Child Protection Policy WDC Child Protection Code of Practice Introduction The Water and development committee(WDC) is a partner embracing the United Nations system, donors and civil society organizations. The goal of WDC is to improve the quality and availability of girls’ education in support of the gender-related Education For All (EFA) goals and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): eliminating the gender gap in primary and secondary education, and ensuring that by 2015, all children, boys and girls alike, can complete a full course of primary schooling and have equal access to all levels of education. The WDC partnership promotes strategies that put the rights and needs of the most Disadvantaged, including girls and young people, first in education policies, plans and budgets. It advocates for a cross-sectoral, holistic approach with balanced investment in education across the life-cycle, including early childhood education and development for children of poor families and literacy and empowerment of women and young people. WDC develops and disseminates information on integrating gender equality into national level processes to all WDC partners, particularly government ministries. CBOs, women and youth groups. To further these objectives, the WDC has developed this Child Protection Code of Practice to galvanize WDC’s efforts to promote gender equality in education, and in particular to ensure that the rights and needs of vulnerable children are fully met. Basis of the Code of Practice WDC bases this Code of Practice on principles enshrined in many binding national human rights instruments, These principles include putting children first, ensuring their right to education, protecting them, and ensuring their participation. Providing education is a critical strategy for protecting children, especially girls. WDC therefore stresses the right to education for every child. WDC human rights instruments have been developed to reflect regional values more strongly and to allow for different understandings of individuals’ rights and responsibilities to society. Regional systems vary in their approaches to child rights; some have specific mechanisms for challenging violations of rights, while others set up monitoring bodies to interpret how a particular treaty applies to child rights. The Code of Practice WDC ensures that the Child Protection Code of Practice is in line with UN organizational policy/practice (which supersedes this Code) so that the rights and needs of vulnerable children are fully met. WDC Has organizational code of conduct that adopt standards to guide their work. Child Protection WDC Incorporate this Code of Practice into their strategies, structures and operational Practices Ensure that no one associated with a WDC partner uses that connection for purposes contrary to WDC’s mission or to the Code of Practice Increase its staff and associates’ awareness of child protection issues Ensure that its operational practices do not increase children’s vulnerability, and that project/grant/partnership conditions include appropriate safeguards Use its partnerships with governments, development agencies, communities and Families to identify conditions that render children vulnerable to abuse and work for the enforcement of laws and adoption of best practices to promote child protection Overall, within the scope of their mandate, work to create safe and supportive Environments for Communications about Children and Use of Images WDC recognizes that communicating children’s stories is an important part of our work. Since images of children are often exploited and children are vulnerable to trafficking and abuse, WDC is committed to child protection and encourages its partners to respect children’s dignity and identity through: Responsible use of children’s images and stories Awareness of the extra confidentiality and protection needed by children when Communicating their stories (e.g., children orphaned by or living with AIDS, victims of Abuse) Getting specific consent from children and their parents/guardians (for at-risk and Vulnerable groups, e.g. orphans, children with disabilities,) for use of their images and stories, after explaining the context and content in which they will appear Complying with relevant international, national and local legislation or codes governing Children’s images or interviews Respecting children’s privacy in interviews and project visits. This list is not exhaustive, and we are encouraged to pursue communications Strategies that is safe for children. Groups Protected by this Code of Practice The Code of Practice protects the following groups: Children All children, defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as being Under 18 years old, are protected by this Code of Practice. Young People As children mature through their teenage years, we recognize that they may not view Themselves as children. Some 16-year-olds may be mature, handle responsibilities and be starting to take their independent place in society. This is a two-way process: young people engage with the world in a more adult way as they mature, and society also begins to treat them less like children and more like adults. However, we recognize that this is a process; young people are vulnerable at least until they are 18 and may need protection into their early 20s. Application of Code of Practice This Code of Practice applies to all current and prospective members and partners of WDC and will serve as a basis for evaluating potential The WDC shall oversee and support the partnership in implementing this Code of practice.