Social Science Works regularly works with children. The aim of this policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of SSW and to enable staff to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues. A child is defined as anyone under the age of 18 (Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989). This policy applies to both real world and online environments.
SSW believes that children should never experience abuse of any kind. We have responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.
This policy has been developed on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:
- The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
- The German Grundgesetz
- The German Civil Code
- The German social security Code (Sozialgesetzbuch – SGB VIII)
Statement of SSW
SSW respects persons and their human dignity. We believe that child protection is crucial to ensure that children under the age of 18 have the rights, information and space in which they can express their views and communicate effectively with other children and adults. Children can only become empowered agents of change to improve their lives and those of their families and communities if they are protected from abuse, discrimination and harm of any kind, be it physical, sexual, emotional or neglect. We recognize that all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
We want to take care of the rights and interests of the participants to our projects and seek to keep them safe by
- Valuing, listening to and respecting them,
- Adopting child protection practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- Recruiting staff and volunteers safely and ensuring all necessary checks are carried out.
This child protection policy applies to all SSW staff: team members, fellows, interns or anyone working on behalf of SSW. SSW wants to protect the children we work with. SSW would exclude any person with a relevant criminal record in the context of child and youth welfare activities. To this end, staff working with children have to present an extended police certificate (erweitertes Polizeizeugnis) at the beginning of the cooperation with SSW. This must be renewed 5 years after the date of the certificate.
Data protection must be respected, so that the extended police certificate can only be inspected and not retrained. This process is documented by SSW: we document that the certificate of good conduct has been viewed and does not contain any disposition that speak against the employment of the staff.
Staff get this child protection policy at the beginning of the cooperation with SSW and whenever the policy changes.
Data protection of children
No information that could be used to identify or endanger a child will be used.
- We do not keep a list of participants in workshops with children.
- We do social research and use surveys as tool for social studies. Our surveys are anonymous as we do not register the name or any information that could identify the person completing the survey.
- We are aware that photos can help to identify children so we publish photos of workshop participants carefully and without the names of the participants. We do not publish pictures of children if their faces can be recognized.
SSW does not register personal data and would not share it with third parties.
Code of Conduct
People participating in children-projects of SSW respect our Code of Conduct.
This Code of Conduct provides guidance on ethical and appropriate standards of behavior for adults towards children and for children towards other children. It has been developed with the best interests of the child in mind and should be interpreted in a spirit of transparency and common sense.
- Be aware of what constitutes child abuse and exploitation and understand the regulations.
- Know the signs of abuse and report any suspicious observations immediately to the SSW Executive Director.
- Respect the basic rights of others by being fair, honest and tactful and by treating people with dignity and respect.
- Treat all children equally: be inclusive and involve all children without discrimination.
- Be aware of the potential for peer abuse (e.g. bullying).
- Encourage and respect children’s voices and views.
- Respect the confidentiality of children’s personal information at all times.
- Do not discriminate, shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade children. This includes anything that could be considered emotional abuse.
- Do not perform activities for children that they can do for themselves, like dressing, bathing…
- Do not use physical force with a child.
- Do not be alone with a child in circumstances that could be questioned by others.
- Do not kiss, hug, fondle, rub or touch a child in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive way.
- Do not engage in any form of sexual activity with children.
- Avoid any action or behavior that could be construed as poor practice or potentially abusive. For example, never behave in an inappropriate or sexually provocative manner.
- Do not suggest or encourage inappropriate behavior or relationships of any kind to a child.
- Do not take photographs, film or ask for personal information unless required for SSW activities.
SSW has a zero-tolerance approach to any child abuse or other intentional harm to a child.