives of Cufa are to be made aware of Cufa’s Child Protection Policy in the initial stages of the recruitment process;
- As part of Cufa’s screening process all representatives who are applying for child related employment1 will be asked to complete a written application, personal interviews and reference checks. Applicants will be asked about previous work with children during the interview process.
Child-related employment means any employment that primarily involves direct contact with children where that contact is not directly supervised. Section 1 of the Child Protection (Prohibition Employment) Act 1998 specifies that child-related employment is employment:
- Involving the provision of child protected services
- In pre-schools, kindergartens and child care centres (including residential child care centres)
- In schools or other educational institutions (not including universities) In detention centres (within the meaning of the Child (Detention Centres) Act 1987)
- In refuges used by children
- In wards of public or private hospitals in which children are patients
- In clubs, associations or movements (including of a cultural, recreational or sporting nature) having a significant child membership
- In any religious organisation
- In any entertainment venues where the clientele is primarily children
- As a babysitter or child minder that is arranged by a commercial agency
- Involving regular provision of health services
- Involving the provision of counselling or other support services for children
- On school buses
- At overnight camps for children
- All prospective representatives of Cufa who are applying for child-related employment must sign a Prohibited Employment Declaration Form for working with children;
- All prospective representatives of Cufa who are applying for child-related employment in Australia must agree to have Cufa undertake a National Criminal History Record Check and a Working With Children Check. All prospective representatives of Cufa who are applying for child-related work in overseas jurisdictions must agree to undertake equivalent type checks as available in the relevant overseas jurisdiction. If no such checks are available in certain jurisdictions, every effort must be made to suitably screen the applicant during the interview process, double check references and staff members to sign a Child Protection Declaration;
- All police criminal history and Working With Children Checks will again be undertaken when and if an individual’s role within Cufa changes, bringing them into direct contact with children;
- All existing representatives of Cufa who are currently involved in child-related employment must also agree to undertake the checks;
- All new and existing representatives of Cufa who are working in child related employment must acknowledge in writing that they have received, understand and agree to comply with and be bound by Cufa’s Child Protection Policy;
- For positions connected to child related employment, Cufa reserves the right to not hire an applicant or terminate a contract with an existing representative of Cufa if relevant background checks reveal the person is unsuitable to work with children or if for any reason that individual may pose a threat to children’s safety; and
- In the instance a representative of Cufa is discharged for suspected sexual abuse, or any other type of abuse against children, Cufa is entitled to disclose such information to a prospective employer in accordance with local law.
This Code of Conduct is to be followed at all times when working with children.
All Cufa representatives are responsible for their behaviour towards children. In the instance a child instigates any of the activities below, the Cufa representative is still accountable for their own actions and must not encourage or participate in conduct that is detrimental to the mental or physical health of a child.
It is the onus of Cufa representatives to use common sense and avoid actions or behaviours that could be construed as child exploitation and abuse.
A Cufa employee must accompany all Cufa visitors to Cufa projects sites relating to children.
All representatives of Cufa will:
- Adhere to the Code of Conduct as outlined in Cufa’s Child Protection Policy and conduct themselves in a manner representative of Cufa;
- Comply with all relevant Australian legislation and legislation of the host country, including labour laws in relation to child labour;
- Not employ people under the age of 18 years;
- Listen to children, take their comments seriously and allow them the opportunity to contribute to decisions that affect them;
- Treat all children equally and with respect and will engage in no discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, intellect, political or religious affiliation;
- Be visible when working with children and try to follow the two-adult rule, where there is more than one adult present in any interactions with a child;
- Submit all gifts for and correspondence with children for screening by Cufa;
- Ask permission before holding hands if it is necessary during the course of work;
- Be aware of public perception and act with respect towards cultural sensitivities in their language, actions and interaction with children; and
- Report any concerns of harm, neglect or abuse of a child to a Cufa Project Officer, Program Manager of Chief Executive Officer.
