WE SAFEGUARD CHILDREN AND ADVOCATE CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
As a local organization that works with children who have lost parental care, or who are at risk of losing it, STAWI see far too many cases of child abuse and neglect. Child abuse is widespread and persistent, exacerbated by poverty and, in some cases, legitimized through harmful cultural practices such as corporal punishment. Child abuse is a taboo subject in many cultures and is underreported. STAWI does not tolerate any form of child abuse, exploitation, neglect or violation of a child’s privacy and rights. We are committed to creating and maintaining a caring and protective environment for every child we reach through our programs. In addition to that, STAWI work in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.
STAWI’s Child Protection Policy focuses on four key action areas: awareness, prevention, reporting and responding. We place special emphasis on awareness and prevention to safeguard children and improve the quality of the care they receive. In case of a reported child safeguarding concern, it is taken seriously and addressed without delay. This means that:
- We build the capacities of our partners for child development, children, young people and families to recognize signs of abuse – and how to prevent it.
- We teach the use of tools such as positive discipline.
- We work to eliminate harmful cultural practices.
- Any reported child safeguarding incident or concern is carefully assessed and, based on the results of the assessment, concrete actions are decided and put in place.
A. Our Child Protection Policy and procedures
The STAWI Child Protection Policy defines the different kinds of child abuse that exist and how to safely report concerns. The policy also spells out the obligation of every STAWI’s employee and associate to report any concern, suspicion or allegation of any child abuse. The STAWI’s Code of Conduct, which is binding for every employee, additionally defines appropriate and expected standards of behavior towards children for all adults in our organization.
Every child safeguarding concern or incident reported is taken seriously and is assessed thoroughly. Based on the findings of the assessment, further steps are decided. The guiding principle when dealing with any reported concern is that the safety and welfare of the child always comes first. STAWI partnered associations are accountable for responding to child safeguarding incidents within the frame of our Child Protection Policy and their national laws.
B. Advocate for children’s rights
We stand up for children and help to inform communities and decision-makers about children’s rights. We encourage children to actively take part in the decision-making processes that affect their lives and, when possible, speak up for themselves and be heard.
C. Children’s rights
Children’s rights are laid out in international, regional and national frameworks that establish fundamental rights each child has. We work with states and partners to help ensure that children who have lost parental care or risk losing it are protected, cared for and supported, ensuring that their rights are recognized and respected.
We are committed to ensuring the rights of all children. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, and international frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals are the foundations of our program and advocacy work.