ABOUT THE PEACE INSTITUTE (PI)
The Peace Institute – Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies – is a private, independent, non-profit research institution founded in 1991 by individuals who believed in peaceful conflict resolution, equality and respect for human rights standards. The Institute uses scientific research and advocacy activities aimed at creating and a preserving open society capable of critical thought and based on the principles of equality, responsibility, solidarity, human rights and the rule of law.
The Institute develops interdisciplinary research, educational and awareness-raising activities in the areas of social science, humanities, anthropology and law, in five thematic fields: human rights and minorities, politics, media, gender and cultural policies. It acts as an ally of vulnerable groups and acts against discrimination in partnership with them. It is a visible research and civil society stakeholder in Slovenia, the region and on the international level and a leading resource in the fields of its operation. It acts in partnership with other similar stakeholders (institutes, universities, non-governmental organisations) as well as with residents on the local, regional and international levels.
THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PI’S ENGAGEMENT WITH CHILDREN
Peace Institute’s activities include the cooperation with schools, youth centres and other organizations that work with children and youth. In line with these activities, the Peace Institute respects the existing national legislation in the field of education, social, family and criminal law for the protection of children, and international instruments and documents related to human rights and the rights of the child, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights, and adheres to high ethical standards in working with children and young people. The Peace Institute expects all adults involved in the Institute’s activities to fully encompass and realize the principles enshrined therein.
In line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, for the purposes of this document, a child is defined as any person under the age of 18 years.
The purpose of this document is to provide a set of principles and minimum standards for creating a safe environment for children and young people within the frame of Peace Institute’s activities. This document aims to ensure that employees and volunteers understand, accept and are supported in child protection responsibilities.
The Peace Institute is committed to protecting the rights of children, including protecting children from all forms of abuse and exploitation. The Peace Institute has zero tolerance for child abuse and is dedicated to adhering to the highest standards of ethical behavior when working with children.
The Peace Institute follows the general guidance and principles when working with children and young people:
- treat children and young people in a manner which is respectful of their rights, integrity and dignity, considers their best interests and does not expose them to, or places them at risk of harm.
- children and young people will be treated on equal basis and irrespective of gender, nationality or ethnic origin, religious or political beliefs, age, physical or mental health, sexual orientation and gender identity, family, socio-economic and cultural background;
- all children and young people have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation;
- participation of children and young people in any activity of the Peace Institute shall be voluntary and can be terminated at any time;
- the Peace Institute does not tolerate any type of abuse or exploitation towards a child and commits to ensuring that all staff and associates are made aware of, and supported in, their responsibilities to prevent abuse and protect children.
PEACE INSTITUTE’S STAFF
The child protection policy applies to staff at the Peace Institute, whatever their status is, including volunteers and associates who must comply with its requirements and understand the sanctions that apply for breaches of the policy.
The Peace Institute’s staff and associates working with children will be issued with a copy of this document, which will be available also in an electronic form. Any member of staff found in breach of the guidance will be subject to immediate removal from their position, and appropriate measures will be taken in line with this policy and national legislation.
For every (new) staff member and associate joining the PI’s work with children a criminal reference check will be made (via certificates issued by the Ministry of Justice and district courts).
All staff/associates should be aware of any signals that a youngster requires assistance. The Peace Institute ensures that staff and associates are involved and participate in an expedient response in the event of abuse, a high-risk situation, or a disclosure.
Any incident that is reported will be handled quickly, in accordance with this policy, the organization’s mission, and any laws. The information will be handled in a secure manner that does not jeopardize the safety of the affected child or the person reporting a concern.
All staff/associates, including volunteers have a responsibility to immediately report any concerns to the director of the Peace Institute (hereinafter: the director).
All children involved in the Peace Institute activities are informed about this policy and their right to report any concerns to the director.
The minimum necessary intervention principle will be followed, avoiding institutional abuse caused by the repetition of activities or their performance under improper conditions.
IMPLEMENTATION AND REPORTING PROCEDURE
1. The director of the Peace Institute is the person in charge for the implementation of this policy.
2. All staff members and associates that observe any child protection concern must report to the director of the Peace Institute immediately. Children involved in the Peace Institute activities have the right to report any concerns the director of the Peace Institute. The report may be made in person, by phone (01 234 77 20) and by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
3. The director makes a written record of the reported concern and all relevant information.
4. After the receiving the complaint, the director makes an initial assessment of the complaint and immediate risks to the safety and wellbeing of the child and takes measures to address such risks (such as suspension of a staff member from their position, referring a child to other support mechanisms).
The director makes an assessment whether authorities should be immediately notified about the issues raised (the police, social work centre).
If the complainant is not the affected child, the director develops a plan for involving the affected child and their carer in the procedure.
5. After the initial assessment, if necessary, the director takes steps to collect all necessary additional information and makes inquiries with the persons involved.
If the reported issues required that the authorities are informed, the director cooperates in the investigation conducted by the responsible authorities.
6. After assessing the reported concern, the director makes a decision for resolving the issue.
In the case of minor issues, the director works with the person reporting the concern to see how the issues can be appropriately addressed.
If a serious incident is reported, the director informs the competent authorities (the police, social work centre).
If the reported issue amounts to a violation of contractual obligations by a Peace Institute staff member, the director shall initiate disciplinary proceedings or proceedings for terminating their contract in accordance with the national law.
7. The director regularly informs the person reporting the concern and/or the affected child and their carer about the course of the procedure, steps taken and any final decision made.
This document will be periodically reviewed and approved by the director of the Peace Institute every 4 years.
The Peace Institute has the responsibility to ensure the effective implementation of this document and to maintain it.
Dr. Iztok Šori, Director
Ljubljana, 16. 5. 2022