CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Terms used

[Note that specific nations or legal systems may define these terms differently, and these specific definitions are in force within those jurisdictions.]

Child a human being under eighteen years of age

Child Abusephysical, emotional or sexual violence enacted on children, legal, systemic or institutional violence or discrimination against children, or neglect of children

Ecclesiastical Administrative Unit –  regional, national or international Catholic Church authorities, wider than parish and diocese (eg National Episcopal Conference, Regional Bishops’ Conference)

Exploitationany behaviour or system that uses children for ends which violate their rights

ERIEdmund Rice International

ERI members members of the ERI Board, the ERI Team, and all those working for ERI, as employees, interns, volunteers, consultants, and sub-contractors

Neglectfailure to meet the basic needs of children or failure to promote or respect their rights

Rights of the Childthose rights outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by United Nations General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989).

Sexual Contactany behaviour that involves touching, arousing or gratifying another person, sexually

Violenceany behaviour towards another person that denies their dignity as human persons; violence may be physical, emotional (verbal, non-verbal, written, electronic), sexual (harassment and assault), legal (when laws deny human rights), systemic (when structures deny human rights, formally or informally) or institutional (when an organisation denies human rights).

Principles

  • Edmund Rice International is a non-government organisation which exists to advance the education and the relief of poverty of children and to raise awareness of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Edmund Rice International is inspired by the Christian message, shares in the Gospel values of the Catholic tradition, and appreciates each child as being a child of God, with the intrinsic dignity and worth of this state.
  • Edmund Rice International is committed to promoting and protecting the Rights of the Child, as they are articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Edmund Rice International acknowledges the rights of parents and carers who have the primary responsibility for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their children.
  • Edmund Rice International is committed to professional standards of behaviour in work and practice, based on and consistent with the principles stated above.
  • Edmund Rice International is committed to implementing, monitoring and regularly reviewing this policy.

Code

In order to protect and promote the rights of the child, members of Edmund Rice International commit to:

  • Respecting children in all aspects of Edmund Rice International  operations.
  • Developing healthy working relationships that respect professional boundaries, including appropriate language, behaviour and work places.
  • Enshrining children’s rights in policies, training of personnel, and operations.
  • Developing safe and healthy environments and systems for the children Edmund Rice International work with.
  • Consulting with children in all aspects of operations that involve children.
  • Ensuring children’s participation, in appropriate ways, in decision-making about advocacy and sustainability projects that involve children.
  • Avoiding violence, sexual contacts, neglect, discrimination, and exploitation in their relationships with children.
  • Prioritising the safety and wellbeing of children in situations where allegations or accusations are made against Edmund Rice International members or to them, about a third party.
  • Working cooperatively with agencies concerned with the welfare and protection of children.
  • Responding justly and compassionately to those who have suffered child abuse by Edmund Rice International members

Protocols

1.     In each country in which they have a presence, Edmund Rice International members are committed to:

a.     Compliance with the laws concerning child protection or safeguarding and child abuse.

b.     Observance of the relevant professional standards in their dealing with children, and the families and communities of those children.

c.     Working within the child protection policies set by each agency.

2.     In each diocese and ecclesiastical administrative unit in which they work, Edmund Rice International members are committed to:

a.     Compliance with the relevant canonical laws and regulations applying to their situation.

b.     Observance of the relevant Church professional standards in their dealing with children, and the families and communities of those children.

c.     Working within the Church policies on child protection set by each diocese and episcopal conference.

3.     When working with or for children of other Christian churches, or other religious traditions, Edmund Rice International members are committed to:

a.     Compliance with the relevant laws concerning child protection and child abuse.

b.     Observance of the relevant professional standards in their dealing with children, and the families and communities of those children.

c.     Working within the child protection policies set by each agency.

4.     If Edmund Rice International members receive allegations against a third party concerning child abuse by the third party, they are committed to:

a.     Prompt and effective reporting to the appropriate authorities, following the relevant protocols operative in the specific country.

b.     Confidentiality, as appropriate, to protect the privacy of individuals concerned.

5.     If Edmund Rice International members receive allegations or accusations that they are responsible for child abuse, they are committed to:

a.     Prompt and effective following of the relevant protocols applying in that particular country and in that ecclesiastical administrative unit.

b.     Prompt and effective following of the relevant protocols applying in their own congregation, their home province, their province of residence, and the provinces where the allegation is made and the alleged offence occurred.

c.     Confidentiality, as appropriate, to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned.

6.     If there is conflict between different laws, standards or policies within a particular site, Edmund Rice International members are committed to:

a.     Basing their conduct on the principles and code outlined above.

b.     Seeking legal and canonical advice, where appropriate, on resolving the conflict.

c.     Respecting state laws over Church or other faith-based laws, standards and policies.

References

The following lists contain the documents collected by ERI. The lists are divided between those from the Presentation Brother (PB) and the Christian Brother (CB) congregations.

Presentation Brother Documents on Child Protection

PB1.            PB Congregation

PB1.1            Protection of Children against Sexual Abuse: a companion to the Guidelines andProcedures [30 pp] 

PB2.            Anglo-Irish Province [printed on one A4 sheet]

PB2.1            Safeguarding Children: Policy Statement [1 p]

PB2.2            Safeguarding Children: Code of Behaviour [1 p]

PB2.3            Safeguarding Children: Contacts [1 p]

PB3.            Our Lady of the Americas Province

PB3.1            Child Protection Policy for Our Lady of the Americas Province [9 pp]

PB4.            West Africa Province

PB4.1            Safeguarding Children: Policy Statement [1 p]

PB4.2            Safeguarding Children: Code of Behaviour [2 pp]

PB4.3            Safeguarding Children: Contacts [1 p]

Christian Brother Documents on Child Protection

CB2.            European Province

CB2.1            Keeping Children Safe, Safeguarding Children: the Christian Brothers Child-Protection and Policy Procedures 2009 [42 pp]

CB3.            Oceania Province

CB3.1            Oceania Province Policies: Professional Standards [14 pp]

CB3.2            Towards Healing: principles and procedures in responding to complaints of abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church in Australia [36 pp]

May 2010

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