Child Protection Policy


Child Awareness Project is a registered charity under The Indian Trusts Act, 1882. Our mandate is to work with the most vulnerable group of children, i.e. Children below the age of 18 years (minors). We may partner with local government agencies, state and national governments and other nonprofits both National and International. Our projects are carefully planned, assessed and executed with correlation with Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4 and 5, i.e. Good Health and Wellbeing, Quality Education and Gender Equality respectively.

The Core Value of our organisation is rooted in children’s participation. We firmly believe that by empowering every child, we give them a platform to be leaders in today’s world.

Child Awareness Project’s, Safeguarding Policy is to reiterate our commitment to children’s rights to safe and protected life and in the best interest of the child. This policy binds all our volunteers, interns, consultants and visitors.


Child or Children : Anyone under 18 years of age. Child Safeguarding: The set of policies, procedures and practices that we employ to ensure that Child Awareness Project is a child-safe organisation. Child safeguarding is making Child Awareness Project safe for children. It involves our collective and individual responsibility and preventative actions to ensure that all children are protected from deliberate or unintentional acts that lead to the risk of or actual harm by Child Awareness Project staff, representatives and third parties, who come into contact with children or impact them through our development intentions, humanitarian responses and operations. This includes our direct program implementation, work through partners and management of children’s data. Child Beneficiary: Child Awareness Project does run any children’s home/care centre, and there are no children under the care of Child Awareness Project. Child Beneficiary means any child/children are coming in contact with Child Awareness Projects via its workshops, awareness and/or welfare campaigns run in schools/colleges/other organisations/ children’s home.

Child Abuse: According to the World Health Organisation “child abuse” or “maltreatment” constitutes “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, 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. (WHO, 1999 Report of the Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention). Child abuse has the same meaning as defined under the Indian laws including but not limited to: a) Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (JJ Act); b) Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO); c) Immoral Traffic Persons Act (ITPA); d) Protection of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) e) Child Labour (Protection and Regulation) Amendment Act (Child Labour Act); f) United Nations

Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Child Harm: Safeguarding children demand attention to all actions that may cause harm to children. This extends beyond actual abuse, to include all activities, which may cause harm to a child, intentionally or unintentionally, either directly or indirectly. Harm to children is a complex phenomenon and does not fit easily into set parameters. However, there are several agreed categories of harm that form the basis of this policy and the procedure therein.

These are:

➤ Physical Harm: Actual or attempted bodily injury of a child, inflicted intentionally or knowingly not prevented. Physical force includes but is not limited to hitting, shaking, kicking, pinching, pushing/pulling, grabbing, burning, strangling, drowning, smothering, female genital mutilation, torture, and other physical acts. Physical injury or suffering may include but is not limited to bruises, marks, soft tissue swelling, hematomas, fractures, sprains, dislocation, burns, damage to organs, death, permanent disfigurement, and any other non- trivial injury.

➤ Emotional Harm: Harm to a child’s emotional, intellectual, mental or psychological development. This may occur as an isolated event or on an ongoing basis. Emotional harm includes but not but is not limited to any humiliating or degrading treatment (For instance., threats, yelling/screaming/cursing, constant criticism, wrong name-calling, teasing, persistent shaming, belittling etc), failure to meet a child’s emotional needs, and rejecting, ignoring, isolating, confining or terrorising a child.

➤ Neglect/Negligent Treatment: The inability to meet a child’s basic physical and/or emotional needs either deliberately or through negligence. Neglect includes but is not limited to failing to provide adequate food, sufficient or seasonally-appropriate clothing and/or shelter; failing to prevent harm; failing to ensure the proper diet; failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment or providing inappropriate medical treatment (eg., administering medication when not authorised); or failing to provide a safe physical environment (eg., exposure to violence, unsafe sleeping practices, releasing a child to an unauthorised adult, failing to child-proof a space that children will occupy, access to weapons or harmful objects, etc.)

➤ Sexual Harm : All forms of sexual violence and coercion, sexual solicitation, manipulation or trickery including incest, early and forced marriage, rape, involvement in or exposure to indecent videos or images/videos (aka pornography), sexual slavery/trafficking, and statutory rape. Sexual harm may include but is not limited to improper touching or exposure, explicit sexual language towards or about a child and grooming. Sexual harm does not always involve touching. Sexual harm is 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 harm of another.

