The purpose of this Safeguarding Principles & Procedures document and associated policies and guidance is to set out how Rwanda Action as an organisation and Relevant Persons working for or with us (whether or not they are paid) should operate to ensure the protection of Vulnerable People. It applies in all geographical locations as well as in written, spoken and online media.
This document gives practical effect to Rwanda Action’s Safeguarding Policy and to our commitment to promoting the dignity and basic rights of every person and to causing no harm to any person or community in the delivery of its work. Child protection is central to our Safeguarding Policy, but not separate from safeguarding.
Rwanda Action aims to work in ways that are culturally sensitive and will provide guidance and information to Relevant Persons from outside Rwanda, so that they are aware of behaviours that may be considered impolite or offensive to personnel or our beneficiaries in Rwanda.
Rwanda Action's safeguarding policy aims to:
This policy includes monitoring and reporting structures to prevent abuse and report and respond to any concerns.
Any breach of this policy and any associated codes of conduct, guidance or related policies may be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.
It is important that someone with a genuine concern about the safety or welfare of any other person should be able to express those concerns to an appropriate person. Provided reports of any concerns are made in good faith, even if they cannot ultimately be substantiated, Rwanda Action will not take, and will seek to protect the person reporting such concerns from, any direct or indirect punitive action. However, malicious accusations of safeguarding breaches will be considered a breach of trust between Rwanda Action and the individual(s) concerned and dealt with accordingly.
In this policy, Rwanda Action uses the following terms:
Relevant Persons include the following people associated with Rwanda Action:
Vulnerable People include:
These are activities where those participating in them may be subject to additional checks or requirements and include activities that:
For the avoidance of doubt, this definition does not exclude other activities from the scope of this policy or the duties and responsibilities of any Relevant Persons to Vulnerable People.
Definitions of abuse
Abuse is the intentional or unintentional violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. Due to the victim being a Vulnerable Person, actual or perceived consent to any form of abuse is no justification for or defence to accusations of an abusive act. Abuse can be perpetrated by anyone, including someone who may themselves be classed as a Vulnerable Person by reason of their age or circumstances. Abuse can take many forms, including:
All staff and volunteers must read, sign and abide by the Rwanda Action Safeguarding Policy and Rwanda Action Code of Conduct. The Country Manager and Operations Director have responsibility for ensuring Relevant Persons understand and abide by this safeguarding policy.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Any safeguarding concerns or breach of this policy should be reported as soon as possible and in any event within 24 hours. The form for reporting concerns is on page 8 of this policy. The flow chart on page 7 shows how safeguarding concerns should be dealt with.
The Lead Person in Rwanda is the Country Director – BARIYIZI Felicien
Tel: +250 781 087 523 / +250 783 492 136
Rwanda office: Munezero House, BP 285, Kamembe, Rusizi District, Western Province, Rwanda
The Lead Person in the UK is the Operations Director – Janyis Watson
Tel: +44 7763 380514
The Rwanda Action board of trustees holds ultimate responsibility for the implementation of Rwanda Action’s Safeguarding Policy.
The Lead Person is responsible for:
This will include:
Recruitment - disclosure procedures
All Relevant Persons working for or on behalf of Rwanda Action (whether paid or otherwise) who may come into contact with Vulnerable People will first be subject to a rigorous recruitment and vetting process, which will include as a minimum, and as is appropriate to their role:
At least one face to face interview with at least two interviewers.
At least two references providing detail about the person’s character and workplace record, and disclosing any concerns relating to their working with vulnerable people.
All Relevant Persons likely to engage in regulated activities (see above) involving Vulnerable People will be required to have a criminal record check (a disclosure) issued by one of the statutory disclosure bodies or a police check where there is no statutory body.
Rwanda Action will meet the cost of providing a disclosure certificate or police check for potential or existing employees.
The Operations Director is responsible for arranging checks as part the recruitment process for Rwanda Action staff and volunteers outside Rwanda, and the Country Director is responsible for all necessary checks in Rwanda.
Where a disclosure is required for a paid or voluntary position, a statement of the fact will be included in the advertisement.
If the disclosure reveals any discrepancies that are serious and relevant to the suitability of the applicant to perform the job, the application will be declined.
A disclosure certificate does not negate the need for the standard check of contacting two referees for employees or volunteers working with Vulnerable People. If anything in those references causes concern about the applicant’s suitability to work with Vulnerable People, the referee will be contacted, and the application may be declined.
Where a Relevant Person commences work or volunteering prior to receipt of the enhanced disclosure certificate or equivalent, they must not engage in any regulated activity until such certificate is received.
Disclosure information is highly confidential and will only be shared with personnel involved in recruitment and used only for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent has been given.
Disclosure certificates are portable and can be used for more than one position. Only the certificate holder will retain the certificate.
In the case of a volunteer or potential employee with limited UK residence, the Disclosure and Barring Service or Disclosure Scotland will be contacted to find out what police checks or criminal record checks are available in the country the person has been working in. If criminal record checks are available these will be sought.
If no criminal checks are available for an applicant then further references will be requested, preferably from work undertaken with children or if appropriate to work within finance roles. A written record of any verbal references will be kept in personnel files.
In the UK, Rwanda Action will fully comply with the Disclosure and Barring Service or Disclosure Scotland Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Disclosures and Disclosure information. It will fully comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 and other relevant legislation to the safe handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of disclosure information.