Child Protection Policy of Action For Cambodia’s Children

Children the world over are at risk from exploitation, inappropriate sexual behaviour and other forms of abuse from adults and older children. Cambodian children are especially at risk as the country adapts to rapid changes, movements of people, a lack of robustness in the legal process and booming inbound tourism industry. This last is a special problem as doubtless an element of such inbound tourism is motivated by or results in inappropriate sexual behaviour; so called sex tourism.

Action For Cambodia’s Children is committed to protecting children from any form of exploitation or abuse.

Action For Cambodia’s Children is especially aware of its connections to the tourism industry and remains vigilant to threats arising to children from this source. All employees will be trained in child protection issues such as awareness, identification and where to seek additional help and volunteers will be informed of relevant child protection issues prior to their placement with Action For Cambodia’s Children.

In addition Action For Cambodia’s Children has the adopted the following Child Protection Policy that must be read and signed by all persons employed by or offering voluntary services to Acton For Cambodia’s Children. The signing and observation of the policy form an integral part of any contract of employment or written or verbal agreement between Action For Cambodia’s Children and volunteers.

Cambodia Specific background:

Cambodia is a signatory of the UNCRC and so has developed a series of laws for the protection of children. Sexual abuse of children carries a penalty of up to 30 years imprisonment.

Various countries have also passed extra-territoriality laws that allow them to prosecute their citizens for offences committed in other countries. Crimes against children in Cambodia can and will be prosecuted in Cambodia or in the offender’s home country.

“Any person who commits acts of debauchery involving a minor, even if there is ‘consent’ from the concerned minor, …shall be punished by ten (10) to twenty (20) years in prison”

(Law on Suppression of the Kidnapping, Trafficking, and Exploitation of Human Beings, Cambodia, Article 8).

Action For Cambodia’s Children Child Protection Policy statement

Action For Cambodia’s Children has a duty of care to safeguard all children it supports. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled and disadvantaged children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be addressed.

Recruitment of Action For Cambodia’s Children staff and volunteers

Action For Cambodia’s Children recognizes that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps must be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children.

Good practice means:

The following are never sanctioned. Under no circumstances must you:
• Engage in any inappropriate conduct with children.
• Be alone with less than three children at any time
• Engage in rough physical or sexually provocative games, including over the top horseplay.
• Spend time alone with children away from others.
• Escort less than three children at a time in any vehicle (unless in an emergency situation).
• Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
• Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
• Make sexually suggestive comments to a child.
• Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
• Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
• Invite or allow children to enter your accommodation.

Incidents that must be reported/recorded

If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the appropriate Action For Cambodia’s Children official and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child and principals of the schools are informed if appropriate:
• If you accidentally hurt a child.
• If he/she seems unusually distressed in any manner.
• If a child misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done with the result that the situation could be construed to be in contravention of this Child protection Policy.
• If you suspect any form of child exploitation is occurring, regardless of the suspected perpetrator.

Use of photographic/filming equipment at any Action For Cambodia’s Children location

Inappropriate activity

Sensitivity is encouraged with regard to taking individual or close up photos or video of any children, both with respect to the intrusiveness of the action and the duration. Shorter duration volunteers especially should remember that while this may be a unique opportunity for them to record images it is unhelpful for the children to be photographed time and again on a regular basis. Staff and volunteers should be vigilant while at any Action For Cambodia’s Children site and any concerns should to be reported to the relevant Action For Cambodia’s Children official. The possibility of error in the reporting of concerns will be assured. If a disclosure is made to you, the following procedure should be followed:
• Remain calm and try to assume a non-judgemental attitude.
• Do not question children directly/further beyond that which they have (or third party has) told you.
• Do not make any promises but do tell the child or third party what your responsibility is and what you will do.
• Even if encouraged by the child or third party to ‘not tell anyone’ you have a duty to report concerns to the relevant authority. You must explain to the informer what your responsibility is and what you have to do, as stated in this policy.
• Make detailed notes about any allegation/suspicion and;
• Report your concerns as soon as possible to the relevant Build Your Future Today Center official who will then contact the appropriate authorities or;
• Contact the authorities yourself if concerns need immediate/ alternative attention or you do not feel comfortable discussing the issue with the Action For Cambodia’s Children official.

Who to contact:

In Cambodia, Child safe-Cambodia is the leading NGO in the area of Child Protection (www.childsafe-cambodia.org). They provide the following contact points for any child protection concerns within Action For Cambodia’s Children:
• Initially the relevant Action For Cambodia’s Children official, then
• 24 hour Police Hotline: 023 720 555 or
• Child Safe Hotline: 012 296 609
Where there is a misconduct complaint against or a disregard for the Action For Cambodia’s Children Child Protection Policy by anyone working within the Action For Cambodia’s Children organization the following actions will take place:
• Immediate removal of the suspected person from the relevant Action For Cambodia’s Children premises pending further investigation
• A report to the appropriate authorities
• A criminal investigation and prosecution with the support of Action For Cambodia’s Children
Where there is a misconduct complaint against or a disregard for the Where there is a misconduct complaint against or a disregard for the Where there is a misconduct complaint against or a disregard for the Where there is a misconduct complaint against or a disregard for the Where there is a misconduct complaint against or a disregard for the Action For Cambodia’s Children Child Protection Policy by anyone working within the Action For Cambodia’s Children Child organization the following actions will take place:
• Immediate removal of the suspected person from the relevant Action For Cambodia’s Children Child premises pending further investigation
• A report to the appropriate authorities
• A criminal investigation and prosecution with the support of Action For Cambodia’s Children
Action For Cambodia’s Children Child Protection Policy by anyone working within the Action For Cambodia’s Children Child organization the following actions will take place:
• Immediate removal of the suspected person from the relevant Action For Cambodia’s Children Child premises pending further investigation
• A report to the appropriate authorities
• A criminal investigation and prosecution with the support of Action For Cambodia’s Children