Value Education Trust was formed by Dr. George Samuel in the year 1992, to enrich the values in lives of youth and children through the value-based education. Dr. George Samuel is a Nuclear Scientist by profession who started his career as a Scientific Officer at Bhaba Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai and later served as a Consultant at the World Health Organization (WHO). Since 1992, VET has been involved in imparting value-based education to teachers, students, and parents in Kerala and other parts of the Country. VET has imparted value-based education to about 60,000 teachers. Over 10,000 students and 5000 parents have also benefited from the training sessions. In 1999, Mrs. Anne Elizabeth Samuel, a Software Engineer by profession, was inducted as the Director of VET. Under her leadership, VET continued its mission of impacting students, teachers and parents through value-based education classes.
Value Education Trust believes and practices that Child protection, Safety and care is everyone’s responsibility. It is our obligation as matured individuals and as part of VET’s Commitment to take care of the emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual welfare of children in our care.
The CHILD PROTECTION Policy is strongly rooted in the VET’s vision, mission and values; the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); and the Child Protection laws of the Indian Government, including the Juvenile Justice Act among others.
The Value Education Trust (hereafter referred as VET) affirms that A child means every human being below the age of eighteen years of age unless under the law applicable to the age of majority is earlier. JJ Act 2015 Section 2(12) defines child as a person who has not completed eighteen years of age.
The use of physical force causing pain, but not wounds, as a means of discipline (includes spanking, rapping on the head and slapping).
Being in the physical presence of a child or children in the context of the organization’s work, whether contact is occasional or regular, short or long term.
A framework of principles, standards and guidelines to create a safe and positive environment for children that protects them from intentional and unintentional harm in any form.
Three-member committee shall be constituted by VET to investigate the complaints of child abuse and to report to the Management Committee. This committee will have not less than two female members and shall constitute as follows:
VET Management Committee shall consist of not less than five persons chosen by VET along with the Director to conduct the proceedings of complaints based on the report submitted by the IIC.
VET will work along with children, their parents and communities to ensure
The 4 enshrining principles of United Nations Convention on Rights of Child (UNCRC) adopted by the state of Kerala and are listed below will be the Guiding Principles to help VET in keeping the children safe and implement the policy.
These rights include Health, Nutrition and Shelter.
These rights include protection from all forms of child abuse, neglect, exploitation, discrimination, and cruelty including the right to special protection in special conditions.
These rights include leisure and recreation, cultural activities and a right to standard of living that is adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
These articles cover the rights of child to express his/her view in all matters affecting that child, in keeping with her evolving capacities.
Be ready to be involved in social activities to meet human needs and alleviate suffering.
Those who receive training from VET should be motivated to serve by responding to the people around them. They should be willing to do the best for the needy considering it as their duty as a citizen of the country without expecting any gain in return. The students are motivated to develop a mindset that will sacrificially contribute to the needs around them, leaving their comfort zones. In the process of doing what you can when you can, they are encouraged to partner with other entities (individuals or organisations) who possess the means and resources to find adequate solutions in a particular context. The basic precept is that if we turn a blind eye to the social needs of people around us, let us not be surprised if they turn a deaf ear to what we preach..
Get involved in moving a people living in conditions contrary to divine purposes into a condition of existence in which they can enjoy life in all its fullness.
The services rendered by our students should result in the betterment of the society. VET desires to see those who are trained under its wings to be self-reliant in all their pursuits. This should also be reflected in the rise of their standard of life and of their families. Their contributions should also spread to their colleagues in their workplace and add value to the organisation they serve. It is also very important that the benefits of their services should trickle down into the society and thereby result in the upliftment of the society as a whole.
Practice and promote a balanced attitude towards the use and management of resources.
The students should be equipped to harness their skills and talents by exercising responsible stewardship of resources. They should be able to acquire the know-how of choosing ustainable methods, preserving not only the dignity of people but also the life sustaining capacity of the earth. The training programme itself should focus in developing the students to become stewards of the skills they acquire from VET.
The image earned by fulfilling responsibilities promptly and thoroughly with reliability and sincerity.
Even as students are equipped with skills, the objective of VET is to help them reflect credibility in their life and work by what they are and what they do. VET realizes that their future services will hinge on the testimony they bear among their beneficiaries as well as their employers.
Make progress in work and character in spite of difficulties and adversities.
Doing the right thing in the right way at the right time is a key element in providing services to the society. In a competition driven society such as ours, the students should not feel enticed to take short cuts or apply wrong means, rather persevere to work with patience and uphold good values while attempting to accomplish their tasks. It is also VET’s commitment that the students be equipped to overcome adversities and difficulties in life and work, with perseverance.