- Be alone with a child where possible;
- Touch, hold, kiss, hug or fondle a child in an inappropriate and/or culturally insensitive way. Touching should only ever be with the child’s permission (except in response to an emergency situation), the buttocks and groin must be avoided, and any physical contact must be open and non-secretive;
- Engage in physical contact of any kind that can be interpreted as being sexual in any way;
- Do things of a personal nature that a child is capable of doing for themselves, such as going to the toilet or changing their clothes;
- Associate with a child outside the workplace, without approval from a parent/guardian. Where possible interaction outside the workplace will be avoided;
- Take a child to their own home or sleep in the same room or bed as a child;
- Develop sexual or abusive relationships with a child;
- Show favouritism towards a particular child or children through the provision of gifts or inappropriate attention;
- Use abusive or offensive language or make advances or gestures that are of a sexual nature;
- Smack, hit, bully or use inappropriate physical force on a child; or
- Condone illegal behaviour or supply a child with alcohol, cigarettes or illegal drugs.
All representatives of Cufa will not:
Cufa has detailed guidelines on the use of promotional material in our communications. Refer to the Use of Promotional Material Policy.Guidelines for Reporting Misconduct Towards Children
Cufa has a detailed complaints procedure for reporting abuse or suspected abuse. Refer to the Reporting Misconduct Towards Children Policy.Training in Child Protection
Training in child protection is essential to ensure that employees are aware of their obligations and legal requirements. Ongoing training also provides a chance for employees to be updated on new developments and changing policy requirements.
- Training in child protection is delivered to relevant personnel during the recruitment and orientation process. The Child Protection Policy, Cufa’s support of international human rights declarations and our commitment to DFAT and ACFID guidelines for child related employment is discussed with new employees;
- New risks and challenges facing child protection are raised and discussed with relevant personnel throughout the year and adequate provisions are inserted into project plans to address these issues; and
- Child protection requirements and laws are readdressed and discussed in Cufa’s annual training day on human rights and development.
Each country office is required to abide by local legislation, including labour laws with regard to child labour. Every country in the world except two (US and Somalia) have ratified the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child.Child Labour Policy
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Cufa’s program activities are undertaken in a manner which protects the health, safety and wellbeing of children. It is estimated that 246 million children are engaged in child labour, of which nearly 70% work in hazardous conditions including pesticides or machinery use. The use of child labour has a negative impact on child development, health and education. Asia and the Pacific still has the largest numbers (almost 78 million or 9.3% of child population) (International Labour Organisation, 2015). Under this policy, a ‘child’ is defined as a person less than 18 years of age.What is child labour?
Considerable differences exist between the many kinds of work children do. Some are difficult and demanding, others are more hazardous and even morally reprehensible. Children carry out a very wide range of tasks and activities when they work.This policy is aligned with the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) definition of child labour which explains that considerable differences exist between the many kinds of work children do. Some are difficult and demanding, others are more hazardous and even morally reprehensible. Children carry out a very wide range of tasks and activities when they work.
The term “child labour” is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development. As such, not all work done by children should be classified as child labour that is targeted for elimination. Children’s or adolescents’ participation in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling, is generally regarded as being something positive. This includes activities such as helping their parents around the home, assisting in a family business or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays. These kinds of activities contribute to children’s development and to the welfare of their families; they provide them with skills and experience, and help to prepare them to be productive members of society during their adult life.
Work that is classified as “child labour”:
- is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and
- interferes with their schooling by:
- depriving them of the opportunity to attend school;
- obliging them to leave school prematurely; or
- requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.
- Ensure families, communities and partner organisations are aware of their National Child Labour laws and guidelines. Where child labour laws are non-existent, or are lower than those listed below, all program partners are required to uphold the child labour standards described in this policy.
- Are not harmful to the health, safety, morals or development of children.
- Do not prejudice a child’s attendance at school, vocational activities or their capacity to benefit from the instruction received.
- Do not put the child’s physical or emotional well-being at risk.
- Prevent the economic exploitation of children.
Cufa’s Policy Statement
Cufa is committed to supporting programs which protect the health and safety of children. Cufa will therefore encourage project activities that:
Cufa recognises that children often help their families to perform household duties or assisting with their families’ small business. In situations where children are required to assist their parents with their small businesses, in particular with the Village Entrepreneur program, children should only participate after school hours, only provide their parents with assistance and support rather than be the primary operator of the business and not engage in any activities that contradict this policy.