CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Azad Vikalang Kalyan Samiti (AVKS) is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of children. Thus, AVKS has adopted these Child Protection Policy (CPP) requiring organisation representatives to conduct themselves appropriately with the children who participate in AVKS related programs and take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of such children.
This policy aims to define the behaviours and actions that constitute child abuse. Additionally, it will lay out the organisations expectations for behaviour, the scope of application of the policy and guidelines for reporting and redressal.
1. What Constitutes Child Abuse?
Child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, develop Program Management or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power (Source: A report of the consultation on child abuse prevention, WHO, Geneva, 29-31 March 1999, defines child abuse as).
AVKS Staff and Fellows must be aware of the following types of abuse and understand that they are prohibited as per this policy.
1.1. Physical abuse: The intentional use of physical force against a child that results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity. This includes hitting, beating, kicking, shaking, biting, strangling, scalding, burning, poisoning and suffocating.
1.2. Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse includes the failure to provide a developmentally appropriate, supportive environment, so that the child can develop a stable and full range of emotional and social competencies commensurate with his or her personal potential and in the context of the society in which the child dwells. Acts include restriction of movement, patterns of belittling, and denigrating, scapegoating, threatening, scaring, discriminating, ridiculing or other non-physical forms of hostile or rejecting treatment.
1.3. Neglect and negligent treatment: We hold ourselves responsible that all children in our class are free from our neglect. Neglect is the failure on the part of the parents, guardian, teacher or other responsible party to provide for the child's basic needs, such as food, shelter, medical care, educational opportunities, or protection and supervision. It is abuse through omission of the necessary environment and resources for the child to reach their full potential; and the act of not recognizing physical or emotional abuse.
1.4. Exploitation: Commercial or other exploitation of a child refers to use of the child in work or other activities for the benefit of others. This includes, but is not limited to, child labour and child prostitution. These activities are to the detriment of the child’s physical or mental health, education, or spiritual, moral or social-emotional development.
1.5. Sexual abuse:
1.5.1. Sexual abuse is an act or behaviour which constitutes a sexual offence under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, as amended from time to time. Such sexual offences include penetrative sexual assault (including rape), non-penetrative sexual assault (including touching the private parts of a Child), sexual harassment (including stalking a Child, showing a Child pornography and making a Child exhibit his/her body) and using a Child for pornographic purposes (including storing of pornographic material involving a Child for commercial purposes).
1.5.2. An abetment of and an attempt to commit a sexual offence under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 are also considered to be offences. Certain offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 are considered to be aggravated offences and are subject to stringent punishments. For instance, sexual assault committed by persons in a position of trust or authority in relation to the Child (including relatives of the Child, persons managing or working in an educational institution, police officers or public servants) are considered to be aggravated offences.
- 2. Scope of Application of the Child Protection Policy
- 2.1 This CPP is applicable to all part time and full time employees (including but not limited to Staff, Fellows, Interns) of AVKS and any other person who has been bound to the Child Protection Policy as per their contractual agreement with AVKS.
- 2.2 This policy will be shared and explained to all school HMs/Lead teachers
- 2.2.1 Our government schools are governed by their respective state level Child Protection Policies
- 2.2.2 We will encourage our low income private schools to adopt this policy if they do not have a similar one of their own
3. Expected Conduct
Expected Behaviour and Actions
Prohibited Behaviour and Actions
Treat every Child with empathy and respect, regardless of his/her race, colour, gender, sexuality, language, religion, religious belief, heritage, political/other opinion, national/ethnic/social origin or property/disability/birth/other status.
Do not use language or behaviour towards Children that is inappropriate, harassing, abusive, sexually provocative, demeaning, intimidating, offensive, discriminatory or culturally insensitive.
Listen to Children and respect their views.
Ensure that physical contact with a Child is respectful, culturally appropriate and essential to the purpose of your interaction with the Child.
Do not use any form of corporal punishment on Children.
