Child Protection Policy

1.) Introduction

The aim of the child protection policy of the association Menschenfreude e.V. is to protect children from abuse and maltreatment in implemented projects. (Source: Eine Welt Netz NRW) According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is anyone who has not yet reached the age of eighteen. To reduce the risk of abuse and mistreatment, Menschenfreude e.V. raises awareness of this issue among all employees. The Child Protection Policy applies to all full-time and voluntary employees, volunteers and partners at home and abroad.

It should serve as a sensitization for the members and partner organizations of Menschenfreude e.V. in projects, such as schools or youth facilities. All of the above are thereby called upon to report child protection violations in other structures as well, at appropriate points.

All project participants are given guidance on how to prevent abuse and maltreatment, how to transparently report concerns and suspected cases within the organization, and how to deal with cases of abuse and maltreatment and the perpetrators – taking into account the protection of the children concerned. A clear definition of responsibilities creates an organizational climate of openness in which the issue is dealt with transparently, effectively, and in the best interest of the child.

Furthermore, Menschenfreude e.V. commits itself to consider the interests of children when planning and implementing project activities. We also ensure that the dignity of the child is always respected in the context of press and public relations work.

2) Definition and types of abuse

“Child abuse or maltreatment includes all forms of physical and/or emotional maltreatment, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, or commercial or other exploitation that result in actual or potential risk to the child’s health, survival, development, or dignity within a relationship of responsibility, trust, or power.” (Source: Word Health Organization: “Report of the Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention,” Geneva 1999)

Based on this, the following five major categories of child maltreatment are derived.

  • Physical abuse – is the actual or potential physical injury to a child.
  • Sexual Abuse – is the actual or threatened sexually motivated touching of a child, i.e., all forms of sexual activity such as indecent touching, sexual intercourse, etc., as well as activities that do not involve physical contact such as showing pornographic material, watching sexual acts, or encouraging children to engage in sexually inappropriate behavior.
  • Emotional maltreatment – includes the deprivation of an environment appropriate to the child’s age and conducive to the child’s psychosocial development, as well as persistent or severe verbal abuse, humiliation, bullying, devaluation, or rejection that causes negative effects on a child’s emotional behavioral development.
  • Exploitation – includes the commercial or other exploitation of a child through activities that the child engages in for the benefit of a third party. These activities include exploitative child labor and child prostitution, as well as any other activity that leads to the economic exploitation of the child, affects the child’s physical and mental health, detracts from the child’s education, and disrupts the child’s moral and psychosocial development.
  • Neglect – begins as soon as a child is deprived of basic services for his or her psychosocial development – such as health, nutrition, clothing, shelter, education, etc.

3.) Protection Officer

All child protection measures that emanate from Menschenfreude e.V. must be done and monitored in the best interest of the children. For this purpose, the Executive Board appoints a protection officer who acts as a clear contact person for all protection issues and as an internal and external complaints office.

This is done by a person of the elected board or a person nominated by the board. Continuous monitoring of the implementation of the protection guidelines (such as signing the Code of Conduct). In addition, implementation will be reported on in a separate item at the general meeting and in the annual report.

In the event of reports/complaints, the necessary measures will be taken in consultation with the Executive Board. Each report is taken seriously and is followed up with the highest priority, with the respective approach depending on the individual case. The Protection Officer is required to inform all Board members of incidents/reports immediately, i.e. within 48 hours.

4.) Code of conduct

The aim of the behavioral guidelines for dealing with children is to assume joint responsibility for the safety of children.

Every person working for Menschenfreude e.V. or cooperating with the association commits himself to act to the best of his knowledge and belief and in the awareness that the child’s well-being will not be endangered at any time, that the child’s dignity will always be respected, and that abuse as described in the following will be prevented. 2.) listed should not be given opportunities under any circumstances. In addition, everyone undertakes to allow the dissemination of images with children on the Internet only after careful examination and with respect for image and personality rights.

5.) Case management

If abuse as described under 2.) is observed, or if there is even an initial suspicion of abuse, everyone is obliged to inform the protection officer immediately. The latter in turn informs the board of the association within 48 hours. In consultation with all persons involved, all further steps are discussed and procedures are developed in order to fully clarify this incident or suspicion. The well-being of the child and the therefore necessary sensitivity and discretion have absolute priority. Finally, all incidents are precisely logged.

6) Measures personnel and partners

Menschenfreude e.V. commits itself to raise the awareness of the child’s well-being as the highest good, to oblige them to deal with the child protection policy and to make sure that they understand and comply with it.

This also applies to cooperation with external partners and organizations.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to “Eine Welt Netz NRW e.V.”, who have so kindly supported us in the development of this policy.

Our Child Protection Officer Oliver Drathen will be happy to answer questions on this topic by email. Thank you for the interest!