Technology is a tool sometimes used to harm a child sexually. The sexual harm of children under the age of 18 is child abuse and a policy violation. It may also constitute a criminal offence, depending upon the age of consent, local laws and customs. Exploitation : The actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, power differential, or trust for the benefit of the individual leveraging their status, power, privilege, or wealth (by manipulation, enticement, coercion or trickery) to engage a child in labour, domestic servitude, forced criminality, soldiering or organ harvesting. Typically, the person(s) exploiting a child does so to profit monetarily, socially, or politically. It can happen to one or a group of children, in the community of origin, outside of the community, or internationally.

The exploitation of a child may include but is not limited to:

• Domestic servitude (eg., cooking, cleaning etc.)

• Forced labour (commonly in agriculture or factories)

• Used for benefit fraud

• Forced to become child soldiers or join a gang

• Forced criminal activities such as begging, transporting drugs, selling pirated merchandise, pickpocketing, manufacturing drugs.

Peer-to-Peer Abuse: In the past, the definition of abuse has been restricted to harm inflicted by an adult. However, abuse can and does occur within peer-to-peer relationships. Peer on peer abuse can include every type of harm stated above, including serious emotional, physical and sexual harm.

Child Data: Paper or electronic information containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) collected for our programmatic or operational purposes.

Personally Identifiable Information: Any information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person or to identify an individual in context.

Direct Contact with Children: Being in the physical presence of a child or children in the context of the organisation’s work, whether contact is occasional or regular, short or long term.

Indirect Contact with Children: Includes, but not limited to, having access to information on children in the context of the organisation’s work, such as children’s names, location (addresses of the individuals or projects), photographs and case studies. It also includes organisations, which fund direct work with children as well as organisations who may not fund direct work with children.

Informed Consent: Ensuring informed consent involves providing children with the facts, implications and future consequences of any actions affecting them. This should be done in a manner appropriate to the child’s age and understanding. This includes, but not restricted to, ensuring that children understand the ways that their personal information and/or photographs will ben used. Particular care needs to be taken when obtaining consent from children with disabilities to ensure their full understanding.

Guest: Any non- representative, non-employee invited into Child Awareness Project to visit programs or partake in an event sponsored by Child Awareness Project.

Public Communication: Dialogue in the public sphere to deliver a message to a specific audience. Speaking events, newspapers, editorials, advertisements, email and Social Media are a few forms of public communication .

Representative: Employees, Consultants, Volunteers, Interns, Board of Members, Partners and others who work with children on Child Awareness Project’s programs, or who have access to sensitive information about children in Child Awareness Project’s programs.

Social Media: Forms of electronic communication/content used to share information, comments, images, videos, comments and other content via a Social Network.


1) Every Child is loved, respected and treated equally regardless of race, caste, sex, religion, ethnicity or language.

2) All children’s rights as set out in the Constitution of India, laws of the land and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child must be respected, promoted and be the guiding principle of all our work.

3) Children have a right to be consulted on all decisions that affect them, they have their voice, and we encourage them to express it without any fear of consequences. Children’s participation is a core value of Child Awareness Project.

4) Child abuse is never acceptable and a commitment to children’s rights in general means a responsibility to safeguard one’s children, the children with whom Child Awareness Project is in direct/indirect contact.

5) Child Awareness Project is a secular organisation. It believes in secular values and principles as enshrined in the Constitution of India respecting all religion, community, language, ethnicity, gender and caste without any discrimination or favour. All representatives are bound to abide by and protect these values and principles and promote them among children.

6) The principles of participation, confidentiality, transparency, sensitivity and ownership are non-negotiable.


Child Awareness Project’s Child Safeguarding policy is a statement of intent that outlines the organisation’s commitment to safeguard children from harm and take action in the event of any harm caused to children. Through the implementation of this Child Safeguarding policy, Child Awareness Project is committed to safeguarding children through the following means:

Awareness: Ensuring all representatives, children and others are aware of what constitutes violence against children, the problems of child abuse and the risks to children; child protection laws and systems.

Prevention: Ensuring, through awareness and good practice that representatives, children and others can minimise the risks to children.

Reporting: Ensuring that representative’s and others are clear what steps to take where concerns arise regarding the safety of children.

Responding: Ensuring that action is taken promptly to support and protect children where concerns arise regarding possible abuse; and taking appropriate corrective action to prevent the recurrence of such activity.

To ensure our actions reflect our commitment, Child Awareness Project provides that:

• All representatives are fully aware of the safeguards, demonstrate the highest level of sensitivity towards child protection.

• It takes any concerns raised seriously.

• It takes positive steps to ensure that protection of children who are the subject of any concerns.

• It supports children, representatives or other adults who raise concerns or who are the subject of concerns.

• It acts appropriately and effectively in instigating or co-operating with any subsequent process of investigation.

