IPI Safeguarding Policy
The International Press Institute (IPI) is committed to promoting and protecting press freedom worldwide. As part of our mission, we recognize the need to safeguard vulnerable people who may be impacted by our work, including but not limited to journalists, sources and individuals in communities affected by our activities. This Safeguarding Policy outlines the measures and procedures we have in place to ensure the safety, well-being and dignity of all individuals involved in our programs, projects and operations.
This policy applies to all IPI staff, consultants, contractors and partners working on behalf of the organization. It covers all IPI activities, events and engagements, whether conducted in person or online, and includes all locations where IPI operates.
Vulnerable People: Refers to individuals who may be at risk of harm or mistreatment due to their personal circumstances, such as age, gender, disability, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or any other factors that may make them particularly susceptible to harm.
Safeguarding: The process of protecting vulnerable people from harm and ensuring their rights, safety, well-being, and dignity are upheld.
We are committed to promoting a safe and inclusive environment that respects the rights, dignity and well-being of all individuals involved in our work.
We are committed to complying with all relevant international, regional and national laws and standards related to safeguarding.
We will regularly review and update our safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure their effectiveness and alignment with best practices.
We will provide appropriate training and guidance to our staff, volunteers and partners to enable them to fulfill their safeguarding responsibilities.
We will promptly and appropriately respond to safeguarding concerns or allegations, ensuring that all individuals impacted are treated with respect, confidentiality and fairness.
We will cooperate with relevant authorities and organizations to address safeguarding concerns and to support victims.
Provisions on Protection from Sexual Harassment, Sexual Exploitation, and Child Abuse
IPI acknowledges that we have a responsibility to protect people we work with, and who work for us, and we will continuously strive to prevent sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse and child abuse from happening. We take seriously all reports of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, and child abuse. Our actions are informed by a survivor-centered approach which means that the needs and wishes of survivors guide our response, that survivors are treated with dignity and respect, and the rights of survivors to privacy and support are prioritised.
IPI has a zero-tolerance approach toward sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, and child abuse. We will carefully examine allegations and investigate, and take appropriate disciplinary action where this is needed, taking into consideration the rights and interests of the survivor. We make very clear that sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, and child abuse in any form, perpetrated by our staff, partners or other related personnel, towards anyone, will not be tolerated.
In addition to all other responsibilities delineated in this document, IPI will:
- Promote, create and maintain a safe organizational culture free from sexual harassment and any form of sexual exploitation.
- Prevent known perpetrators of sexual harassment or sexual exploitation or abuse of any kind from being hired or contracted.
- Ensure appropriate and accessible mechanisms for reporting sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, or sexual abuse by any IPI staff members, contractor, or partner.
- Provide support and assistance to complainants and to anyone who has experienced sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse, including appropriate actions to present complainants or victims from any form of retaliation.
- Ensure that all allegations are thoroughly examined and, where needed, referred to law enforcement.
- Take immediate action regarding any employee or contractor who breaches this policy by engaging in any form of sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, or sexual abuse, including child abuse. This includes termination of employment and may include other steps such as referral to law enforcement.
Code of Conduct
IPI staff and employees agree to:
- create and maintain a safe and equitable organisational culture that prevents and opposes sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, and child abuse.
- treat everyone with dignity and respect and challenge attitudes and behaviors that contravene this Safeguarding Policy.
- immediately report any concerns or suspicions regarding possible violations of IPI’s Safeguarding Policy.
- disclose to IPI any civil judgment or criminal conviction that relates to allegations made against them of sexual harassment, exploitation or abuse of anyone.
IPI staff and employees agree not to:
- sexually harass, exploit or abuse anyone and understand that these behaviours constitute acts of gross misconduct and are therefore grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
- engage in any form of sexual activity or develop physical/sexual relationships with children (persons under the age of 18) regardless of the age of consent locally, fully understanding that ignorance or mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defence.
- exchange money, employment, goods, or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour.
- engage in any sexual activity or sexual relationship with program participants/ beneficiaries.
These provisions are based on the IASC Six Core Principles Relating to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, latest update 2019.
Board of Directors: The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for the implementation and oversight of the safeguarding policy.
Executive Director: The Executive Director is accountable for ensuring the policy’s effective implementation and providing necessary resources and support.
Deputy Director: The Deputy Director is responsible for safeguarding practices.
Staff: All staff have a responsibility to be aware of and adhere to this safeguarding policy, reporting any concerns promptly to their supervisor or the designated safeguarding focal point.
Partners and Contractors: We expect our partners and contractors to have their own safeguarding policies and procedures in place. We will assess and monitor their compliance with our standards, and where necessary, provide support and guidance.
Prevention: We will take proactive measures to prevent harm and promote safeguarding, including conducting risk assessments, implementing codes of conduct and providing training and awareness-raising programs.
Reporting and Response: Any individual with a safeguarding concern or allegation should report it promptly to their supervisor or the designated safeguarding focal point within IPI. Reports will be treated confidentially, and a thorough investigation will be conducted. Appropriate action will be taken to address any confirmed cases of harm, which may include disciplinary measures, reporting to authorities, or providing support to victims.
Support and Referrals: We will provide appropriate support to individuals affected by safeguarding concerns, including access to counselling, medical services, legal advice and other necessary resources. We will maintain a list of external organizations and services that can offer additional support, to whom referrals can be made.
Learning and Improvement: We will learn from safeguarding incidents and continuously improve our policies, procedures, and training to prevent future occurrences and enhance the overall safety and well-being of vulnerable people.
Confidentiality and Information Sharing
We will handle safeguarding concerns with the utmost confidentiality. Information will be shared on a need-to-know basis, ensuring that the rights and privacy of all individuals involved are respected, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Review and Monitoring
This safeguarding policy will be reviewed at least annually and updated as necessary. Regular monitoring and evaluation will be conducted to assess the policy’s effectiveness, implementation and compliance with relevant standards and legal requirements.
Communication and Training
This policy will be communicated to all staff, volunteers and relevant stakeholders. Training and awareness sessions will be conducted periodically to ensure that all individuals involved understand their responsibilities and the procedures outlined in this policy.
This safeguarding policy will be made available to all staff, volunteers, contractors, partners and other relevant stakeholders through various channels, including our website, intranet and induction materials.
This safeguarding policy reflects IPI’s commitment to ensuring the safety, dignity, and well-being of vulnerable people affected by our work. It provides a framework for preventing harm, responding to concerns, and continuously improving our practices. Last updated: August 2023