Edmund Rice International Limited

SAFEGUARDING POLICY :

CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

(Approved by Board – April 2020)

ERI Safeguarding Officer is Br Brian Bond (bpbond@edmundrice.org)

EDMUND RICE INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

Safeguarding  Policy

Principles

  • Edmund Rice International is a non-government organisation which exists for the advancement of   education, including education in human rights, for the relief of poverty of children and young people, 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’s advocacy and training programmes primarily involve engagement with autonomous adult  activists and  officials  rather than  children or vulnerable adults. However, it conducts some direct educational work   in Geneva and New York and in-country, and its global training  role in communities across the world may   bring it into contact with children and vulnerable adults and those responsible for their care.  Edmund Rice International acknowledges the rights of  the  parents and carers who have the primary responsibility for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the children and vulnerable adults in their care.    It also recognizes that lack of appropriate action can be a form of abuse.
  • Edmund Rice International is committed to professional standards of behaviour in work and practice,  and to procedures based on and consistent with the principles stated above.
  • Edmund Rice International is committed to implementing, monitoring and regularly reviewing this policy and procedures.

Code

In order to protect and promote the rights of the child and vulnerable adult, ERI members commit to:

  • Respecting children and vulnerable adults 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 and vulnerable adults’ rights in policies, training of personnel, and

operations.

  • Developing safe and healthy environments and systems for the children and vulnerable adults Edmund Rice International work with.
  • Consulting with children and vulnerable adults in all aspects of operations that involve

children and vulnerable adults.

  • Ensuring children and vulnerable adults’ participation, in appropriate ways, in decision-making about advocacy and sustainability projects that involve children and vulnerable adults.
  • Avoiding violence, sexual contacts, neglect, discrimination, and exploitation in their relationships with children and vulnerable adults.
  • Prioritising the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults 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 and vulnerable adults.
  • Responding justly and compassionately to those who have suffered abuse by Edmund Rice International members.

Protocols

  1. In each country in which they have a presence, Edmund Rice International members are committed to:
  1. Compliance with the laws concerning child protection or safeguarding and child abuse.
    1. Observance of the relevant professional standards in their dealing with children and vulnerable adults, and the families and communities of those children and vulnerable adults.
    1. Working within the child protection and vulnerable personpolicies set by each agency.
  • In each diocese and ecclesiastical administrative unit in which they work, Edmund Rice International members are committed to:
  1. Compliance with the relevant canonical laws and regulations applying to their situation.
    1. Observance of the relevant Church professional standards in their dealing with children and vulnerable adults, and the families and communities of those children and vulnerable adults.
    1. Working within the Church safeguarding policiesset by each diocese and Episcopal conference.
  • When working with or for children and vulnerable adults of other Christian churches, or other religious traditions, Edmund Rice International members are committed to:
  1. Compliance with the relevant laws concerning child protection and child abuse.
    1. Observance of the relevant professional standards in their dealing with children and vulnerable adults, and the families and communities of those working within the safeguarding policies set by each agency.
  • If Edmund Rice International members receive allegations or accusations that they are responsible for child  or vulnerable person, they are committed to:
  1. Prompt and effective following of the relevant protocols applying in that particular country and in that ecclesiastical administrative unit.
    1. 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.
    1. Confidentiality, as appropriate, to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned.                 
  • If there is conflict between different laws, standards or policies within a particular site, Edmund Rice International members are committed to:
  1. Basing their conduct on the principles and code outlined above.
    1. Seeking legal and canonical advice, where appropriate, on resolving the conflict.
    1. Respecting state laws over Church or other faith-based laws, standards and policies.
  •  The following protocol is established by Edmund Rice International for     purposes of responding to an ERI member being accused of child or vulnerable person abuse, as noted in item 5 above:
  1. The Edmund Rice International Board will appoint a Board Member to be the designated Safeguarding Representative, who will be notified along with the Executive Director and Board Chairperson, of any allegation or accusation involving any ERI member.   Notification will be made within 24 hours of learning of the accusation.
  • ERI Board and ERI Team members are committed to remaining educated about      reporting policies and identification of child abuse and they are committed to:
  1. Each Board member and ERI Team member will receive a minimum of two hours of continuing education regarding child protection every 2 years.
  • Background checks will be conducted on all members of the Board and ERI Team in keeping with the standards of comparable international child serving organisations.
  1. Background checks will be completed prior to appointment to the Board or ERI Team.

DEFINITIONS

[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 Abuse”: physical, emotional or sexual violence enacted on children and vulnerable adults, legal,     systemic or institutional violence or discrimination against children and vulnerable adults, or neglect of children and vulnerable adults

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

“Exploitation” – any behaviour or system that uses children and vulnerable adults for ends which violate their rights

“ERI” – Edmund 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

LSO” -Local Safeguarding Officer = the person with designated responsibility for ERI activity in a specific setting, e.g. a training course or a workshop

 “Neglect”failure to meet the basic needs of children and vulnerable adults or failure to promote or respect their rights

“Rights of the Child”  –  those 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 Contact”any behaviour that involves touching, arousing or gratifying another person, sexually

SGR”- ERI Safeguarding Representative = the person with overall responsibility for leading and ensuring best policy and practice in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

“SO” -ERI Safeguarding Officer = the person operationally responsible for promoting, ensuring, coordinating best safeguarding practice across ERI  (this role is currently exercised by the Executive Director)

“Violence”any 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)

“ Vulnerable Adult” –  a vulnerable adult is described as a person aged 18 years or over, who is in receipt of or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation

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 and vulnerable adults against Sexual Abuse: a companion to the Guidelines and      Procedures [30 pp]    

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

PB2.1  Safeguarding Children and vulnerable adults: Policy Statement [1 p]

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

PB2.3  Safeguarding Children and vulnerable adults: 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 and vulnerable adults: Policy Statement [1 p]

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

PB4.3  Safeguarding Children and vulnerable adults: Contacts [1 p]

Christian Brother Documents on Child Protection

CB2.   European Province

CB2.1  Keeping Children and vulnerable adults Safe, Safeguarding Children and vulnerable adults: 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]