Vulnerable Women & Child Protection Policy in English
Precious Women Organization evolved from the desire of one woman, Solida Seng, to help young women working in KBB establishments (karaoke bars and beer gardens) in Phnom Penh to choose a better life. Solida was moved by the plight of these young women who were often coerced into having sex with the male customers for additional tips, because they were struggling to meet the financial needs of their families.
From 2008-2010, Solida was working with Chab Dai in Cambodia and visited many different areas of the country. When she went to Toul Kork she came face to face with the reality of the sex industry, as many women in prostitution live and work in this area. “Working as a prostitute is not easy and it is not my wish, but I have no choice as I am very poor. I have no education, and no home. I am never happy, and I don’t have any dignity in this life. I don’t feel like I can talk to other people, even my family. People say that I am ugly, lazy, and crazy because I chose to work in this job. They never try to understand what has happened in my life.”
In February 2010, Solida and her friends came together to pray about how they could help these women. She knew that if she was going to make a difference she would need the help of a willing team of volunteers, so she set to work contacting other people who could help her. Precious Women was born!
To see all exploited women working in Cambodia’s entertainment industry
live and work with dignity, equality and hope.
To empower women to improve their lives and work in environment free from
sexual and economic exploitation.
– All women were created unique and equal by God.
– All women have the same value in the society.
– All women shall be protected and supported.
– All Women are precious!
1. To build relationship and encourage women who are able to make choice
about starting new life to free from exploitation. To encourage the women
whose lives have been transformed and are chose to do so to build
relationships with those still working in KBB.
2. To provide counseling service to promote value, positive thinking and selfworth
to the women
3. To mobilize churches in Cambodia to do outreach with the women and raise
awareness to churches on women rights, value and dignity.
4. To Refer women to do vocational training and help them to provide jobs
5. To raise awareness of women’s rights to the KBB’ s owners and customers
and promoting value and dignity
Precious Women is an organization that believes in the holistic care of vulnerable women and children. We recognize our responsibility to protect the safety and wellbeing of all vulnerable women and children, based on a biblical framework that every women and children is created unique, is important, and thus has the right to protection and receive dignity. We support the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Therefore, we are committed to acting against any intentional or unintentional abuse or harm, as defined by this policy. The Vulnerable Women and Child Protection Policy are for anyone who works or volunteers with Precious Women. The purposes of this policy are:
- To protect vulnerable women and children within the context of community from abuse and exploitation.
- To protect Precious Women staff, volunteers, advisory boards and our clients from false accusations and allegations.
- To protect Precious Women’s name and reputation as an organization.
“A woman is defined as any female above 18 years old and a child is any person under 18 years old”.
I.STATEMENT OF BELIEF & COMMITMENT
- Precious Women believes in the innate value of ALL women and children, irrespective of race, social background, age, gender, skin color, ability, physical condition, religion and/or beliefs. Precious Women believes in every human and child’s right to protection, right to growth and development, and right of respect and dignity.
- Precious Women opposes ALL forms of women and child exploitation and abuse, including physical abuse, mental/emotional abuse, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, and neglect as bellow:
- Physical Abuse: Actual or likely physical injury, or failure to prevent physical injury, or suffering to a woman or child including deliberate hitting, torturing, beating, shaking, throwing, burning, suffocating or poisoning.
- Mental/Emotional Abuse: Actual or likely severe adverse effect on the emotional and behavioral development of a woman or children including persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection. May involve words and/or behavior that convey to the woman or child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate and cause the woman or child to feel frightened, in danger and/or corrupted.
- Neglect: The persistent or severe neglect of a woman or child, or the failure to protect a woman or child from exposure to any kind of danger including failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the woman or child’s development.
- Sexual Abuse: Actual or likely exploitation of a woman or child, representing the involvement of woman or children in sexual activities which they may not be to give informed consent or that violate social taboos or family rules, such as touching a woman or child’s genitals, forcing a woman or child to watch or take part in pornography or coercing the woman or child to have sex. In the case of a child it is considered abuse whether or not the child consents even family members can’t be touched in public or private.
