LEGAL

Social Media Disclaimer

ROAM operates a number of social media channels. Our purpose in participating is to provide open and transparent information and connect widely with our communities.

We ask our online communities to connect with us in a respectful and constructive manner. Should comments or posts on our accounts or involving our accounts contain any of the following, we will regretfully proceed to remove the content from any relevant platform:

  • hate speech, profanity, obscenity or vulgarity
  • name calling, threats, and/or personal attacks
  • false, fraudulent, or misleading information.

Furthermore, we will remove comments/and or posts if they are:

  • unlawful and/or encourage illegal action
  • wildly ‘off-topic’,
  • containing spam or viruses, and/or are corrupt
  • containing solicitations or advertisements or non-ROAM marketing content
  • containing private, personal or sensitive information about individuals (i.e. account information)
  • promoting meetings, petitions, organisations or causes not officially sponsored or supported by Scope Global
  • containing links not authorised and/or approved by ROAM.

Finally, out of respect for other social media users, individuals repeatedly posting content which includes one or more of the above points will be blocked from our social media channels.

 

Child protection policy

1. Policy Overview

ROAM is committed to the safety and protection of children from all forms of abuse and exploitation. This Child Protection Policy recognises that children can be extremely vulnerable, especially in situations of poverty, humanitarian crisis or conflict, and need to be protected. This Child Protection Policy outlines a risk management approach to prevent child abuse and provides clear and practical guidelines to responding to child abuse and managing complaints.

ROAM understands it has a fundamental duty of care towards protecting children engaged within its programs and activities.

This Policy requires all ROAM’s programs to have appropriate mechanisms in place to protect children. This Policy has been developed to adhere to international standards as described in section 12 of this Policy and in line with Australian Government child protection requirements.

This Policy operates in conjunction with common and statute law and does not exclude or replace the rights and obligations of any individual under Australian common and/or statutory law.

This Policy will be reviewed every two years (or earlier if required) in line with ROAM’s quality management systems. Lessons learnt in the implementation of this Policy will be documented and reflected in future policies. This Policy should be seen as a component of the broader ethical framework and Code of Conduct of ROAM. Disciplinary processes are a means to establish and maintain an ethical, efficient and effective organisation and should not be seen in isolation from the overall goals of ROAM.

2.      Purpose

This Policy aims to clearly outline:

  • Definitions of child abuse and other relevant terms;
  • Overarching child protection legislation, conventions and guidelines;
  • ROAM’s set of commitments to child protection;
  • ROAM’s risk management approach to preventing child abuse and exploitation;
  • ROAM’s code of conduct governing interaction with children both in Australia and overseas; and
  • ROAM’s practical reporting procedures and response mechanisms.

This Policy has been developed in order to:

  1. Protect children engaged in ROAM’s programs from all forms of abuse and exploitation;
  2. Protect employees and representatives from false or malicious allegations of misconduct;
  3. Protect ROAM from being held liable for the failure to take “reasonable steps” to prevent or protect children from abuse.

 

3.      Scope

This Policy applies to all:

  1. ROAM employees; and
  2. ROAM representatives. The term “representatives” includes but is not limited to: Board members, program participants, dependants (supported by ROAM projects/programs), contractors, subcontractors, agents and consultants.

Also, in accordance with program-specific application, this Policy may also be applicable to Host Organisations and other affiliates.

4.      Definitions of Child Abuse and other Relevant Terms

A child means every human being below the age of 181.

Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment or neglect of a child resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.

Child protection is an activity or initiative designed to protect children from any form of harm, particularly harm arising from abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Physical abuse of a child is when a person purposefully injures or attempts to injure a child from an interaction or lack of interaction which is reasonably within the control of a person in a position of responsibility, power or trust over the child. Examples of this type of behaviour include, but are not limited to; slapping, punching, shaking, kicking, burning, shoving, grabbing or choosing not to assist a child when a situation is causing them physical pain. There may be a single incident or repeated incidents.

Emotional abuse of a child is any action that is not physical but that has a negative effect on the social, intellectual or emotional development of a child. Emotional abuse is categorized loosely as the chronic behavioural pattern directed at a child whereby a child’s self-esteem and social competence is undermined or eroded over time.  Examples of this type of action includes, but is not limited to; name-calling, threatening, belittling, ridiculing, intimidating, isolating, ignoring or other non-physical forms of hostile or rejecting treatment towards the child.

