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Mission

To develop international projects, programmes and experiences of formal and non-formal education as steps to grow into compassionate, informed and participatory global citizens, respectful, creative and responsible for this world.

Vision

At EDIW we believe that:

  • Education is a strong power to transform persons and societies.
  • Societies need to grow both in rights and in joint responsibilities.
  • Humanity is interconnected and interrelated but it needs to build interdependent, collaborative and life-giving relationships.
  • Shared vision and commitment of young generations are essential in building both the present and the future.
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VISION

Values

  • Integrity in one´s commitment to the promotion of human dignity and to democratic and ethical values.
  • Collaboration, empowerment of others and openness to learn.
  • Inclusive and intercultural attitudes/approach
  • Critical and creative spirit.

We are a European NGO

EDIW-in-Europe

Following a concrete action plan to implement the European Youth Policy Lines

  • Connect: Linking youth groups through mobility, encounters and international seminars as well as online webinars and debates.
  • Empower: Young people through effective development of a set of selected competences: Digital, Green, Intercultural, Democratic participation, project development and entrepreneurship.
  • Engage: In sharing the European Project through development of European  values, participation in the European Agora as well as a proven commitment and effort to work for higher levels of inclusion in our societies.

SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

This safeguarding policy expresses the commitment of Education for an Interdependent World (EDIW) to the defense of the human rights of children, adolescents and vulnerable groups and their safeguarding, in its internal organization and its activities.

It is our intention to keep this document up to date, to continue to promote good educational and training practices that communicate respectful forms of relationship between people, identify inappropriate behaviors and explain how to deal with cases of abuse should they occur

In societies marked by aggressiveness and violence in social, cultural, political and institutional relationships, Pedro Poveda invites us to the generosity and kindness that are born from inner strength and goodness of heart and thus contribute to a more harmonious and peaceful world, overcoming practices that involve violent and excluding relationships.

 

Goals

The main objectives of this document are, on the one hand, to protect children, adolescents and vulnerable groups from all the risks of abuse in the centers, programmes and activities where EDIW is present and, on the other hand, to describe the preventive and safeguarding measures and actions that contribute to the creation of an environment that increasingly protects human dignity, defends personal rights and builds a culture of safeguarding.

(11) See Appendix 8 Framework document.(12) See Appendix 1: Articles from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A culture of safeguarding

EDIW wishes to ensure that its members and collaborators, trained and prepared, promote a culture of safeguarding that enables full personal development and considers 13 that any type of ill-treatment, violence or abuse of children, adolescents or vulnerable persons as a violation of their rights.

A safeguarding culture shared by all is proposed, based on a universal normative framework and the approaches described above. Safeguarding is learned through education. The educational charism of EDIW pays particular attention to relationships with others (adult, partner, perpetrator, victim...) and the quality of those relationships, recognizing others as human beings with dignity and worth.

Recipients

This policy applies to all who participate, directly or indirectly, in EDIW centers, programmes, projects and activities. That is, then, all those (employees, volunteers, trainees, consultants, specialists...) who, in one way or another, work or collaborate in the programme or project of EDIW.

13 See definitions in Appendix 6: Glossary.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

 

Information and training

  • Include specific training sessions on indicators of abuse, sexual abuse of children, adolescents and vulnerable people within the training programmes for members and collaborators.
  • Organise safeguarding awareness campaigns in the projects and other spaces, to combat attitudes that perpetuate tolerance and indulgence regarding mistreatment and sexual abuse.
  • Provide ongoing training and education on the nature and effects of sexual abuse in order to promote understanding, foster safeguarding, compassion and proper relationships, as well as how to work with victims.
  • Regularly evaluate the personal training programmes of members and collaborators, in the light of the objectives of the Safeguarding Policy.
  • Inform all persons who are involved in activities promoted by EDIW of this Policy. They will be required to familiarize themselves with its content and commit themselves

(14) See Appendix 2.

