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Safeguarding Policy and Procedure

Cool Earth believes that a child, young person or adult should never experience abuse of any kind. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.

This document sets out our policy and procedures relating to safeguarding. If you have any concerns or would like to discuss our policy. please contact us.

ABOUT THIS POLICY

The aim of this policy is to keep children and vulnerable adults safe by providing a framework to ensure a safe environment for them, whilst contributing to the prevention of harm or abuse and the protection of those individuals who are identified as suffering or likely to suffer harm from any such risk to their safety, health or well-being, whether at work, at home or in the wider community.

This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers, interns, or anyone working on behalf or in the name of Cool Earth.

Cool Earth believes that a child, young person or adult should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children, young people and adults and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.

LEGAL FRAMEWORK

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance, namely:

  • Children Act 1989
  • United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Children Act 2004
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice: 0 to 25 years – Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities; HM Government 2014
  • Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers; HM Government 2015
  • Working together to safeguarding children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; HM Government 2015

SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT

Cool Earth will ensure that:

  • the safety and well-being of children, young people and adults are paramount in all areas of its operations, including safeguarding our staff and raising their awareness, to safeguard themselves and others.
  • all children and adults, regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and or sexual identity can exercise their right to protection from harm or abuse when engaged in Cool Earth related activity or settings
  • all suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately, with due regard to appropriate levels of privacy and the dignity of those concerned.
  • all staff will be made aware of key safeguarding principles/practice through appropriate training and are required to report any disclosures, concerns or allegations in line with our procedures.
  •  we work in a proactive partnership with other key statutory and voluntary sector organisations to share information and good practice to improve safeguarding within our communities.
  •  we adhere to any statutory responsibilities placed upon us.

CONTACT DETAILS

Designated Safeguarding Officer: Hannah Peck – [email protected]

Director: Matthew Owen – [email protected]

Trustee Lead: Baroness Jenkin of Kennington

 

Procedures for dealing with incidents, allegations or suspicious of abuse and procedures for reporting concerns

If an individual is alerted to concerns or receives an allegation of abuse regarding another individual working for or with Cool Earth they should report this immediately to the designated member of staff. They should not investigate concerns or allegations of abuse, but should report them immediately to the designated member of staff.

Abuse may be a single incident or something that occurs over a long period of time. It can take many forms including, but not limited to:

  • financial or material abuse
  • physical abuse
  • mental abuse
  • neglect and failures to act
  • sexual abuse
  • threats of abuse or harm
  • controlling or intimidating conduct
  • self-neglect
  • domestic abuse
  • poor practices within an organisation providing care
  • modern slavery

 

Modern Slavery

Different countries use different legal terminologies, but “modern slavery” includes the crimes of human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices such as servitude, forced labour, forced or servile marriage, the sale and exploitation of children, and debt bondage.

Although that still exists, modern slavery is less about people owning other people but more about being exploited and completely controlled by someone else, without being able to leave:

  • Forced labour– any work or services which people are forced to do against their will or through coercion, or under the threat of some form of punishment (mental or physical)
  • Debt bondage or bonded labour – this is the world’s most widespread form of slavery, when people borrow money they cannot repay and are required to work to pay off the debt, then losing control over the conditions of both their employment and the debt.
  • Human trafficking– involves transporting, recruiting or harbouring people for the purpose of exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion.
  • Descent-based slavery– where people are born into slavery because their ancestors were captured and enslaved; they remain in slavery by descent.
  • Child slavery– many people often confuse child slavery with child labour, but it is much worse. Whilst child labour is harmful for children and hinders their education and development, child slavery occurs when a child is exploited for someone else’s gain. It can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
  • Forced and early marriage– when someone is married against their will and cannot leave the marriage. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.

Modern slavery can affect people of any age, gender or race. However, most commonly, slavery affects people and communities who are vulnerable to being taken advantage of.

It can be someone living in poverty and having no real prospects for a decent job, who will accept a good sounding offer of a job abroad that turns out something else than what was promised.

It can be someone from a community heavily discriminated against, such as Dalits in India, who will have to borrow money for medical treatment from a wealthy farmer, and will fall into debt bondage for decades with no hope of help from corrupted authorities.

Or it might be a young girl who happens to live in a society where early marriage is completely acceptable, who will have no choice over marrying an older man.

Or it might be someone who happens to be born to a mother coming from a ‘slave’ cast, literally owned by their masters from the day they are born.

Slavery is also more likely to occur where the rule of law is weaker and corruption is rife. It can also happen to groups of people who are not protected by the law, for example, migrants whose visa status is irregular are easy to blackmail with deportation.

Many people think that slavery happens only overseas, in developing countries. In fact, no country is free from modern slavery, even Britain. The Government estimates that there are tens of thousands of people in modern slavery in the UK.

 

If an individual is informed by a child or vulnerable adult about possible abuse or receives a disclosure of issues which indicated potential abuse, they should:

  • Listen carefully and stay calm
  • Not interview the child or adult, but question normally and without pressure, in order to be sure that they understand what the child or vulnerable adult is telling them;
  • Not put words into the child’s or adult’s mouth;
  • Reassure the child or adult that by telling them they have done the right thing;
  • Inform the child or adult that they must pass the information on, but that only those that need to know about it will be told;
  • Inform them of to whom they will report the matter;
  • Note the main points carefully;
  • Make a detailed note of the date, time, place, what they said, did and their questions

The designated member of staff will contact the relevant authority to establish whether the case requires further investigation and at what level.

Confidentiality

All individuals covered by this policy must be mindful, and remain mindful, of the importance of ensuring that confidentiality is, where possible, maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only.

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