Value Education Trust makes every effort to comply with the guidelines prescribed by the acts and rules listed below:
The Value Education Trust – Child Protection Policy applies to staff at all the levels – in office, in field or at the regional offices, Board Members, Donors, volunteers, Parents / local committees, instructors, students, interns, vendors, hostels, schools, representatives of Partner Organizations/Institutions and more particularly to Children below 18 years, young adults, Counsellors, Employees. This policy applies wherever camps, retreats, Special trainings, tuition centers, volunteer trainings and other trainings are conducted by VET or wherever the staff /volunteers Lawyers, Auditors and other Professionals, Visitors (all visitors to the VET), etc. attend as trainers.
Each person is responsible for having a thorough knowledge of this policy and the procedures set out below, acting in accordance with this policy and complying with the Value Education Trust Child Protection Code of Conduct.
Breach of this policy or the Child Protection Code of Conduct constitutes an act of misconduct and becomes the ground for disciplinary action and/or termination of employment for the staff of VET.
Value Education Trust – makes efforts to follow the guidelines prescribed in The Juvenile Justice Act section 3 which lays down General Principles of Care and Protection of Children which are as listed below:
Any child shall be presumed to be innocent of any malafide or criminal intent up to the age of eighteen years.
All human beings shall be treated with equal dignity and rights.
Every child shall have a right to be heard and to participate in all processes and decisions affecting his/her interest and the child‘s views shall be taken into consideration with due regard to the age and maturity of the child.
All decisions regarding the child shall be based on the primary consideration that they are in the best interest of the child and to help the child to develop full potential.
The primary responsibility of care, nurture and protection of the child shall be that of the biological family or adoptive or foster parents as the case may be.
All measures shall be taken to ensure that the child is safe and is not subjected to any harm, abuse or maltreatment while in contact with the care and protection system, and thereafter.
All resources are to be mobilized including those of family and community, for promoting the well-being, facilitating development of identity and providing an inclusive and enabling environment, to reduce vulnerabilities of children and the need for intervention under this Act. The term positive measures include the avenues for health, education, relationships, livelihoods, leisure, creativity and play.
Adversarial or accusatory words are not to be used in the processes pertaining to a child.
No waiver of any of the right of the child is permissible or valid, whether sought by the child or person acting on behalf of the child, or a Board or a Committee and any non-exercise of a fundamental right shall not amount to waiver.
There shall be no discrimination against a child on any grounds including sex, caste, ethnicity, place of birth, disability, health, status, race, religion, cultural practices, work, activity or behaviour of the child in conflict with law or that of her parents or guardians, or the civil and political status of the child. This principle also includes that equality of access, opportunity and treatment shall be provided to every child.
Every child shall have a right to protection of his/her privacy and confidentiality, by all means and throughout the judicial process. In other words, no report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or audio-visual media or other forms of communication regarding any inquiry or investigation or judicial procedure, shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particular, which may lead to the identification of a child in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection or a child victim or witness of a crime.
Basic procedural standards of fairness shall be adhered to, including the right to a fair hearing, rule against bias and the right to review, by all persons or bodies, acting in a judicial capacity.
‘Child Abuse’ 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)
Physical abuse of a child is that which results in actual or potential physical harm from an interaction or lack of interaction, which is reasonably within the control of a parent or person in a position of responsibility, power or trust. There may be single or repeated incidents (WHO, 1999).
Child sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he/she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent or that violates the laws or special taboos of society.
Child sexual abuse is evidenced by an activity between a child and adult or another child who by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the ulterior needs of the other person. This may include but is not limited to the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity; the exploitative use of a child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; the exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
Emotional abuse includes the failure to provide a developmentally appropriate,
supportive environment, including the availability of a primary attachment figure, so that the child can develop a stable and full run of emotional and social competencies commensurate with her or his personal potential, and in the context the society in which the child dwells.
There may also be acts towards the child that cause or have a high probability of causing harm to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. These acts must be reasonably within the control of the parent or person in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power. Acts includes restriction of movement, patterns of belittling, denigrating, scapegoating, corrupting threatening, scaring, discriminating, ridiculing, bullying, humiliating (e.g. asking potentially embarrassing questions,
demanding potentially embarrassing actions)or other non- physical forms of hostile or rejecting treatment (WHO 1999).
Neglect is the failure to provide for the development of the child in all spheres: health, education, emotional development, nutrition, shelter, and safe living conditions, in the context of resources reasonably available to the family or caretakers and causes or has a high probability of causing harm to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. This includes the failure to properly supervise and protect children from harm as inattention/omission of care and failing to ensure a safe environment (leaving dangerous things within reach of a child, such as medication, arms, etc.) much as is feasible (WHO, 1999).
Exploitation of a child refers to use of the child in work or other activities for the benefit of others. This includes, but is not limited to, child labour and child prostitution. Child labour is defined as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development”..
