Winrock is a global leader in addressing child labor prevention with an emphasis on social protection within our focus sectors of agriculture, economic development, and the environment. Our platform is development and rights-based, and applies child labor levels as an indicator of economic and social development. Our approach actively engages governments and communities to work toward integrated, sustainable solutions. Acceptable work for young people is defined and child labor addressed through policies, research, education alternatives, livelihoods, awareness, and monitoring.
Winrock is proud of its child-centered and rights-based approach
in supporting children worldwide.
- Winrock has zero tolerance for abuse, molestation, or any unsafe treatment of youth and Winrock will take all necessary steps to ensure that all staff, consultants, volunteers and staff of project partners understand that the welfare and overall development of all children is to be respected.
- Winrock recognizes that all children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender identity, gender expression, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse as well as other protections and rights afforded children under the U.N. and ILO conventions on the rights of the child.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse against children and young persons will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (U.N.
Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989). Every Winrock employee has a duty
to safeguard all children from harm whether they are project beneficiaries or
Any individual who:
A. observes any suspicious or inappropriate behavior on the part of any other employee, volunteer, adult, or child, or
B. receives a report from a child (or anyone) regarding possible inappropriate behavior by another under this policy, or
C. suspects violations of this policy, or
D. is concerned, or informed of concerns, about the safety of a child
shall immediately take action (interrupt the behavior) and report such concerns to the Chief of Party or Program Manager, or Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, who will take actions as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child at risk. Supervisors should not commence their own investigation of a report, and after reporting the incident or concern should work in cooperation with Risk and Compliance.
Depending on the specifics of the incident, reporting to public authorities may be necessary. The Chief Risk and Compliance Officer will determine if this is the case.
Promote Good Practices
All members of the Winrock workforce are expected to demonstrate
exemplary behavior when working with children to safeguard the child,
themselves, and Winrock.
- Always work in an open environment and avoid private or unobserved situations with children and young people.
- Treat all children and young people with respect and dignity.
- Always put the welfare of each child and young person first.
- Ensure that any activities in which children are engaged do not keep them out of school and in hazardous circumstances.
- Maintain a safe and appropriate distance with children and young people (e.g., it is not appropriate for staff, consultants or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them).
- Ensure that if any form of manual or physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to the local custom and culture as well as to international conventions. Some parents and children are becoming increasingly sensitive about manual or physical support and their views should always be carefully considered.
- Ensure that if children and young persons are taken away for the day or night, they always are accompanied by a male and female member of staff.
- Be an excellent role model; this includes not smoking , using appropriate language, and not drinking alcohol in the company of young people.
- Requesting written parental or official consent if staff, consultant, volunteers and staff of project partners are required to transport children and young people.
- Ensure appropriate company with a child or young person while in a car or other vehicle.
- Follow proper international protocols when taking pictures of children.
The following practices are prohibited:
- Spending time alone with a child (one on one) or with children away from others
- Employing children as domestic servants or for any other work
- Taking or dropping off a child to an event
- Engaging in rough physical or sexually provocative games with children, including horseplay
- Sharing a room with a child
- Allowing or engaging in any form of inappropriate touching of children
- Making sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
- Reducing a child to tears as a form of control
- Allowing allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
- Using sporting or extracurricular events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of children in vulnerable positions
If a situation arises where a one-on-one
is unavoidable (e.g., the child sustains an injury and needs to go to the hospital,
or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a class or
session), it should be with the full knowledge/consent of someone in charge of
the office or the child’s parents, as soon as possible given the emergency
Images of Children
Winrock’s reporting and external communication activities often
include photographs of children. Such photographs are often included in widely
circulated reports, web-based stories and other documents.
The following guidelines are intended for Winrock staff, partners,
and vendors hired to take photographs/video for program activities. Consult
with the designated Communications focal person for your office or project, or
contact email@example.com with any questions or support needed when
planning field visits when persons under 18 will be interviewed or participate
in official activities.
- Comply with local traditions and any legal
restrictions for reproducing personal images or images of children.
- Obtain informed consent from the child’s
parent or legal guardian before photographing or filming a child. Winrock staff
or the photographer/videographer must explain how the photograph or film will
- Ensure children photographed or filmed are
adequately clothed and in poses that will not be viewed as sexually suggestive.
- Ensure images are an honest representation of
the context and facts.
- Take steps to remove anything that could
reveal identifying information about a child, including physical and digital
labels on photographs, films and files.
- Present children in a dignified manner and not
as being vulnerable and submissive.
- Review all photographs and footage prior to
disseminating images to ensure that guidelines have been followed.
Program Visits and Contact with Children
If a child is to participate in a Winrock-led activity, site staff must obtain a release form from the parent/caregiver and explain to participants the risks of the participation, including all caretakers, guardians, and parents of children at the site. If an adult or guardian/caretaker of a child has not signed the form prior to the visit, the child cannot be included in photographs, video, quotes or other materials intended for publication, marketing or other use that are gathered during the visit. Copies of the release forms should be filed in the project office.
Data collection from youth for projects must be preceded by signed consent forms from one parent and the recorded assent of the youth (for these purposes, age of consent is local law).
Children must never be left alone with visitor(s). Winrock employees must adhere to the two-adult rule: Two or more adults are required to supervise all activities where children are involved and present.
If visitors join Winrock employees on a site visit or participate in activities with children under 18, they should also sign a child protection acknowledgement form.
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