Safeguarding Code of Conduct

1. Policy Statement

In keeping with our vision and values, Care4Calais is committed to supporting and protecting the rights of beneficiaries, children and vulnerable adults, and volunteers. We therefore expect the highest degree of ethical conduct amongst all our staff, affiliates and volunteers.

To help increase understanding, this Code of Conduct details Care4Calais’s expectations of our representatives.

Care4Calais has a zero tolerance approach to exploitation and abuse.

We believe 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, harassment, neglect and exploitation by staff, volunteers, or associated personnel.

We recognise that there are unequal power dynamics across the organisation and in relation to those we serve, and that we face an inherent risk of personnel exploiting their position of power for personal gain.

Care4Calais will not tolerate its employees, volunteers, consultants, partners or any other representatives associated with the delivery of its work carrying out any form of sexual harassment, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation.

It is the responsibility of all representatives of Care4Calais to raise concerns you have; or those which are reported to you according to this policy. It is not your responsibility to decide whether or not sexual harassment, abuse, or exploitation has occurred.

Care4Calais commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.

Receiving feedback and responding to Safeguarding reports is an important part of improving Care4Calais’s accountability. The effective handling of reports, and the learning opportunity from dealing with them, is important to the success of Care4Calais. Ensuring our stakeholders can hold us to account will improve the quality of our work in all areas.

2. Purpose and scope

This Code of Conduct applies to all staff (whether UK based or international) employed by Care4Calais. It also applies to all affiliates, long term volunteers and other individuals representing Care4Calais in an official capacity.

The purpose of this code of conduct is to clarify the conduct expected. It forms part of your contract or agreement with Care4Calais. This code is applicable at all times. Breach of the Care4Calais Code of Conduct is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Whilst recognising that local laws and cultures differ considerably from one country to another, Care4Calais is an international non-governmental organisation. Therefore, this Code of Conduct is developed from international and UN standards. You are expected to uphold local law wherever you operate, except where the Code of Conduct is more stringent, in which case the Code applies.

3. Mission and values

Our mission is to advocate for a welcoming and inclusive society in the UK, whilst delivering essential aid and support to refugees living in the worst conditions across northern France, Belgium and Italy. We believe that the way in which we work with affected communities through inclusion, social support and communication, and following ‘humanitarian principles’, is as important as the physical assets we provide.

Our mission is to advocate for a welcoming and inclusive society in the UK, whilst delivering essential aid and support to refugees living in the worst conditions across northern France, Belgium and Italy. We believe that the way in which we work with affected communities through inclusion, social support and communication, and following ‘humanitarian principles’, is as important as the physical assets we provide.

Our short to medium term outcomes include increased physical protection, improved psychological well-being and organisational accountability. On the ground team members are committed to the following Care4Calais principles:

  • Stay Safe
  • Get the Job Done
  • Represent Care4Calais

In addition, Care4Calais is a signatory of the Code of Conduct for The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, which binds us to the following principles:

  • The humanitarian imperative comes first.
  • Aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.
  • Aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.
  • We shall endeavour not to act as instruments of government foreign policy.
  • We shall respect culture and customs and the recipient individuals themselves.
  • We shall attempt to build disaster response on local capacities.
  • Ways shall be found to involve programme beneficiaries in the management of relief aid.
  • Relief aid must strive to reduce future vulnerabilities to disaster as well as meeting basic needs.
  • We hold ourselves accountable to both those we seek to assist and those from whom we accept resources.
  • In our information, publicity and advertising activities, we shall recognize disaster victims as dignified human beings, not hopeless objects.

The Sphere Humanitarian Charter defines the humanitarian imperative as ‘action [that] should be taken to prevent or alleviate human suffering arising out of disaster or conflict, and that nothing should override this principle.

4. Expected Standards of Behaviour

As a representative of Care4Calais I will:
Uphold the integrity and reputation of Care4Calais by ensuring that my professional and personal conduct is consistent with Care4Calais values and standards.

  • I will treat all people fairly, with respect and dignity.
  • I will demonstrate integrity, truthfulness, dedication and honesty in my actions.
  • I will observe all local laws and be sensitive to local custom.
  • I will meet all my private legal and financial obligations and will not seek to take personal advantage of any privileges conferred on me in my role as a representative of Care4Calais.
  • I will seek to ensure that my conduct (and conduct of the team) does not bring Care4Calais into disrepute and does not impact/undermine my ability to perform the role for which I am employed.
  • I will report breaches of the Code of Conduct by any other team member via the Complaints policy.
  • I will never work under the influence of alcohol/illegal substances. I will not be in the possession of illegal substances on Care4Calais premises, or accommodation/premises leased by Care4Calais.
  • I will abstain from any involvement in criminal or unethical activities, activities that contravene human rights, or activities that compromise the image and interests of Care4Calais.