Neglect of a child is the failure to provide the child with the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, education, supervision emotional development and/or protection from foreseeable harm in the context of resources reasonably available to the family or caretakers of the child and to the extent that the child’s health and/or development are at risk.

Sexual abuse of a child is when a person who is in a position of responsibility, trust or power over a child involves the child in sexual activity which is intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person and which the child does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent. This can include contact acts (such as rape or sexualized touching) or non-contact acts (such as exposure to pornography or taking sexualized photographs of the child).

Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and/or coercive behaviours conducted within the family environment or domestic (home) environment which can include, but is not limited to; physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and/or economic coercion.

Child Exploitation is when a child is used in work or other activities for the benefit of others. This includes, but is not limited to, the commercial sexual exploitation of children whereby a child is sexually abused in return for cash or for kind and child labour whereby a child is forced to work or perform other acts to an extent detrimental to the child’s physical, social or mental development.

[1]1. As outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations, Article 1).

5.      Guiding Principles of this Policy

This Policy is founded upon the following guiding principles:

  1. Zero tolerance of child abuse;
  2. Recognition and promotion of children’s best interests;
  3. Sharing responsibility for child protection;
  4. Use of a risk management approach to prevent child abuse; and
  5. Report and respond to all incidents of child abuse.

6.      ROAM’s Commitments

ROAM is committed to instituting child protection measures to the highest standard.

ROAM is committed to ensuring that:

  • In all contracts involving ROAM, all parties agree to abide by the requirements of this Policy;
  • Child protection risks are included in all project and activity risk assessments;
  • Preventative child protection measures are implemented to the highest standard;
  • Comprehensive child-safe recruitment and screening processes are employed;
  • Child protection training is regularly provided to relevant ROAM employees and representatives;
  • Culturally specific issues relevant to child protection will be incorporated into project specific risk management strategies, training and response procedures;
  • A child protection Code of Conduct exists and is understood and signed, wherever applicable, by all ROAM employees and representatives that are bound by it;
  • Clear and current reporting procedures exist and are known by ROAM employees and representatives;
  • National laws and processes and local resources are taken into account within reporting and response mechanisms;
  • A documented child protection management procedure exists and is operational;
  • A documented policy compliance regime exists which outlines sanctions for breaches;
  • No person is permitted to work with children if they pose an unacceptable risk to children’s safety or wellbeing;
  • All employment contracts involving ROAM outline that ROAM has the right to dismiss personnel who breach the child protection code of conduct; and
  • The highest levels of confidentiality and sensitivity are employed pending an official investigation of an incident.

7.      The Child Protection Code of Conduct

Acceptable Behaviours

ROAM employees and representatives shall:

  • Treat children with dignity and respect regardless of ethnicity, race, colour, gender, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, disability, or other status;
  • Conduct themselves in a manner appropriate with their position as a representative of ROAM in all their dealings with children;
  • Be aware of behaviour and avoid actions or behaviours that could be perceived by others as child exploitation and abuse;
  • Immediately report concerns or allegations of child exploitation and abuse and policy non-compliance in accordance with ROAM’s Reporting Procedures;
  • Be visible when working with children and, wherever possible, ensure that another adult is present when working in the proximity of children;
  • Listen to children and allow them to be engaged in decisions that may affect them;
  • Comply with all relevant Australian legislation and legislation of the host country, including labour laws in relation to child labour;
  • Follow organisational policy and guidelines regarding the safety of children; and
  • Immediately disclose all charges, convictions and other outcomes of an offence that relates to child exploitation and abuse, including those under traditional law, which occurred before or occurs during association with ROAM.

