Safeguarding

Safeguarding is the responsibility of organisations to make sure their staff, operations, and programmes do no harm to children and adults at-risk nor expose them to abuse or exploitation. 

We believe that anyone we come in contact with has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, neglect, abuse, and exploitation

CONTACT US

WRAHP has made adequate provisions for complaints, questions and concerns. You can contact us through any of the channels below:

WRAHP has a head office in Lagos, as well as offices based in Edo and Ebonyi States.

Telephone: 0913 520 5119 (Supporter Care team). Calls answered 7.30am–8.30pm, Monday–Friday.

Email: whr.project@yahoo.com

Lagos Office Address:  WRAHP Head Office

The Pent House,
196, Egbe-Ikotun Road,
Ejigbo,
Lagos

Ebonyi Office 

120 Ogbaga Road, Stadium Junction, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State

Edo Office Address39 Oyiade Street, off Benoni Street GRA, Benin City

All information will be managed confidentially.

WRAHP upholds certain values and high standards of organizational, professional and personal conduct. We recognize that sometimes our values and commitments might not be upheld to the standard expected. If this is the case, we want to be informed. We will use any information shared to try to put things right, improve our quality, and help us to become more effective.

We believe that anyone we come in contact with has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, neglect, abuse, and exploitation.

We guarantee that our policies and procedures conform with our principles and duties, and mirror current guidance and best practices in safeguarding children and other vulnerable persons. In order to protect this group and effectively respond when harm occurs, WRAHP is taking all the necessary measures.

We welcome reports from any individual, group, or organization that wants to raise a complaint, allegation, or concern about WRAHP’s staff, volunteers, partners, other representatives, WRAHP’s activities, or the activities of any organization working with WRAHP.

We affirm that all reports will be confidentially handled and investigated (cooperation of the complainant/survivor would be required)

WRAHP commits to addressing safeguarding issues with best intent and reports may be handed over to a supporting authority to best safeguard a vulnerable person or survivor.

WRAHP has zero tolerance for Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Sexual Harassment.

Safeguarding Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to protect people, particularly children, at-risk adults, and beneficiaries of assistance, from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP).  This includes harm arising from: 

  • The conduct of staff or personnel associated with WRAHP
  • The design and implementation of WRAHP’s programs and activities 

The policy lays out the commitments made by WRAHP and informs staff, volunteers, and other representatives of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding. 

This policy does not cover: 

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace – this is dealt with under a separate policy
  • Safeguarding concerns in the wider community not perpetrated by WRAHP or other representatives

Definition of Terms

Beneficiary of Assistance

Someone who directly receives goods or services from WRAHP’s programme.  Note that misuse of power can also apply to the wider community that the organization serves, and also can include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power.

Child

A person below the age of 18

Harm

Psychological, physical, and any other infringement of an individual’s rights 

Psychological harm

Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) humiliating and degrading treatment such as bad name-calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement, and isolation

Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)

The term is used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or associated personnel.  The term derives from 

the United Nations Secretary General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13)

 Sexual abuse

The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. 

Sexual exploitation

The term ‘sexual exploitation means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.  This definition includes human trafficking and modern slavery.

Survivor

The person who has been abused or exploited. The term ‘survivor’ is often used in preference to ‘victim’ as it implies strength, resilience, and the capacity to survive, however, it is the individual’s choice how they wish to identify themselves.

At-risk adult

Sometimes also referred to as vulnerable adult.  A person who is or may be in need of care by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation

Guiding Principles of Safeguarding

DO NO HARM

  • All children have equal rights to protection from harm.
  • Everybody has a responsibility to support the protection of children.
  • Organisations have a duty of care to children with whom they work, are in contact with, or who are affected by their work and operations.
  • If organisations work with partners they have a responsibility to help partners meet the minimum requirements on protection.
  • All actions on child safeguarding are taken in the best interests of the child, which are paramount.

Scope

  • All staff engaged by WRAHP;
  • Volunteers;
  • Partners;
  • Other representatives who work for, or conduct visits on behalf of WRAHP, including but not limited to the following: consultants; contractors; programme visitors including journalists, celebrities and politicians 

 

Policy Statement

WRAHP believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.  WRAHP will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by staff, volunteers or other representatives.

WRAHP commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.

Prevention

WRAHP’s responsibilities

WRAHP will:

  • Ensure all staff have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy
  • Design and undertake all its programmes and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with WRAHP.  This includes the way in which information about individuals in our programmes is gathered and communicated
  • Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing, and deploying staff, volunteers and other representatives. 
  • Ensure staff receive training on safeguarding at a level commensurate with their role in the organization
  • Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process

 

Staff responsibilities

Child safeguarding

WRAHP staff, volunteers and other representatives must not:

  • Engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18 
  • Sexually abuse or exploit children 
  • Subject a child to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect 
  • Engage in any commercially exploitative activities with children including child labour or trafficking 

Adult safeguarding

WRAHP staff, volunteers and other representatives must not:

  • Sexually abuse or exploit at-risk adults
  • Subject an at-risk adult to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect 

Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse

WRAHP staff, volunteers and other representatives must not:

  • Exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual activity. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance
  • Engage in any sexual relationships with beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics

Additionally, WRAHP staff, volunteers and other representatives are obliged to:

  • Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy
  • Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations by a WRAHP staff member, volunteers, or other representatives to the appropriate staff member 
  • Set up effective complaints and feedback mechanisms (CFM) for safeguarding matters in the supported communities.
  • Continue to sensitize community members on the established complaints and feedback mechanism for effective use. 
  • Continue to sensitize supported communities on WRAHP’s safeguarding commitment.
  • Train / sensitize community members on expected and unexpected behaviours from staff, volunteers and other representatives

 Reporting

WRAHP will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to staff and the communities we work with.

Any staff reporting concerns or complaints through formal whistleblowing channels (or if they request it) will be protected by WRAHP’s Confidentiality Clause.

WRAHP will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, community partners, official bodies, and all stakeholders through the phone lines, email, or visit WRAHP office. Members of the community reporting concerns or complaints through the designated phone lines, or email, will be protected by WRAHP’s Confidentiality Clause (especially if they prefer to remain anonymous)

How to report a safeguarding concern?

Staff members who have a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding should report it immediately to the Executive Director or the HR officer.  If the staff member does not feel comfortable reporting to the Executive Director or the Safeguarding Focal Person(s) they may report to the HR officer or any other appropriate staff member.  For example, this could be the Programme Officer. Safeguarding concerns can also be reported through any of these channels- 

Phone number: 0913 520 9557 or Email:whr.project@yahoo.com

Response

WRAHP will follow up on safeguarding reports and concerns according to policy and procedure, and legal and statutory obligations (see Procedures for reporting and response to safeguarding concerns in Associated Policies).

WRAHP will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of policy.

WRAHP will offer support to survivors of harm caused by staff, volunteers or other representatives regardless of whether a formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation).  Decisions regarding support will be led by the survivor.

Associated policies

Code of Conduct

Child Safeguarding policy

Adult Safeguarding policy

Complaints Policy

Procedures for reporting and response to safeguarding concerns

Procedures for safeguarding in staff recruitment

PROTECTION AND PRIVACY

If you have any safeguarding concern or complaint, please report to WRAHP’s Focal Point – a secure and confidential complaint and incident management system for use by anyone connected to WRAHP.

WRAHP Focal Point is NOT an Emergency Service:

Kindly note that this site is not for emergency services, please report ONLY cases of  sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment perpetuated or suspected to be perpetuated by WRAHP’s staff, volunteers, partners or other representatives here. For other emergency assistance, please contact your local authorities