Vulnerability and risk factors

We endorse Pope Francis's definition of "vulnerable person": Any person who is limited in their ability to understand or to want to resist abuse even occasionally by illness, physical or psychological neglect, being deprived of personal freedom.(15)

The assessment of risk factors for the protection of children, adolescents and vulnerable persons must be included in the preliminary design of programmes, projects or activities and during their development. Effective strategies for the prevention of abuse and violence, and the promotion of a culture of safeguarding must be incorporated into the design of all programmes, projects and activities. (16)

Attitude of staff in contact with minors and vulnerable people

Article 5(3) of the Lanzarote Convention(17) stipulates that a candidate whose role involves regular contact with children and adolescents must not have been convicted of acts of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse of children.

EDIW extends this requirement to all other forms of abuse of children, adolescents and vulnerable groups. It therefore undertakes to obtain all available information and to take the necessary steps to verify and comply with these requirements before starting any program engaging in providing all information in respect of a criminal record, psychological tests and professional references.

(15) Pope Francis, Apostolic Letter Vos estis lux mundi., Art. 1 § 2b. Rome, 2019. 16 Appendix 3: Risk assessment and management tools. (17) The Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as “the Lanzarote Convention”.

SAFEGUARDING MEASURES

 

The establishment of a technical advisory Panel

The competencies of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) are to advise, respond to and provide specialist support to the queries sent from the various activities and contexts where EDIW is present and to ensure compliance with and follow-up to the Protection Policy. A specific email address has been created for direct communication with the IAP. (18)

Support for victims. Therapeutic, psychological and spiritual support

Care for victims must be based on ethical principles and respect for the rights of the individual. The priority is always to welcome victims and listen to them. Some principles need to be kept in mind when obtaining statements from a child or vulnerable person:

  • Do not doubt their word: acknowledge what has happened and thank them for their trust, without saying if what happened is right or wrong.
  • Listening has to be done in a suitable place, by people trained in the field. From the outset, steps will be taken to ensure that the victim does not meet the abuser.
  • Rightfromthestart,victimshavetherighttoanyinformation that would protect their interests.

(18) Appendix 8. International Advisory Panel.

  • Facilitatetheactiveparticipationofvictimsintheprocess that follows a complaint, keeping them informed and supported.
  • Implement every measure that will ensure the safeguarding of victims and their families from secondary victimisation and any possible retaliation or intimidation for having lodged the complaint.
  • Avoidmakingvictimsrepeattheirstorymanytimes.(19)

Support of any kind, whether therapeutic, psychological or spiritual, will always put the victim's interests first. It will guarantee their safety and confidentiality and will avoid the risk of stigma. The introduction of a support service for victims is based on the creation of a "safe space", a protective environment that provides care.

(19) Directive 2012/29/EU. According to this directive, it is a victim’s right not to be obliged to repeat their story many times and to different people. This is to avoid secondary victimization.

 

IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS

 

Complaint and reporting

Reporting occurs when actual or suspected abusive behavior is brought to the attention of the institutional, administrative or judicial authority. It must be possible to report without fear of repercussions (administrative or judicial).

In some countries, reporting is a legal obligation under the penal code. Failure to report can also be considered to be a failure to help a person at risk.

After the institutional authorities and administrative services have been informed, and when the investigation and assessment have been completed by these services, the case may be transferred to the public prosecutor or judge.

It may also be decided to lodge a complaint directly with the judicial authorities (most commonly to the police or a public prosecutor or judge) without going through the administrative notification stage.

 

In the event of suspicion or rumors of abuse

When there are suspicions or rumors within EDIW or in any of its undertakings or activities, it is the responsibility of each member or co-worker to send this information to the person in charge of the project or activity and/or to the representative of EDIW in the country where the member or co-worker resides and where the project or activity is located, without any unjustified or culpable delays. They can also refer directly to the International Advisory Panel.

It is the responsibility of EDIW to gather the initial information with prudence and caution, but without delay. If the informant agrees to be identified, his or her testimony is generally more credible.

It is not necessary for the occurrence of ill-treatment to be beyond doubt nor for physical or psychological disturbances to be diagnosed before reporting the presence of suspicious indicators, that is, the suspicion of abuse.

  • The report simply conveys a suspicion, a justified and well-founded impression that:
  • The child is not receiving adequate care.
  • The child’s basic physical or emotional needs are not being met.
  • The child may be subject to physical (sexual), psychological or emotional harm.
  • The child’s rights are being violated.