- Spiritual Abuse: The misuse of power, authority and/or trust by a spiritual leader, or someone in a position of spiritual power or authority (whether organization, institution, church or family), with the intention of controlling, coercing, manipulating, or dominating a woman or child. The misuse of power within a framework of spiritual belief or practice, in order to meet the needs of the abuser (or enhance his or her position) at the expense of the needs of the woman or child. This can result in spiritual harm to a woman or child and can be linked to other abuse, such as physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
- Precious Women is committed to upholding the rights of the woman and children as described by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Precious Women believes that keeping silent is wrong if it is known that a described is being abused or exploited.
- Precious Women is committed to the belief that woman and children have the right to speak and be heard. Therefore, where possible and appropriate, woman and children’s voices will be included as stakeholders in research, and in other relevant reports/evaluations.
- Precious Women is committed to upholding and promoting local and international laws that actively seeks to improve the rights of woman and children. We will seek to work with Government authorities to enforce laws where appropriate.
- There may be situations that arise in order to respect privacy and confidentiality. Staff may be required to meet with a woman and children on a one-to-one basis (ie. counseling). In such cases, please refer to Appendix for guidance notes which are designed to protect the safety of both the client and the staff member.
II.IMPLEMENTATION OF VUNLNERABLE WOMEN AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
- All Precious Women staff, volunteers and board members must read and sign Vulnerable Women and Child Protection Policy before beginning any form of work (whether paid or unpaid).
- If all new staff, volunteers and board members of Precious Women not yet to understand about it, please check it with Director or Head of Department.
- Training of this policy will be provided and read through by all staff and volunteers of Precious Women every six months.
III.CODE OF CONDUCT
All Precious Women staff, volunteers, board members and visitors in contact with woman, children and communities must strictly follow the thirteen (13) protocols below. Breaking protocols will lead to disciplinary action.
- Any visitor must stay with the staff member throughout the visit and should not wander off alone anywhere without him/her.
- Staff and visitors must never be alone with clients apart from counselors and social workers. Doors where counseling is conducted will be modified to make them have glass panels. If a client requests to meet the staff member in a public place e/g/ café then they can but the staff member would normally request the client to meet in the Centre. Training with clients is normally done in a public space
- Staff and visitors must be appropriately and culturally sensitive in all interactions with clients. When unsure of boundaries of appropriate behavior, they should seek immediate guidance from a staff member.
- Staff and visitors must dress modestly and appropriately.
- Staff and visitors must demonstrate compassion in their actions and speech. Visitors should not ask clients about their former lives, or say anything that would cause them to feel shame.
- Staff and visitors should not touch, hug or kiss any clients in their interactions with them. Physical contact with the clients is only permissible if it is initiated by the client and is limited to holding hands and light hugs.
- Visitors must never ask any client for their personal addresses and/or phone numbers, nor share their personal contact information with clients.
- Visitors should not photograph, video, or collect stories of clients. NO Camera/use of mobile phones policy will be strictly in place during the visit to avoid any potential abuse using photos on social media. The only exception is where the Director has authorized someone to take photos for publicity material but all of these photos require signed/fingerprint permission from clients. No individual photos will be taken unless from an angle where their face cannot be seen or they are identifiable.
- Must not give money or gifts to clients unless prior consent has been given by PW. If a visitor wishes to give a cash donation, they can give their donation to the Founder/ Executive Director or Operation Director or Outreach Program Coordinator during the visit.
- No visitors are allowed to enter PW premises without prior permission from the PW staff, and all visitors must sign the visitor policy. All visitors must sign, including Cambodian visitors. If the guard is not available to facilitate signing, one of the staff members must do so.
- If a visitor wishes to attend outreach with the PW outreach team, they must first have prior consent from the Director, and he/she must read and sign the Outreach Manual.
