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Together for Cambodia

Child Protection Policy with special thanks to the Green Gecko Project for providing the template for this document.


As a Cambodian children's suppo rt organisation, Together for Cambodia 's (TFC ) first priority is the safety and well being of the children under our care. TFC has a strict c hild protection policy to ensure the children are not exposed to abuse, exploitation, violence or neglect. This policy should conform to the general principles of UN Convention of the Rights of the Child as follows:

Best Interests of the Child: The best interests of the child will be TFC's primary consideration. All decisions and actions concerning a child should serve the best interests of the child. When weighing up alternatives TFC will seek to ensure that the final decision or action arrived at will be that in which the child receives the maximum benefit possible. TFC will at all times consider the impact a decision or action will have on the child and ensure the positive impacts outweigh any negative impacts.

Non-Discrimination: TFC will enforce a policy of non-discrimination at all times and all children will be treated with respect and love equally.

Participation and Self-Determination: TFC abides by the principle that a child has the right to have his or her views taken into account in accordance with their age development in major decisions affecting their life. They should be given the opportunity to express their ideas and views and be heard on matters affecting them. TFC will in all cases give serious consideration to the child's wishes (and those of their extended family where appropriate) throughout the decision-making process. All children have the right to self-determination.

TFC aims to provide safe and friendly environments where children can develop and grow in a healthy way.

The guidelines in this Child Protection Policy protect both the child from abuse and adult from false accusation.

1 who this policy apples to and resposibility for Implementation

This policy's aim is to reduce risk to all children involved in or assisted by TFC programs. It therefore applies to the below who assist or have access to children in the care of TFC

•  All beneficiaries under the age of 18;

•  TFC Permanent and part-time staff

•  TFC Volunteers, short and long term

•  TFC Advisers and TFC Benefactors or Donors

•  External Visitors and Medical staff

TFC is responsible to ensure that the Child Protection Policy is dispatched and understood by all staff, volunteers and all the above mentioned and that all staff and volunteers acknowledge their receipt of and responsibilities under the policy.

TFC will ensure the Child Protection Policy remains relevant and effective. TFC will consistently monitor all risks pertaining to the Children and when needed make any necessary changes to the Child Protection Policy.

TFC will advise and assist all staff and volunteers in the implementation of the policy.


At the beginning of any recruitment process, TFC's child protection policy will be explained to all prospective:

•  Staff

•  Directors or Adviser

•  Volunteers

•  Consultants and independent contractors

•  Donors, corporate sponsors, journalists, supporters and visitors.

TFC will conduct screening of applicants for staff and volunteer positions, consultants and independent contractors and will include a written application, copy of passport/ID card, and any Child Safe children's cards eg: Australian ‘Blue Card', reference/police checks. During the application process, applicants should be asked about previous work with children.

TFC reserves the right not to hire or to terminate a volunteer applicant or staff member if background checks reveal that the person is not suitable to work with children or for any reason that may put children at risk. TFC also reserves the right to terminate without notice any staff member or volunteer found contravening the Child Protection Policy.

TFC will reinforce the Child Protection Policy at all new staff and volunteers orientations and have clear policies and guidelines for reporting suspected infringements or abuse. Staff will be made aware of the potential disciplinary / legal actions that could be taken as a result of an investigation.

3. rules of conduct for TFC Personnel

Rules of conduct are guidelines deemed to be appropriate and proper behaviour for TFC Staff, Volunteers and Visitors when interacting wi th Children in the care of TFC. They are primarily designed to protect children but also intended to protect personnel from false accusations of inappropriate behaviour or abuse.