It refers to work that:
This occurs when a child deliberately cuts or harms themselves, often as a result of overwhelming emotional stress. While it is not usually an attempt at suicide, many who self-harm, are more likely to attempt suicide at some time. If a child who is self-harming is not already receiving support, then VET is advised to refer the child–usually through their family in the first instance-to appropriate help. Where the family resists the referral, VET is advised to refer the child to the relevant authorities.
Both adults and children are potential abusers of children.
Abusers seek to access children through sport, leisure and residential work and so.
Value Education Trust commits itself to take all the efforts to implement the CPP in safeguarding children/young adults by the following means:
Ensure that all staff, volunteers and others to whom this policy apply are aware of the issues relating to child abuse and the risks to children/young people.
Take measures to prevent by creating awareness and personal and professional conduct, that staff and others make efforts in reducing the risk to children/young people.
Ensure that staff and others follow the procedure laid down in CPP and abide by the mandatory reporting where concerns arise regarding the safety of children/young people.
Ensure that action is taken, without denying procedural fairness principles to the accused, to support and protect children/young people where
concerns arise regarding possible abuse. In order that the above standards of reporting and responding are met, Value Education Trust will ensure that it:
As VET expresses the loving heart of God and the passion of the founder Dr.George Samuel, we are called on to care for and respect children on all VET activities. Therefore, VET will take steps to ensure that:
VET expect sits leaders to uphold high standards of conduct toward children and toward one another, consistent with their position as positive role models and friendship-builders.
VET leaders will agree to high standards of behaviour towards children and will:
All communication-such as stories, articles and images–must protect the dignity and privacy of children.
VET expects all guest to be in modest dress. VET feels more comfortable if guests avoid wearing shorts or very short skirts and plunging necklines. Long skirts and loose tops are best.
VET activities create fun and adventure for children. At the same time, we are committed to practices that keep all children safe from potential danger. Therefore, it is our responsibility to know the risks attached to any activity and to make appropriate decisions about managing those risks. Our obligation is to implement high standards of preparation and care in all activities.
This means that in all activities, VET will take steps to ensure that:
VET expects its leaders, staff, volunteers and others to uphold high standards of safety in any activity involving children, consistent with their position as guardians in the absence of parents or caregivers.VET Leaders agree that they will:
Healthy relationships are the foundation of VET activities. Nevertheless, we are aware that there are those who might seek to use VET activities to exploit children. To minimize this possibility, Value Education Trust will commit to these careful guidelines in the recruitment of its staff and volunteers:
It is ultimately the responsibility of the VET Board to make sure that a Child Protection policy, appropriate to their context and including the minimum standards set out in this guideline, is adopted and implemented within their movement. This will include:
Value Education Trust has developed this policy and adopted a Child Protection Policy based on the minimum standards prescribed by the Indian government. VET’s CPP policy shall be modified whenever there is a change and amendments that may be implemented by the government.
Value Education Trust shall take all the measures in developing the strategy that will involve:
Beyond the adoption and implementation of a CPP policy, VET should ensure on-going monitoring for compliance, as well as a regular strengthening of their Child Protection Safety and Care capacity in a planned and systematic way.
In particular this will involve:
Child abuse is distressing for all concerned and it is often difficult to accept that it may have occurred. Failure to do something may result in a child continuing to be abused and/or exploited and on occasions may even result in serious repercussions for the child. Usually, the abuser is someone close to the victim and whom the child has trusted. To ensure that VET commitment to safeguarding the children and promoting their rights is upheld, it is essential that anyone connected with VET who suspects or knows of abuse, both minor and major incidents, raises their concerns in line with the process identified within this policy. The principle of ‘best interest’ of the child and the desire to secure the best outcomes for the child should always govern decisions regarding what action to take in response to concerns.
All allegations, beliefs or suspicions of policy non-compliance or breach of code, sexual, physical or emotional abuse, exploitation, or neglect (past or present) by Value Education Trust staff member, volunteer, consultant, donor, partner or board member to be reported immediately to the CEO/Director. Appropriate professional advice will be sought. Incident reporting of breaches of the code, policy noncompliance, abuse or exploitation is compulsory.
A child/young person reporting an incident must be taken seriously and listened to carefully. Once an allegation is made there should be an immediate response that protects the child/young person from further potential abuse or victimisation. The family of the child/young person victim should be informed of the allegation and action proposed and they should be consulted where possible as to the process to be followed.
When concerns arise, all parties will be directed through a formal complaints process by the Director, or any senior leader duly designated by the Board. Such person may consult with legal counsel and/or police authorities where appropriate and steer the investigation process accordingly within one week (including Saturday and Sunday) but not exceeding 10 days. In the event that the CPP Code of Conduct is broken, Value Education Trust will pursue disciplinary action and/or termination of employment.
Additionally, allegations and charges of child abuse and exploitation will be immediately reported to relevant partners and donors.
