This policy describes VCF’s commitment to child protection and to safeguarding our young people in every possible way. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that children who are served by VCF programs are safe from all forms of abuse, risk of or actual harm from VCF staff, VCF guests, and/or representatives across all programming, operations, campaigns, and activities any place or any time.
This policy applies to all VCF guests and/or representatives anywhere or anytime including known activities outside of the VCF sphere of influence.
|A person under 18 years of age.|
|Child Abuse||Anything that individuals, institutions or processes do or fail to do directly or indirectly to harm children or damage their prospects of safe and healthy development into adulthood. The main categories of Child Abuse are Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Neglect/Negligent Treatment, Sexual Exploitation & Abuse and Exploitation.|
|Child Welfare||Child Welfare is making the community safe for children. It includes claims of child abuse that happen externally to VCF and/or that are required by law or local norms to be reported to local authorities, which may include familial, communal or institutional child abuse allegations.|
|Child Protection||The safeguarding of children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.|
|Emotional Abuse||Emotional abuse is any form of abuse that causes negative impacts on the child’s psychological development or self-esteem. It can include but is not limited to, neglect, controlling behavior, grooming, blackmail, verbal threats, and/or demeaning or berating the child.|
|Physical Abuse||Non-accidental use of physical force that inadvertently or deliberately causes a risk of or actual injury or suffering to a child. Physical force includes but is not limited to hitting, shaking, kicking, pinching, pushing/pulling, grabbing, burning, female genital mutilation, torture, and other physical acts. Physical injury or suffering may include but is not limited to bruises, marks, soft tissue swelling, hematomas, fractures, sprains, dislocation, burns, damage to organs, death, permanent disfigurement, and any other non-trivial injury.|
|Sexual Exploitation and Abuse||All forms of sexual violence and coercion, sexual solicitation, manipulation or trickery including incest, early and forced marriage, rape, involvement in or exposure to indecent images/video (aka pornography), sexual slavery/trafficking, and statutory rape. Sexual abuse may include but is not limited to indecent touching or exposure, explicit sexual language towards or about a child and grooming. Sexual abuse does not always involve touching.
Sexual Exploitation is any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes including but not limited to profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. Be aware that technology is a tool sometimes used to sexually exploit a child. The sexual exploitation and abuse of children under the age of 18 is child abuse and a policy violation. It may also constitute a criminal offense, depending upon the age of consent, local laws and customs.
|Exploitation||The actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, power differential, or trust for the benefit of the individual leveraging their position, power, privilege, or wealth (through enticement, manipulation, coercion or trickery) to engage a child in labour, domestic servitude, forced criminality, soldiering or organ harvesting. Typically, the person(s) exploiting a child does so in order to profit monetarily, socially, or politically. It can happen to one or a group of children, in the community of origin, outside of the community, or internationally. The exploitation of a child may include but is not limited to:
● Domestic servitude.
● Forced labour.
● Forced criminal activities such as pickpocketing, begging, transporting drugs, manufacturing drugs, selling pirated merchandise.
● Used for benefit fraud.
● Forced to become child soldiers or join a gang.
|Grooming||The process in which an adult builds a relationship with a child or the child’s caretaker to gain the child’s or the caretaker’s trust for the purposes of sexually abusing and/or exploiting the child. Grooming typically occurs in phases, and it can happen online or face to face, by a stranger or by someone the child or caretaker knows. Since it is a gradual process, it can sometimes be difficult to detect. Here are a few indicators that an adult may be grooming a child or his/her caretaker:
● Favouring the child over others.
● Providing the child with rewards or privileges.
● Isolating the child from others.
● Expressing interest in a child who is particularly vulnerable or in need of support (e.g., previous abuse of the child by another).
● Befriending the parents or caretakers who are responsible to protect the child.
● Providing the child with alcohol or drugs.
● Building intimacy (i.e., having inside jokes or telling the child that nobody understands him/her as well as the groomer does).
