The mission of the Nusa Tenggara Association, Inc (NTA) is to alleviate the worst poverty in the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia. The NTA sponsors economic and social development activities selected by our sponsored communities, ranging from building water tanks and wells, through providing farming equipment and training to local farmers, to supplying books for schools and training local teachers. We employ and provide training to over twenty Indonesian staff in West Timor and Flores. Several of our programs involve interaction with children and all of our programs impact children either directly or indirectly.
Our Commitment to Protect Children
The NTA’s work and interactions with children is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which states that children should be protected from all forms of physical and mental violence, injury, abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation, including sexual abuse. The NTA’s commitment to child protection is supported by Indonesia’s ratification (1990) of UNCRC, including (2012) ratification of the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. NTA is committed to upholding these rights.
Purpose and Guiding Principles of this Child Protection Policy
NTA considers any form of child abuse and exploitation unacceptable. As a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct, NTA is obliged to have policies and procedures implemented which promote the safety and well-being of all children involved in its programs and activities, in particular to minimise the risk of abuse to children.
Scope of this Policy
This policy applies to NTA staff (Indonesia and Australia-based), NTA Board members, volunteers and consultants retained by NTA who have contact with children in NTA’s area of operations, and staff of partner organisations of the NTA.
The following terms are used throughout this policy:
- Children / young people: those under 18 years of age.
- Child abuse: Abuse happens to male and female children of all ages, ethnicity, social backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientation, religious and political beliefs. Child abuse includes physical abuse (deliberate injury of a child), sexual abuse, emotional abuse (where a child is repeatedly rejected or frightened by threats), neglect, bullying, child labour and domestic violence.
- Child protection: the term used to describe the responsibilities and activities undertaken to prevent or stop children being abused or mistreated.
- Partner organisation: any organisation, government or non-government, that carries out work on NTA’s programs and projects, including official partner organisations YPMPS, YPMF and NTA Kupang.
Child protection risk management
NTA staff and NTA’s partner organisations must consider risks posed to children in the delivery of our programs. We recognise that risks to children are particularly high when:
- staff are not screened or supervised adequately;
- children are very young, or have been abandoned or orphaned;
- the areas in which children live are particularly isolated; and
- activities involve one-to-one contact.
NTA staff and partner organisations in particular must continually assess risks to children (whether formally or informally) and actively minimise opportunities and situations where children can be harmed.
NTA Code of Conduct for working with children
The NTA Code of Conduct for working with children is as follows: I will:
- Treat all children and young people involved with NTA activities with respect, listen to and value their ideas and opinions
- Provide a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for all children and young people
- Encourage children and young people to speak up about issues that affect them
- Refrain from using corporal punishment on children
- Treat any disclosure of, or concern about child abuse seriously, listening without intrusive questioning, and without minimising or dismissing the child’s concerns.
- Immediately report concerns or allegations of child abuse to my manager or the CEO of the NTA
- Comply with local, national and international child protection laws
- Ensure that, whenever possible, another adult is present when I am working with children, or in the proximity of children
- Advise my supervisor/manager if I am investigated for any crime or charged with any criminal offence relating to children.
- In photographic work, obtain verbal consent (and written consent where possible) from children and/or their parent or guardian and explain how the photograph or film will be used
- Ensure photographs, films, videos and DVDs present children in a dignified and respectful manner and not in a vulnerable or submissive manner
- Ensure the identities of children and young people in photographic and electronic images are not disclosed
- Ensure photographic files depicting children are stored securely
And I will not:
- Use inappropriate language – whether of an offensive, discriminatory, demeaning, abusive or sexual nature – when speaking with or whilst in the presence of a child or young person
- Engage in behaviour to shame or humiliate a child or young person, or otherwise emotionally abuse a child or young person
- Act in a sexually provocative manner or engage children in any form of sexual activity
- initiate unnecessary or inappropriate physical contact with a child
- Condone or participate in, behaviour with children which is illegal, unsafe or abusive
- Discriminate against or in favour of particular children to the exclusion of others
- Hire children for domestic or any other labour which is inappropriate for their age or development, interferes with their education or play, or places them at risk of injury
- Do things for children of a personal nature that they can do for themselves such as toileting them or changing their clothes
- Sleep in close proximity to any children unless it is absolutely necessary, in which case I will keep my manager informed and ensure another adult is present, where possible
- Access or create sexually abusive images of children
- Use computers, mobile phones, video or digital cameras or any other technology for the purpose of exploiting or harassing children.