• It is guided by the principle of ‘best interest of the child’.

• It listens to and takes the views and wishes of children seriously.

• It works in partnership with parents/caregivers and/or other professionals to ensure the protection of children.

A commitment binds all representatives of Child Awareness Project to the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India, laws of the land and Articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.


This policy shall apply to:

1) All staff of Child Awareness Project

2) All Members of the Board

3) Interns, volunteers and internal or external consultants who are appointed time to time for specific assignments and have to interact with children directly for carrying out their assigned tasks/ responsibilities.

4) Visitors, guests, media personnel, representatives of partner, researchers, national and international agencies.


All representatives shall follow the following DO’s and DONT’s: DO’s:

1. Ensure the participation of children in:

• Decision making

• Planning

• Implementation

• Evaluation

2. Consult children

3. Listen to children. Allow them to talk at their own pace.

4. Respect children.

5. Treat all children equally.

6. Maintain confidentiality.

7. Have a professional approach

8. Ensure an environment that is comfortable and free which encourages a child to talk to you on all issues.

9. While taking notes or recording a session, explain to the group of children what you are doing and how the information will be used.

10. Ensure that children are aware of their right not to participate or to withdraw from the activity at any time. Ensure a child that even after he/she has given consent to be interviewed/photographed/ filmed he/she or his/her legal guardian has the right to withdraw the consent.

11. While dealing with a child or a group of children if the situation becomes unbearable, immediately seek assistance from school/guardian/caregivers.


1. Do not act in ways that may be abusive or place children at risk of abuse

• Physical (violence)

• Emotional (verbal)

• Sexual

• Economic exploitation (where an adult personally benefits in any form from the child)

• Invite a child to your place of stay to do personal service/labour such as wash clothes, feed and/or cook food, fetch things from a shop etc.,

2. Do not be biased. Do not give undue importance to any single child.

3. Do not discuss personal issues in front of children.

4. Do not use uncivil, objective language even in informal conversations among yourself.

5. Do not use children to score a point/malign someone

6. Do not introduce or promote practices relating to social interaction and religion based on your personal preferences, beliefs or values.

7. Do not invite a child to your home, hotel, other accommodations or take a child to a restaurant or cinema.

8. Do not invite any visitors to meet any beneficiary children without the permission of Child Awareness Project authorities and of the respective jurisdictions of school/college/other organisation/children’s home etc.,

9. No visitors including all mentioned in sub-section III of this policy, shall interact, and meet any Child(ren) beneficiary without being accompanied by the staff of the respective school/college/other organisation/children’s home etc.,

10. Do not encourage or motivate any child/young person/group to take any action that will be detrimental to the organisation and its image for your vendetta.

11. Do not encourage or motivate any child/young person/group to take any action that will lead to communal and caste division and or to indulge in cooperative, ethical and caste violence.

12. Do not misuse your association with beneficiary children for personal gains within the organisation and outside.

13. Communication between adults and children on issues must not confuse or create a sense of insecurity.

14. Adult’s behaviour/actions/words should not create a negative impression of the concerned person(s) and the organisation per se. This is not an exhaustive or exclusive list.

Representatives must, at all times, avoid actions that could be construed to constitute poor practise or potentially abusive behaviour.

Representatives must never place themselves in a position where they are made vulnerable to allegations of misconduct.


1. No phone calls shall be made to a child (ren) or personal emails sent to a child/children. Personal or official mobile phone numbers, email IDs shall not be shared with children by the persons mentioned above.

2. No photographs shall be taken without the child and the parent’s/ guardian’s written approval/consent; In case the event is conducted in school/college/organisation/children’s home the written approval/consent shall be taken from the head of such institution.

3. The persons, as mentioned earlier, shall invite a child (ren) to their residence, Hotels, or take the child to a restaurant or cinema. Nor should the child (ren) be encouraged, persuaded to leave the city and accompany them to other locales. 4. All filming, photography by the organisation or outside agencies, individuals shall be permitted only with the written consent of the child, at least one of her/his parents/guardian, in the absence of parents/guardian written consent of institutional head should be taken. The purpose of the film and or photography shall be explained to the child, parents/guardians/institution and their approval has received before filming and or photoshoot.

5. All independent / commissioned filmmaker(s) will have to sign a separate child protection undertaking.

6. During filming or photo shoots, a child/children will not be asked to enact scenes or pose inappropriately. No filming or photo shoots will take place in locales that are dangerous such as railway tracks, or depict a scene, photo frame that is not factual but an exaggeration of the situation.