When abuse of a child or vulnerable person is identified

A child or vulnerable person may show signs that worry a member or co-worker (employee or volunteer) and cause them to think that there may be some difficulty at home or in the environment in which that vulnerable person lives.

Once the probability of a case of abuse has been assessed, the person in charge of the activity must follow the protocol stipulated by civil legislation in this respect and bring the case to the attention of the social services responsible for safeguarding children and/or vulnerable persons.

When there is suspicion about a member or co-worker

Suspicions may stem from rumors, from facts and information that may or may not be accurate, from anonymous letters or from observation of inappropriate behavior or type of relationship of a member or co-worker with children and/or vulnerable people.

As in the cases above, and always acting with prudence when dealing with rumors, it is important to inform the team in charge of the project or activity of any concern about the member or co worker on whom the suspicions fall. That person is also informed. In this conversation, it is important to be clear that this is about protecting children and/or vulnerable people, and about the consequences of any situation of abuse.

Possible outcomes of this conversation can be:

a. that the person becomes aware of what is happening and identifies the behavior that must change;

b. that the person does not recognise any problem and tries to manipulate the interlocutors.

If the conversation cannot take place, the person in charge of the establishment or activity will take charge of the situation and take appropriate action.(21)

In cases of clear fact

When there is evidence of abuse, it is mandatory that the fact be notified simultaneously to:

  • the competent State Body,
  • the representative of EDIW in the country
  • the International Advisory Panel (IAP).

Reporting is mandatory once abuse is confirmed.

When the facts have been reported, the victim should be attended to, heard, supported and followed up. The reference person, social worker or other professional in the school, project or programme should monitor the handling of the investigation and the appropriateness of the response by the judicial authorities, and they must ensure that the complaint has been addressed and dealt with appropriately and efficiently.

These measures can range from removing the abuser from the school, programme or project, to 21 terminating the contract.

AWARENESS AND COMMUNICATION

Awareness and communication are two inseparable factors. To communicate is to notify and transmit information about the alleged or confirmed case of abuse. It is a necessary prerequisite in order to permit intervention to take place and it is a legal obligation in confirmed cases.

There are two levels of communication. The internal level is when someone, a minor or adult, notifies EDIW of a suspicion or discovery of abuse. At a second level, equally essential, there must be external communication and it must be EDIW that reports this information to the appropriate services (social services, institute for the safeguarding of minors, etc.) and the public prosecutor's office.

Ethical and statutory obligations

The detection of the abuse of a child or a vulnerable person brings us face to face with the real exercise of our personal and professional responsibility to protect children and vulnerable people. The moral duty to report abuse and protect victims is above and beyond the duty to keep other information and professional or personal relations confidential.

This must be done in accordance with the legislation in force in each country where EDIW is established and where reporting is a legal obligation for all citizens, especially for professionals who work with minors.

Protocol for internal reporting of suspected or disclosed abuse

The protocol for internal reporting is a straightforward detailed (22) procedure for dealing with abuse that has been either confirmed, suspected or reported. This protocol should be accessible to all staff, as well as to the children, and must protect the interests of anyone reporting such events regardless of the outcome of any investigation that may follow.

The internal complaint protocol involves the obligation of all personnel, to report any incident and to be aware of the steps that must be taken in order to do so. Those responsible for implementing the Safeguarding Policy in the school, programme or project must ensure that procedures are followed and that the reporting system is effective.

The procedures make it possible to identify the key persons in the system, their role and responsibility, and the measures to be taken to protect the victim.

Responsibilities of EDIW representative

Once the protocol for internal reporting is implemented, EDIW representative must respond to cases of abuse for which there is evidence, suspicion or accusation. Decisions must first and foremost ensure the safeguarding of the abused child or vulnerable person but must also respect the presumption of innocence of the accused person until proven otherwise.

(22) See appendix 5: Sample form for recording concerns, suspicions or reports

The representative of EDIW must:

a. Cooperate with the authorities (social services and/or police) in the event of a criminal investigation.

b. Proactively lead the internal investigation and allow access to all internal information relevant to the case.

c. Ensure that the alleged abuser can present his or her point of view during the internal investigation.

d. Protect and support the victim.

e. Take any measures required.