All NTA staff (Indonesia and Australia-based), NTA Board Members, volunteers and consultants retained by NTA who have contact with children in NTA’s area of operations, and staff of partner organisations of the NTA are required to sign a document stating their adherence to NTA’s Child Protection Code of Conduct. This form is attached.
Use of children’s images
NTA will at all times portray children in a respectful and dignified way. A child and where possible the child’s family must always be asked for consent when using their images, and provided details on how and where their image will be used.
Employment of staff and volunteers
All Australian NTA Board members are required to undergo a police check and provide evidence that they have undergone this check. All NTA-associated volunteers and consultants travelling to NTA’s area of operations on NTA business, including monitoring team members, are required to undergo a police check and provide evidence that they have undergone this check. Past behaviour of staff employed by NTA partner organisations must be examined and verbal or written referee checks undertaken. Recruitment of any NTA staff member who is applying for a position that involves working with children will involve verbal or written referee checks and behavioural-based interview questions. Any person with a criminal history of child abuse, violence towards children or internet offences involving children will not be permitted to become an NTA staff member (Indonesia or Australia-based), NTA Board member, volunteer or consultant retained by NTA who may have contact with children in NTA’s area of operations, or a staff member of a partner organisation of the NTA.
Child abuse reporting processes
NTA will take all reports of child abuse seriously and act on these reports immediately.
Any disclosure or allegation from a child or staff member regarding the safety, abuse or exploitation of a child must be reported immediately. For Indonesian staff, a report should be made to the person’s manager, who will then report to the NTA CEO. If this is not possible, a report can be made directly to the NTA CEO. For Australian staff, child abuse reports should be made directly to the CEO.
In Australia, if there is an allegation or suspicion of child sexual abuse being committed by an NTA staff member or volunteer or an NTA-employed consultant, the matter will then be reported to the state police. The CEO will report any concerns about people engaging in child sex tourism, child sex trafficking and child pornography to the Australian Federal Police.
In Indonesia, once a report is made to a staff member’s manager, all reports will be taken seriously and assessed using procedural fairness principles. If an Australian citizen / resident is reported in Indonesia, the matter needs to be referred to the AFP and the Indonesian Police.
NTA will ensure that all parties are treated fairly and that any employee who intentionally makes false allegations will face disciplinary action. Employees who make allegations or express concerns in good faith will not be penalised. All reports will be handled professionally, confidentially and expediently. All reports and the names of people involved will only be discussed between the manager, CEO, the NTA Kupang or partner organisation director, the person involved and any relevant authorities.
NTA must notify AusAID of any reports associated with AusAID-funded activities.
Involving children and young people
NTA will provide opportunities for children’s views to be heard and incorporate their views into our policies and programs.
Educating on child abuse and the NTA Child Protection Policy
NTA staff (Indonesia and Australia-based), NTA Board members, volunteers and consultants retained by NTA who have contact with children in NTA’s area of operations, and staff of partner organisations of the NTA will all be provided with a copy of the NTA Child Protection Policy on commencing their association with NTA.
The NTA Child Protection Policy will be included in the Field Manual distributed to participants in NTA’s biannual monitoring visits. The child protection policy will be incorporated into the pre-departure briefing.
The NTA Child Protection Policy will be made available on the NTA website.
Basic training on child protection issues will be provided to NTA Board members, NTA Committee members and NTA partner staff.
Reviewing this policy
This policy will be reviewed annually by the NTA Operations Committee and Board to assess its effectiveness, appropriateness and accuracy.