As a representative of Child Awareness Project, please be mindful when using your social media accounts. The Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct applies to both your personal and professional lives; all use of social media should be governed by the principles of respecting and protecting Children. To ensure that children are safe and represented with dignity and care.

The following guidelines have been developed:

1. Sensitive, Confidential or Internal Communications about Children: Discussing or sharing, via Public Communication , any sensitive, confidential or internal matters concerning Children, their data or Child Safeguarding violations is strictly prohibited.

2. Use of Social Media: It is not acceptable for Representatives to accept or make friend requests from/to any beneficiary who is a Child and/or has been or continues to be a recipient of services through Child Awareness Project. Similarly, making contact with a Child’s parents/guardian/caretaker to connect with a Child for reasons unrelated to Child Awareness Project is not allowed. Always exercise caution and professional judgement when communicating with an unknown social media request or a person you have reason to believe is under the age of 18.

3. Following children via Social Media: Where profiles are often public, you may want to follow a Child due to his/her public persona or relevancy to your work. This is acceptable as long as you have undertaken due diligence to ensure that this is appropriate and in alignment with this Policy and the Code of Conduct.

4. Communicating with Children: If part or all your work includes communicating with Children, this must be done via professional channels such as your work email address or an official social media account. Personal social media should never be used to conduct work activities, especially as it relates to communications with Children. If you have had to communicate with a Child through anything other than a Child Awareness Project account, your Marketing Department Head may be informed, and alternative means of communication arranged.

5. Public Profile: If your social media are in general settings, always remember that anyone, including Children, can view any content you generate.

6. Child Beneficiary Sends a Social Media Request: If a Child contacts you or sends a social media request to your account, consult with your Marketing Department Head for guidance and direction on how to proceed.

7. Posts and Blogging: If your social media or blogs are public and accessible to Children, specific beneficiaries through Child Awareness Project, you should be cautious with the information that you are sharing about yourself and loved ones, including images of your friends, family and Children (whether a beneficiary or not), and exercise caution and good judgement when posting pictures or videos of Children. If your blog is public and content contained therein refers to work that is performed on behalf or because of your association with Child Awareness Project, you are responsible for adhering to this Policy.

Photos, video, artwork or stories of beneficiary Children that have not been obtained with proper consent and for purposes of Child Awareness Project business cannot be used for personal accounts without permission from Marketing. If you see any inappropriate or indecent content, communication, images or video of Children online, please report this immediately to the social media’s reporting system. If you believe that any inappropriate or indecent content is connected to or implies a connection to Child Awareness Project, you must immediately report this to the Marketing Department Head of Child Awareness Project within one (1) business day.

All Representatives are required to report any suspected or known social media violations in the same manner as any other Child Safeguarding Policy violation. You are not expected to provide evidence or proof, but any that you may have should be included in your report. You are not to investigate the concern; however, you may take whatever action is necessary to ensure the safety of children involved.


In case abuse observed, the person in the scene can raise a complaint by sending an email to and any one of the core team members will attend to the same as soon as possible. For immediate action, please contact the CHILDLINE India Foundation and then the following steps will be taken-

1. First, establish what steps have been made to ensure the physical and psychological safety of the child and protect the child and others from further harm. This must be the paramount consideration.

2. If the incident is considered a severe breach of safeguarding protocols, the representative will be suspended. It will be clearly explained that this is not a presumption of guilt but a measure to protect the individual and all others involved.

3. The Core Team will examine the case and jointly decide on a course of action. 4. The Founder & CEO will conduct an initial assessment to clarify the facts and establish the level of concern to order to inform decisions about what actions needs need to be taken.

5. In serious charge of proven Sexual Abuse or Trafficking of Children, the organisation is mandated to report such cases to the appropriate authorities under the law.

6. If a criminal investigation is to be conducted, Child Awareness Project will participate fully in this process and will not hold its investigation.

7. The Child Awareness Project’s Core Team should be informed that an investigation is taking place, but they will not be provided with detailed information so that they can remain independent should an appeal process be necessary.

8. The Core Team will act as the point of contact for the suspended individual. Communication with other representatives or those associated with the organisation will not be permitted.


All representatives (volunteers, interns, visitors and any others) to whom this policy is applicable shall be provided with a briefing about this policy, and it shall be mandatory for them to read the provisions and endorse it by signing it. All documents in this regard will be electronically sent via email.


1. This policy shall be treated as an evolving document and shall be reviewed at least once in 3 years and amended if found necessary.

2. The Founder & CEO shall be the authority to issue this Policy and Monitor its implementations.

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