Unacceptable Behaviours

ROAM employees and representatives shall not:

  • Use language or demonstrate behaviour towards children that is inappropriate, harassing, abusive, demeaning, sexually provocative, or culturally insensitive;
  • Engage children in any form of activity that is demeaning, offensive, sexually provocative, abusive or culturally inappropriate or insensitive;
  • Engage children in any form of sexual activity or acts, including paying for sexual services or acts;
  • Invite unaccompanied children into their home, unless they are at immediate risk of injury or in physical danger;
  • Sleep in close proximity to unsupervised children;
  • Hire children for domestic or other labour which is inappropriate given their age or developmental stage, which interferes with their time available for education and recreation activities, or which places them at significant risk of injury;
  • Exclude or favour a particular child;
  • Never use any computers, mobile phones, video cameras or social media to exploit or harass children, or access child exploitation material through any medium;
  • Physically assault, discipline or punish children; and
  • Touch a child in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive manner. Representatives in direct medical care positions are to follow Australian and/or overseas industry guidelines.

8.      Procedures for photographing and using children’s images

When photographing or filming a child or using children’s images for work related purposes, ROAM employees and representatives must:

  • Assess and comply with local traditions or restrictions for reproducing personal images;
  • Obtain informed consent from the child and a parent or guardian of the child. An explanation as to how the photograph or film will be used must be provided (School principals and teachers are not legal guardians and are not able to provide consent on behalf of children in their care.) (see Informed Consent Procedure and Form);
  • Ensure photographs, films, videos and DVDs present children in a dignified and respectful manner and not in a vulnerable or submissive manner. Children should be adequately clothed and not in poses that could be seen as sexually suggestive;
  • Ensure images are honest representations of the context and the facts; and
  • Ensure file labels, meta data or text descriptions do not reveal identifying information about a child when sending images electronically or publishing images in any form.

9.      The Reporting & Incident Response

Reporting Child Abuse

  1. Any suspicion or disclosure of child abuse must be immediately reported to the relevant Manager and ROAM’s Child Protection Officer. All incidents will be reported and managed in accordance with the ROAM Critical Incident Response and Reporting Protocol.

 

ROAM’s contact details are as follows:

                 Position:                     Program Manager

                Phone:                          +61 8 8364 8500
                Email address:           feedback@roamlearning.com 
                Postal address:         41 Dequetteville Terrace, Kent Town SA 5067

Guidelines to responding to Child Abuse Allegations

  1. ROAM takes all allegations of child abuse, whether by ROAM employees, representatives or associated personnel seriously;
  2. All allegations will be thoroughly investigated; and
  3. Where an incident has been reported the following procedures will take place:

For non-critical incident allegations

A non-critical allegation of child abuse is one which does not pose immediate threat to a child supposing the allegation was true. These incidents may well be critical in nature but the time frame for responding is not as immediate.

  1. The incident will be documented and investigated in accordance with the ROAM Critical Incident Response and Reporting Protocol;
  2. The incident will be investigated with full respect for the confidentiality of the accused and the alleged victim and information will be dispersed on a “need to know” basis with the primary concern being the rights and welfare of the persons involved;
  3. The accused person will be given an opportunity to express their views/opinions/version of facts;
  4. The views of the alleged child victim will be considered;
  5. Where the incident is reasonably proven to have occurred, appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken, including, but not limited to:
    • Warning
    • Suspension
    • Dismissal

The disciplinary measure will depend on the nature of the offence and will be at the discretion of the relevant Manager and will be fully documented and reported to ROAM head office.

For critical allegations

A critical allegation is an allegation whereby there is an immediate threat to the welfare of a child should the allegation be found true.

  1. Where the allegation involves a violation of either the laws of the country in which the incident occurs, or the laws of Australia, the incident will immediately be reported to appropriate authorities and the person will be suspended from employment pending an investigation;
  2. All efforts will be taken to ensure the confidentiality and rights of the accused person and information related to the incident will only be shared on a “need to know basis”;
  3. If the incident involves a breach of the ROAM Code of Conduct (but is not a violation of national laws), the accused person may be suspended pending an investigation;
  4. The rights of the alleged victim and the accused person will be of paramount concern and confidentiality will be maintained insofar as is reasonably necessary pending an investigation;
  5. Where a breach of the Code of Conduct is found to have occurred, the person will be immediately dismissed from employment;
  6. Where an allegation is found to be false or unfounded, all efforts will be taken to ensure the rights of the accused person is upheld including restoration of any damage to reputation or dignity within the organisation;
  7. Where allegations amount to a violation of laws of Australia or the host country, confidentiality will no longer be applicable unless deemed necessary to uphold the rights of the victim.