● Threatening, blackmailing, intimidating, or scaring a child by saying the groomer will do something to the child’s family or friends.
|The failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs either deliberately or through negligence. Neglect includes but is not limited to failing to provide adequate food, sufficient or seasonally-appropriate clothing and/or shelter; failing to prevent harm; failing to ensure adequate supervision; failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment or providing inappropriate medical treatment (e.g., administering medication when not authorized); or failing to provide a safe physical environment (e.g., exposure to violence, unsafe programming location, unsafe sleeping practices, releasing a child to an unauthorized adult, access to weapons or harmful objects, failing to child-proof a space that children will occupy, etc.).|
– Any non-employee, non-representative invited into VCF to visit programs or partake in an event or activity conducted or sponsored by VCF.
– Employees, volunteers, interns, consultants, Board members, Partners and others who work with children on VCF’s behalf, visit VCF’s programs, or who have access to sensitive information about children in VCF’s programs.
VCF CHILD PROTECTION STATEMENT
- VCF is committed to providing a safe environment for children by holding all VCF guests and representatives to high standards of conduct and implementing policies and procedures to prevent and respond to any form of child abuse, grooming exploitation, or neglect.
- VCF strictly prohibits all VCF guests and representatives from engaging in any form of child abuse, grooming, exploitation, or neglect.
- All VCF guests and representatives must comply fully with the child welfare and protection laws of Vietnam as Law No.: 102/2016/QH13 – Children’s Law and Refer to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UNCRC, the most complete declaration of children’s rights ever produced and the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in history.
- VCF guests and representatives implementing projects must take measures to eliminate the risk of child abuse, grooming, exploitation, or neglect perpetrated by themselves or others. Examples of such measures include limiting unsupervised interaction with children and prohibiting exposure to pornography. Being alone with a child should be avoided at all costs.
- VCF does not condone any unauthorized non-work-related participation of children in social media. Any children featured in VCF marketing and fundraising campaigns, events, or activities shall be identified by first name and home province only, with no contact details or the child’s location or surname. VCF guests and representatives must comply with VCF policies, applicable laws, regulations, or customs regarding the photographing or filming of children. Permission from the parent or guardian is always required for photo/filming or for future public use.
CONSEQUENCE OF VIOLATIONS:
- All VCF employees are required to inform their line management, the HR department, and the VCF CEO immediately of any breach or suspected breach of this Policy. After the claim is made, the four parties will meet within 03 working days to determine the validity of the claim and the pathway forward if the claim has merit. Remediation will be immediately enforced by the highest level of management.
- VCF representatives should notify local law enforcement, social services or child protection authorities to ensure the child’s safety or prevent future harm if any party believes any law has been broken and immediate action is needed regardless of whether the perpetrator is affiliated with VCF or not.
- VCF will investigate all reports of suspected child abuse, grooming, exploitation or neglect and take appropriate remedial action including but not limited to; notifying law enforcement and cooperating with criminal investigation and prosecution.
- VCF strictly prohibits retaliation against any VCF guest or representative who reports suspected child abuse, grooming, exploitation or neglect or other violations of this policy. VCF guests or representatives who engage in any form of retaliation against those who report suspected child abuse, grooming, exploitation or neglect or other violations of this policy, are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including reporting violations to law enforcement, termination of employment, or termination of any future association with VCF or all the above.
- VCF guests or representatives who commit child abuse, grooming, exploitation or neglect; fail to report or forward reports of suspected child abuse, grooming, exploitation or neglect; or otherwise violate this policy, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including the immediate termination of employment or the discontinuation of any future involvement with VCF.
- Every effort will be made to vet all VCF guests or representatives to be sure they do not have history of child abuse, grooming, exploitation or neglect. If one is found to have any history of said behaviour then this is grounds for not having any relationship and terminating any relationship that may have begun with VCF.
- Allegations must be genuine and not be of a revengeful nature. Any abuse or intentional defamation after being investigated and clarified will be subject to disciplinary measures corresponding to the nature and severity of the damage to the victim’s honor, up to and including termination of employment, or termination of any future association with VCF, and other legal consequences if any or all of the above.
 See VCF’s Social Media Policy on further information regarding online safeguarding.
 See VCF’s Whistleblower policy