Not engage in abusive or exploitative conduct

  • As Care4Calais is committed to the highest standards of protection and care for children, I am aware that I am expected not to engage in sexual activities with any person under the age of 18 years, nor participate in any activity that could be construed as sexual exploitation of anyone.
  • Any physical contact with minors can be misconstrued, and therefore must be avoided, and never initiated.
  • On the ground team members must never be unsupervised with children under the age of thirteen.
  • I will never engage in any form of sexual activity with vulnerable adults, beneficiaries of assistance, members of the local community, or any other person of concern. I understand that these relationships are based on inherently unequal power dynamics.
  • I understand that Care4Calais strictly prohibits staff, volunteers, affiliates and other representatives from buying sex.
  • I will not physically, emotionally, or psychologically abuse beneficiaries, children, or vulnerable adults.
  • I will not tolerate any form of harassment, discrimination, physical or verbal abuse, intimidation or favouritism.
  •  I will not exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual favours, or any other form of degrading or exploitative behaviour. This includes exchange of any assistance already due.
  • I will not engage in sexual activity with staff from Care4Calais partners, where there is potential to abuse power. If I start (what I consider) a non-exploitative and consensual relationship with a partner employee, I will report this to the Trustees immediately.
  • I will act responsibly when hiring or otherwise engaging persons to work with the Charity.
  • Should I find myself engaging in a relationship with another member of staff, volunteer, or other Care4Calais representative, I will resolve the conflict of interest and declare the relationship to the Trustees ASAP. I will behave professionally and conduct the relationship in a way that does not impact Care4Calais activities.

Ensure the safety, health and welfare of all Care4Calais staff and associated personnel (volunteers, affiliates, partners, representatives, suppliers and contractors)

  • I will adhere to all legal and organisational health and safety requirements of the Charity.
  • I will comply with any local security guidelines and be pro-active in informing management of any necessary changes to such guidelines.
  • I will behave in a manner such as to avoid any unnecessary risk to the safety, health and welfare of myself and others, including partner organisations and communities with whom we work.
  • I will remain aware of and comply with all instructions designed to protect my health, welfare and safety. If I have doubts regarding an instruction that I consider threatening to my safety or the safety of other persons, I will bring this immediately to the attention of the Trustees.
  • I will endeavour to ensure that the health and well-being of Care4Calais representatives and their families are not subjected to undue risk. I will promote a healthy work-life balance for Care4Calais representatives.

Perform my duties and conduct my private life in a manner that avoids conflicts of interest

  • I will declare any financial, personal or family (or close intimate relationship) interest in matters of official business which may impact the work of Care4Calais.
  • I will not be involved in awarding benefits, contracts for goods or services, employment or promotion within Care4Calais, to any person with whom I have a financial, personal, family (or close intimate relationship) interest.
  • I will not accept significant gifts, favour, or remuneration from governments, communities with whom we work, partners, donors or suppliers, as a result of my employment with Care4Calais.
  • I will seek permission before agreeing to be nominated as a prospective candidate or another official role for any political party.
  • I will avoid assisting private persons or companies in their undertakings with Care4Calais where this might lead to actual or perceived preferential treatment.
  • My actions will be free of any consideration of personal gain. I will resist any undue political pressure in decision making. I will neither seek nor accept instructions regarding performance of my duties from any government, any national authorities, or from an authority external to Care4Calais.

To contribute to an international culture based on team spirit, mutual respect and understanding.

  • I will allow all colleagues the opportunity to have their views heard, and to contribute from their knowledge and experience to team efforts.
  • I will communicate openly and share relevant information (subject to confidentiality) with other colleagues and will endeavour to respond in a timely manner to queries.
  • I will respect my colleagues’ privacy and avoid misinformation
  • I will seek to resolve differences and solve problems when they arise. I will contribute to building constructive dialogue, guided by mutual respect and an open, positive approach.
  • I will provide timely feedback on the performance of each team member through guidance, motivation and full recognition of their merits.

5. Complaints and Reports

Care4Calais staff, volunteers, and associated personnel are obligated to report any potential incident, abuse or concern that they witness, are made aware of, or suspect breaches this Code. Reporting concerns is covered by the Complaints Policy.

Those representatives who have a complaint or concern relating to breach of this Code should report it immediately to their line manager or the Trustees. If they do not feel comfortable reporting the concern to their line manager (for example; if they feel the report will not be taken seriously, or if that person is implicated) then they may report it to any Trustee.

You can reach Safeguarding via the following email address: [email protected]

Outcomes of misconduct

Anyone found to contravene this code will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include dismissal, termination of contract, reporting to the appropriate authorities and / or a criminal investigation.

Where this involves a partner organisation, this will be directly addressed with the partner and may risk withdrawal of funding or ending the relationship.

6. Associated Policies

Safeguarding Policy Complaints Policy
Other policies as appropriate


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