3. CARE’s policy

CARE International Safeguarding Policy: Protection from Sexual Harassment, Exploitation and Abuse, and Child Abuse (PSEA-CA) (April 15, 2020), is available in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic.

CARE International Safeguarding PSHEA-CA policy clearly expresses CARE’s zero-tolerance approach toward sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, and child abuse. This means that all allegations will be examined and investigated, followed by appropriate disciplinary actions where needed, taking into consideration the rights and interests of the survivor, consistent with CARE’s survivor-centred approach. Any type or form of misconduct, perpetrated by CARE staff, partners or other related personnel, towards anyone, will not be tolerated.

The CARE International Safeguarding Policy outlines the scope of application, CARE’s commitments and responsibilities, and our Safeguarding Code of Conduct, definitions and a brief background overview.

In addition, each CARE Members, Affiliate and Candidate, and CARE International Country Office following the global CARE International Safeguarding Policy:  Protection from Sexual Harassment, Exploitation and Abuse, and Child Abuse, they also follow the CI Safeguarding Codes of Conduct. CARE Members, Affiliates and Candidates may have further policies and codes of conduct relating to other forms of misconduct and harassment which apply to their employees.

All CARE staff, partners and related personnel employed in emergencies are required to understand and sign the CARE International Safeguarding Policy and the code of conduct as part of their employment agreements.  Violations of these policies are treated as serious misconduct and can result in disciplinary measures, including dismissal.

Our experience has underscored that it is vital to ensure that the organisational principles not compromised in the process of contextualisation. The process of dialogue and discussions used while introducing the policy is important in creating staff and partner awareness and ownership for effective implementation of the policy. We aim to work in collaboration with our partners, recognising their contextual expertise and knowledge in Safeguarding risk mitigation and management.

The following guidance can be used by Country Offices for introducing and ensuring understanding of the policy:

  • Translate the policy in local/regional/national languages to ensure it is understood by all stakeholders.
  • Develop awareness raising resources about the policy content in local languages, i.e. put posters up in the office, ensure that awareness raising campaigns are context specific and integral to programme design
  • Disseminate and orientate the policy to all staff, partners, related personnel and volunteers through interactive discussions, workshops and trainings.
  • Orientate and sensitize CARE partners to the policy and issues of sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse, and child abut through interactive discussions, workshops and training.
  • Include the policy in employee induction programme/pre-departure briefings during emergencies. Implement additional training/coaching of staff with specific responsibility to facilitate wider dissemination and understanding of issues related to sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • Disseminate awareness raising with aid recipients and communities that aid is free, the type of behaviours that are unacceptable for CARE and partner staff, and how to report abuse and seek support if it does happen.
  • Link the policy implementation to other organisational initiatives that contribute to creating a culture of trust and security, and promoting equity and respect, thereby creating healthy work environments and work relationships.
  • Monitor and review the policy implementation, and if needed, adjust training and awareness raising.
  • Integrate Safeguarding into programme design – conduct a comprehensive risk assessment that is programme and context specific recognising where programmes may exacerbate the risk of SEA-CA.
  • Ensure that every programme has an accessible, safe feedback and accountability mechanism that programme participants, and community members have co-designed with CARE to build trust
  • Promote the use of CARE Line with all staff, partners, programme participants and community members

The overarching objective is to protect aid recipients, communities and our staff from harm by CARE and partner staff and to create a safe and respectful work environment wherever CARE is working.

Please refer to ‘Applying the Policy in Practice’ for more information.