10.    Recruitment and Reference Checking

ROAM will not knowingly permit any person to be employed or engaged if they pose an unacceptable risk to children.

In addition:

  • All new ROAM personnel are required to provide an appropriate current police check (criminal record check). They must include police checks for overseas countries if they have worked or lived overseas for any period longer than one year in the last five years;
  • At least two verbal reference checks with former employers / referees will be conducted. Verbal referees cannot include partners, spouse and/or other relatives; and
  • Applicants are required to provide their true identity.

Working with Children Positions

All job advertisements for positions identified as working with children will include the following message:

“ROAM is a child safe organisation and will ask all applicants to undergo our child safe recruitment procedures and sign our Child Protection Policy. All employees and representatives must sign and agree to conform to the Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct as a condition of employment/engagement with the organisation.”

  • If the role is working with children, referees will be asked about the applicant’s suitability for the role to work with children and/or to have regular unsupervised contact with children. Referees will be asked whether they hold any concerns about the applicant, or if complaints were made about the applicant, in connection with working or having contact with children;
  • The interview process for candidates will include behaviour based interview questions that relate directly to working with children to probe the applicant’s attitude, experience and approach to working with children relevant to the post applied for; and
  • New personnel will be required to provide written disclosure regarding whether they have been charged with child exploitation offences in the past.

11.    Risk Management

ROAM undertakes program and activity risk assessments to determine if they involve potential contact with children or working with children. If the program or activity is assessed as ‘working with children’, then a full child protection risk assessment will be undertaken with the application of minimum child protection standards.

12.    Relevant Child Protection Legislation & Conventions

A number of laws underpin this policy, including Australian commonwealth, state and territory laws, and local laws in countries where ROAM works. A number of international child protection instruments also apply.

Relevant Australian legislation:

Under commonwealth law an Australian citizen or resident can be prosecuted for an offence committed against a child in another country under laws that have an extra-territorial application.

Crimes Act 1914 Part IIIA (Child Sex Tourism).  Under this Act it is a crime for Australians to engage in, encourage, or benefit from sexual activity with persons under the age of 16 while overseas.

Criminal Code Act 1995, Division 474 (Telecommunications Offences, Subdivision C). This Act provides for a penalty of 10 years imprisonment for possession of child pornography depicting a person under 18 years of age, and up to 15 years imprisonment for online grooming of a person under 16 years of age.

Local legislation

Most countries in which ROAM works have legislation relating to child exploitation and abuse.

When working in country, ROAM employees and all representatives are required to abide by local legislation, including labour laws about child labour.

  1. State and Territory Child Protection Legislation

State or territory Legislation Source
New South Wales

 

The children and young persons (Care and Protection Act) 1998, NSW

Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012

www.legislation.nsw.gov.au
Victoria

 

Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, Victoria

The Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005, Victoria

http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/ 
Queensland

 

The Child Protection Act 1999

 

www.legislation.qld.gov.au/OQPChome.htm
Western Australia Children and Community Services Act 2004

 

www.slp.wa.gov.au/legislation/statutes.nsf/default.html
South Australia Children’s Protection Act 1993

 

www.legislation.sa.gov.au
Tasmania

 

Children, Young Persons and

Their Families Act 1997

www.thelaw.tas.gov.au

 

ACT Children and Young People Act  2008 www.legislation.act.gov.au
Northern Territory The Community Welfare Act

Care and Protection of Children Act 2007

Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 (NT)Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 (NT)

www.nt.gov.au/dcm/legislation/current.html

 

International Organisation   International Instrument Source
United Nations

 

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child www.unicef.org/crc
United Nations

 

Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography http://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?docid=50b353232
United Nations

 

Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?docid=47fdfb180
United Nations UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (2006) www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?page=search&docid=4962270c2&skip=0&query=rights of persons with disabilities

 

www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml

United Nations Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child www.unicef.org/lac/spbarbados/Legal/global/General/declaration_child1959.pdf
International Labour Organisation

 

ILO Convention 182 Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour  

www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/convdisp1.htm

 

 

UNODC Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime

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http://www.uncjin.org/Documents/Conventions/dcatoc/final_documents_2/convention_%20traff_eng.pdf