Child Protection Policy
VCF Child Protection Policy is based on the principles cited in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and subsequently in the resolution “A World Fit For Children.” These principles put children first, protect children, encourage participation of children and work to end poverty.
“All children have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation.
All children should be encouraged to fulfill their potential and inequalities should be challenged.
Everybody has a responsibility to support the care and protection of children.
INGOs have a duty of care to children with whom they work and with whom their representatives work
If agencies work through partners they have a responsibility to meet minimum standards of protection for the children in their partners’ programmes”
Our approach to child protection follows standards outlined in “Setting the Standard: A Common Approach to Child Protection for International NGOs,” developed through extensive consultation with INGOs that has been endorsed by the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development. The standards are based on a set of principles derived from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In VCFs education and grassroots advocacy and medical program, Heartbeat Vietnam, the rights of the child to access quality health care and education are paramount. Our programs focus on a holistic approach, taking into account more than the medical or education factors. We look at the family, we assess risk to the child and we try to create programs that address these risks.
We value and respect all children and their families, and understand that extreme poverty can endanger children in many ways. The physical environment, the psychological effect of poverty, the lack of proper nutrition or even a daily meal sometimes comes into play. Our programs are adjusted to help each child in the way they need help. Their welfare comes first in our work and we regularly make exceptions and arrange extra care for at-risk children.
Likewise in our education programs, working with former heart patients and ethnic girls, we find cases where abuse has been a factor in their homes. Whenever possible we address the psychological effects, in addition to the physical and nutritional needs.
We recognize that girls are more vulnerable and empowering girls to escape a terrible home situation with further education not only gives them an alternative life, but often garners newfound respect from their abuser, who in some cases was lashing out because of the desperation extreme poverty brings. We work hard in our program for Ethnic girls, to build their confidence and self esteem, and to help them understand that they should not allow abuse to be part of their lives.
We work actively with all stakeholders to spread best practice in the protection of children, especially girls.
Partners and Funders
Whenever we work with partners, we are careful to assure that there is no breach in child protection. When funders and individual donors visit children, we assure that they are escorted by our staff and both the privacy and well-being of the child are respected.
Each VCF program has a standard operating procedure (SOP) and child protection procedures are part of each SOP. This includes procedures for reporting and resolution of problems.
Publications and Sharing of Information
Children featured in our marketing and fundraising materials are named with first name and province only, no details on their location are provided
This policy is reviewed on a six-monthly basis by senior staff, partner organizations, and ratified by the Board annually