  1. No child is to be taken on a motorbike, tuk-tuk or car without making prior arrangements with the President or the Director.
  2. No child is to be taken to any staff or volunteers home, guesthouse, hotel or accommodation.
  3. No staff member, volunteer or benefactor is permitted to socialise with the children outside the TFC premises apart from a friendly hello.
  4. No staff member, volunteer or benefactor is permitted to take any child to a café, restaurant or buy them food. If the children are obviously hungry, then the President or the Director are to informed immediately.
  5. No presents of any kind are to be bought for the children without prior arrangement with President or Director.
  6. TFC personnel, volunteers, benefactors and visitors must display appropriate language, actions and relationships with children at all times. Extra care should be given to protecting the reputation of both female children and TFC staff by ensuring that language and behaviour at all times reflect appropriate male-female relationships, which are respectful of and in line with Cambodian culture an d customs.
  7. Permission must be sought from the President or Director of TFC for any contact with the Children outside of the TFC centre.
  8. TFC personnel should not hire any of the TFC children to do domestic work or to perform other work without prior permission from the TFC Director or President. This is necessary to ensure the child's age and working conditions meet the criteria specified in the MOSALVY Prakas on Light Work for Minors and other relevant labour laws. These include hiring only minors over the age of 12 years old, limiting workdays and hours and providing access to education. Staff not meeting these criteria may be in violation of child labour laws and are subject to investigation for child abuse and/or exploitation.
  9. TFC must take extreme care when interacting physically with the Children. TFC staff must not fondle, hold, kiss, hug or touch minors in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive way. Under no circumstance should any physical contact be or have the appearance of being sexual in any way.
  10. TFC personnel must not exert inappropriate physical force when dealing with the Children. This includes, but is not limited to, pushing, shoving, hitting, slapping or any other action that could cause fear, intimidation or distress .
  11. Section 10 above must also apply to all children living at TFC. Bullying and intimidation etc by children to others must be handled immediately by the appropriate staff members.
  12. TFC personnel are responsible for their actions and reactions to Children at all times. They should be aware that they might work with children who may, because of the circumstances and abuses they have experienced, use a relationship with an adult to obtain 'special attention'. The adult is always considered responsible for his or her response even if a child behaves seductively. Staff should be alert for such behaviour and avoid being placed in a compromising or vulnerable position. Any advances of this nature should be immediately reported to the directors.
  13. Where possible and practical staff should implement the 'two-adult' rule, whereby two or more adults supervise all activities with Children. If for any reason an individual conversation or counselling session is warranted with a child, another adult must be within visual contact.
  14. Inappropriate conduct toward children, including failure to follow the behaviour standards stated above is grounds for discipline, up to and including dismissal from employment or volunteering and/or police notification and legal action.
  15. A TFC staff member must accompany any visitor or non-staff member to any TFC facility.

4. Reporting and Investigating Abuse or Suspected Abuse

The TFC takes Child Abuse very seriously. Many of the Children have experienced abuse of some form in their home environment and TFC provides a safe and protected place for the children to call their own. Child abuse in any form including physical, emotional or sexual abuse is a serious offence that would threaten the well being and reputation of the child, the accused s taff or volunteer and of TFC itself. Any infringements of this type will be prosecuted to the full extent of law. Child abusers are not likely to remain in an environment where workers are train ed to identify and report suspicious behaviour. For these reasons, all personnel are responsible for reporting suspected child abuse or exploitation of any kind.

Any person who has knowledge of, suspects or has witnessed a potential child protection issue involving TFC personnel should immediately contact the Director and the President. A report should be made immediately to allow for early intervention and a prompt investigation. Failure to report suspected child abuse or misconduct may result in disciplinary action.

On receipt of the report, the Director of TFC will file a complaint with the relevant Police, NGO and/or Authorities and full cooperation afforded them during an external investigation. If the accused is an expatriate, the relevant law enforcement authorities will also be informed with due regard given to the potenti al for extraterritorial proceedings by the expatriate's country of origin.

Generally, an employee or volunteer accused of abuse or misconduct with a child should be temporarily suspended during the course of the investigation. The individual should be informed that charges have been made against him/her and given an opportunity to respond. They should also be informed that TFC has an obligation to initiate an internal investigation. Efforstb will be made to provide assistance to an employee accused of misconduct with children, including counselling or other appropriate forms of support.

In the event an employee or volunteer is discharged for proven or suspected child abuse or misconduct, TFC may disclose such info rmation if requested by police, a prospective employer, etc. when such requests may assist in a legal investigation or the prevention of future abuse. Such disclosures will be made in accordance with applicable law and/or customs.

If abuse is proven by investigation, every effort will be made to assist the child in coping with any physical or emotional trauma he or she may be experiencing.

6. Visitors to the centre

  • All visitors must sign in at the TFC office and receive a TFC pass.
  • No visitor should be allowed in without informing the President, Director or senior staff member, unless prior authority has been granted.
  • All visitors must be closely monitored by TFC staff or volunteers, NO visitor can be left alone, with or without children when in TFC centres. Photography only permitted if TFC management give verbal approval.
  • All visitors must be signed out and return TFC passes.

I have read the complete TFC Internal Child Protection Policy. I fully understand and agree to follow all procedures contained within.

If at any time I fail to follow the guidelines set forth by the TFC Child Protection Policy I understand that my employment / association may be terminated by the Director and appropriate avenues will be taken.


____________________ _____/_____/_____

Signature Date

If responding by email please state acceptance of terms of child protection policy. You will receive a hardcopy to sign once you arrive.

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