Safeguarding children and adults at risk is an inherent part of Laudes Foundation’s work. We expect all our stakeholders to abide by these or similar safeguarding principles.
What is Safeguarding?
The Laudes Foundation understands ‘safeguarding’ to mean taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes delivered directly or through partners - particularly sexual exploitation and abuse. Safeguarding includes taking steps to protect people, especially children and adults at risk, from that harm by responding appropriately when harm does occur.
Why do we need this policy?
- Unless individuals feel safe and are treated well, with dignity and respect, it is impossible for them to realise their full potential or to benefit fully from the economic opportunities and development activities intended for their benefit. To facilitate this, Laudes Foundation undertakes a coordinated approach to protecting children and adults at risk within Laudes Foundation, and it advocates the safety and welfare of children and adults at risk a priority in its dealings with all its stakeholders.
- In this policy Laudes Foundation regards children and adults at risk as:
- Children under the age of 18, irrespective of the age of adulthood in the country where they live; and
- Persons over the age of 18 who, for any reason (for example their age, gender, ethnicity, religion, physical, mental or other disability, social, civic or health status, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic disadvantages, indigenous status, or migration status) may be more likely to be adversely affected by a Laudes Foundation funded project, or may be unable to protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation.
This policy sets out Laudes Foundation’s commitment to safeguarding children and adults at risk in all its activities, whether within the Foundation, at visits to its partners, or working with partners and associates. The policy also states the principles that should underpin the responses made to ensure the protection and safety of children and adults at risk who may be affected by Laudes Foundation’s work.
This policy applies to all Laudes Foundation staff worldwide, volunteers, interns, consultants, associates, board of directors and advisory bodies and committees, contractors and partners, unless explicitly exempted.
Laudes Foundation commitments
- Laudes Foundation is committed to preventing harm to children and adults at risk, and does not tolerate any form of harm to children and adults at risk within the Laudes Foundation’s working environment.
- Laudes Foundation shall ensure that the necessary checks are in place to reduce the risk of unsuitable people entering the organisation for the purpose of exploiting and harming children and adults at risk.
- Laudes Foundation shall implement a Whistleblower Policy aimed at encouraging a culture of accountability where staff are confident that they can raise any matter of genuine concern regarding people working in the Foundation without fear of reprisal and knowing that matters will be investigated appropriately and regarded as confidential.
- Laudes Foundation shall expect all its partners to implement our Minimum Safeguarding Standards. The minimum requirements for each standard stated below provide a benchmark against which a Laudes Foundation staff member will assess the safeguarding policies and practices of current and potential partners. It is the responsibility of the Programme Manager to ensure that partners are aware of the Minimum Safeguarding Standards and adhere to these or similar standards.
- Laudes Foundation shall facilitate the capacity building of partners with gaps in their safeguarding measures and to help them develop and implement safeguarding policies and procedures.
- Laudes Foundation shall designate a Global Safeguarding Officer to coordinate the implementation of this policy.
Key principles underpinning Laudes Foundation’s response to Safeguarding
- Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and all individuals associated with Laudes Foundation must be vigilant on matters of safeguarding and must report any concerns or suspected wrongdoing to Laudes Foundation or a Laudes Foundation partner via the Incident Reporting Form.
- The best interests of children and adults at risk shall be central in all decisions and actions relating to safeguarding.
- All children and adults at risk regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, religion, physical, mental or other disability, social, civic or health status, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic disadvantages, indigenous status, or migration status shall be treated with respect and dignity.
- All safeguarding action shall be conducted within the timeframes stipulated in the Safeguarding Work Instructions and in a fair and transparent manner.
- Confidentiality shall be maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need to know basis only, and should be kept secure at all times.
How it works?
Laudes Foundation has developed Safeguarding Work instructions that describe in more detail the procedures that are in place and what measures are taken by Laudes Foundation to ensure that the organisation is compliant with this policy. Laudes Foundation staff worldwide and instructed people on behalf of Laudes Foundation are obligated to bind the obligations towards the partners of the Laudes Foundation and to check compliance with the obligations. The Safeguarding Work Instructions further describe what safeguarding requirements are required of third parties with whom Laudes Foundation engages, including partners and consultants.
Please also see our Safeguarding Minimum Standards for Partners