Establish an atmosphere that fosters the development of Children through your actions and words.
Do not place a Child at risk of harm or abuse and do not harm or abuse any Child physically, emotionally or sexually.
Always take permission from Children before taking their photos or videos.
Do not share with or show Children (electronically or in any other form) inappropriate content including pornographic material or material encouraging crime, violence, terrorism, racism, sexism, self-harm, suicide, cruelty and gambling.
Keep all personal information about Children or their parents/guardians confidential and secure and ensure that such information is dispensed to only those individuals who are legitimately entitled to it.
Do not develop, induce or support physical or sexual relationships with Children, in any way.
Do not use or encourage the use of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or other intoxicating substances while interacting with Children and from providing such intoxicating substances to Children.
Do not develop any form of relationship or arrangement (financial or otherwise) with Children which could in any way be deemed to be exploitative or abusive. Do not use Child labour in any form.
Attend all the applicable training sessions and workshops on the CPP and Child-related laws conducted by the Organization. Ensure you implement the lessons learned from such sessions and workshops.
- 4. AVKS’s Measures to Prevent Child Abuse
- 4.1. On-Boarding Staff and Fellows
- 4.1.1. All Fellows and Staff self declare previous cases of criminal offence and child mistreatment as part of their application to AVKS
- 4.1.2. All Fellows and Staff will undergo child protection awareness training
- 22.214.171.124. Enforce Child safety guidelines that are required to be followed by the Staff and Fellows during excursions, picnics and educational tours. Our Field Trip Policy is included in Annexure 6
- 4.1.3. Ensuring that all Fellows and Staff sign a copy of the Child Protection Policy.
- 4.1.4. Attempt to ensure that visitors to a school are accompanied by a Staff Member or a Fellow.
- 4.2. Where the organization undertakes any research on Children or collects data on them, ensuring that Children are not harmed or traumatized in any way during the process
- 4.3. Partnerships to Support Implementation where possible
- 4.3.1. Partnering with organisations to conduct age-appropriate sessions on personal safety of Students (including modules/materials on body parts, online safety, protection from Child abuse and services available for the protection of Children)
- 4.3.2. Partnering with organisations working in the area of child abuse and child rights, to support Staff and Fellows in effective implementation of the CPP.
- 4.3.3. Partnering with organisations working in the area of child abuse and child rights, to support Staff and Fellows in effective implementation of the CPP.
- 4.4. Redressal Mechanisms: Assigning responsibility to specific individuals or groups of individuals within the organisation to ensure procedures and arrangements are in place for effective implementation of the policy and redressal of Child abuse complaints. These include:
- 4.4.1. City Child Protection Officer (CCPO): This is the nodal person in every city to ensure compliance to the CPP. List of names and contact details of the CCPO is provided in Annexure 5. For any type of this policy, please reach out to your CCPO.
- 4.4.2. City Child Protection Committee (CCPC): This is a committee in a city to help the CCPO with redressal decisions and will conduct reviews (once every 2 months) of the working of the CPP in the city and implement any additional measures to strengthen child protection measures.
- 4.4.3. National Child Protection Officer (NCCPO): This is a person who oversees the policy at a national level to help the CCPCs with redressal decisions, when escalated. He/she will conduct reviews (once every 3 months) of the working of the CPP in the organisation and implement any additional measures to strengthen child protection measures.
- 4.4.4. The constitution, roles and responsibilities of CCPO, CCPC and NCCPO.
- 5. There are 3 scenarios under which the Child Protection Policy can be violated. The guidelines set out in this section will govern the reporting and redressal of each of the respective scenarios:
- 5.1. Where the alleged victim is any child (AVKS) and the alleged offender is a Staff or Fellow
- 5.2. Where the alleged victim is a AVKS student and the alleged offender is not a Staff or Fellow.
- 5.3. Where the alleged victim can be any child and the alleged offender is anybody and where the offence is one of sexual abuse.