- Must keep any weapon outside the Precious Women’s building or at our security’s place.
- Precious Women keeps right to check to any person seems suspicion.
IV.RESPONSES TO ALLEGATIONS
- Precious Women staff, volunteers and board members will be encouraged to be open in discussing the potential of abuse within the organization. If they hear of an allegation of or suspects a case of abuse, it is their responsibility to report it.
- Where an allegation has been made that a Precious Women staff, volunteer, visitor or board member has abused a woman or a child, Precious Women will take the appropriate action to deal with the situation.
- Where there is an allegation, first inform the Director. If the Director is the subject of the allegation, the one heard about the allegation against the Director has to inform the Ministry Board.
- The allegation will be kept confidential with only those directly involved having the appropriate information.
- All details reported will be entered on a Precious Women Reporting Form and filed confidentially.
- Precious Women staff, volunteers, and board members found to be breaking the circle of confidentiality will have disciplinary action taken against them, according to the references in the Internal Rule Manual.
- All investigations will be kept confidential and take place under external legal advice and counsel.
- Relationships with legal organizations will be encouraged for accountability and support in times of following an allegation.
- The reporter, victim and alleged perpetrator will be treated with respect from the start of the process until the case is closed.
- Precious Women will not dismiss a person’s accusation of abuse without appropriate investigation, no matter of the alleged perpetrators position or the reputation of the woman or child.
- Precious Women will confer with other social service organizations in a case where the woman or child involved requires extra protection.
- Records will be made of all facts relating to the investigation and allegation, and these will be filed confidentially by the Director.
- If a foreigner is involved, the relevant Embassy will be informed.
- If a staff or volunteer is involved, they will be temporarily relieved of their duties until the investigation is complete.
- Precious Women will designate someone to deal with the media and the police if necessary. Consideration will be made before hand by the Board of Director about how the police and media will be informed/involved.
- External counseling will be provided for the victim and/or the accused, if necessary.
- Precious Women will produce a final report detailing the facts of the case, action taken and recommendations and submit this to the relevant stakeholders.
V.MEDIA & COMMUNICATION
- Precious Women recognizes that the Internet is increasingly being used by those seeking to abuse children, and that photographs are often doctored to re-exploit children. No staff, volunteers, or board members can display pictures of children or women in brothels or in vulnerable situations on any blog, Facebook (or any social networking site), website, email, or printed publication.
- Photos and/or videos portraying sexual exploitation and/or abuse must NOT identify any women or child, even if those shown have not been sexually exploited.
- Natural censorship of any women or child is required for every photo and/or video. Blurred eyes are NOT to be used as a means of censorship because children can still be identified through this methodology.
VI.DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT
Is it needs to be signed by all Precious Women staff, volunteers and board members. Signees will keep this policy for their own reference, and a signed copy will be kept on file for reference. I declare that:
I have read and understand the Precious Women Child Protection Policy. I will work within the procedures and protocols as laid out in Precious Women’s Child Protection Policy. I have not been accused or convicted of any offense involving physical or sexual abuse of children or women people. I understand that if a complaint is brought against me regarding the abuse of children while engaged in Precious Women activities, the allegation will be thoroughly investigated in cooperation with the appropriate authorities. I understand that breaking any of the protocols and expectations outlined in this policy may lead to disciplinary and/or legal action, which many include termination of position.
This policy updates the second time on May 16, 2018, instead of the first approved, and we will update every two years, or after an incident.
Seng Solida (Founder/Executive Director) SIGNATURE: __________________DATE: _____________
Un Sreysoar (Chair Advisory Board) SIGNATURE: ______________________DATE:_____________
STAFF NAME: ______________________________POSITION:________________________________
SIGNATURE: ______________________________ DATE: ____________________________________
Contact information for Reporting Abuse or for more information:
Seng Solida: firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn Miles: email@example.com
Un Sreysoar: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mara Kong: email@example.com