Disclosure of abuse may come directly from the child. In such circumstances, it is important to respond in a calm, caring and supportive manner. The child is never to blame in situations of abuse and should be reassured that they have done nothing wrong, either in relation to the abuse itself or in reporting it. Children need to know that you are listening and taking seriously the information that they divulge and that you will respond positively to ensure their future protection.
It is important to record what is said – at the time if appropriate, or as soon as possible following the disclosure. It may not be appropriate to enquire into the details of the abuse at this stage. It is important to listen and respond positively to the child and be supportive without asking leading questions. The child also needs information and an explanation of what will, or is likely to, happen next.
If the incidents are of low risk, the IIC would follow the laid-out procedures in handling the case. IIC shall be accountable in the best interests of fair play
and justice to ensure impartiality and neutrality during validation and investigation of complaints. Right of appeal is ensured.
The VET Board of Trustees has the final responsibility for the implementation of the Child Protection Policy and for the adherence to the policy and practiced across VET.
The best interests of the child/young person may warrant the standing down of the alleged perpetrator during an investigation. A person who has stood down will receive full pay and is entitled to a just process that does not presuppose guilt or innocence. The allegations should not be discussed or communicated to any person outside the process until a final outcome is known. The reasons for a decision to enforce that a person stands down must be fully documented.
Value Education Trust will not tolerate any form of coercion, intimidation, reprisal or retaliation against any staff member, volunteer, or consultant who reports any form of abuse or exploitation, provides any information or other assistance in an investigation.
The Protection of Children from Sexual offences Act 2012 section 5 (e) considers any sexual abuse/assault as aggravated penetrative sexual assault committed by a person in a position of trust or authority of child i.e. whoever being on the management or staff of a hospital, whether government or private commits penetrative assault. Section 5(f) defines about the whoever being on the management or staff of an educational institution or religious institutions, commits penetrative sexual abuse on a child in that institution. Rigorous imprisonment is imposed if a person in convicted. The recent amendment of 2019 to POSCO Act has approved the maximum punishment of death penalty. When allegations of possible abuse may be made against individuals working within VET/ volunteers and visitors or any other personnel of VET.
If a child discloses any kind of abuse (relating to home, school, VET) to any member of VET, there are certain procedures that must be followed by all involved:
Document the incident as soon as possible (within a period of 24 hours of the disclosure), the person receiving the disclosure must fully document the allegation, including the time, place, witnesses on the Incident Report. This report will be used as the basis for investigation and possibly used in court if charges are forthcoming. The person responsible for reporting this information should refrain from taking notes in front of the child who is disclosing.
Where a VET leader at a VET activity/event is accused of anything other than
a minor issue:
The Director or a senior person designated by the Director must be involved from the beginning. In-depth interviews should not be conducted until all legal requirements are known and specialist help is sought. Where the Director is the person who is the subject of the allegation, the Chair of the VET Board will take responsibility for proceeding with the case. Where it is observed that a child appears to have symptoms of serious neglect, the Director or a senior person designated by the Director is advised to refer this to relevant respected authorities.
Thorough investigation is made by the IIC, the enquiry to be conducted in fair and transparent manner without being biased. After the thorough investigation, complaint has to be lodged with the local police station. While lodging a complaint the below process has to be kept in mind.
Maintaining confidentiality is of paramount importance. In responding to issues and concerns regarding possible abuse, staff and others must exercise extreme vigilance in protecting information and only pass on information to those who need to be involved via the specified reporting process.
While technology and online connection can be an effective tool for social organisation, certain checks and balances are needed to ensure all participants are kept safe. The online environment can be particularly susceptible to the grooming and exploitation of children. As our organisation works closely with children and young people, relationships and trust are developed. This requires us to plan and implement good policies and procedures to mitigate against these additional risks. VET considers any national regulations on digital safety and data protection and comply with any requirements that may protect children.
Child safety online is applicable wherever information and communication technologies are involved. This includes:
This could cover online activities, such as: online camping, virtual meetings, connecting with small groups, broadcasting a program, training and schools’ groups.
Guidelines for safe practices online:
This policy will be reviewed as often as required to take into consideration the legal, social, educational, financial and any other developments. A committee consisting of 3-5 members shall be constituted under the leadership of the Director which will go through the content of the policy and offer its recommendations for amendments to be approved finally by the VET Board of Trustees. The staff, volunteers, Board Members, etc. shall be sufficiently oriented on the changes.
|Physical abuse||External injuries like ruptured ear drum, concussions on head, black eyes, wounds, cuts, bruises and fractures||Corporal punishments, hard labour,kicking||Slapping, twisting ears, canning, sit-ups, kneeling and hair pulling|
|Internal injuries requiring doctors attention, death||Bullying among children||Depriving a meal|
|Sexual abuse||Rape,forced to have lesbian relationship, exposure to pornography, penetrative sexual assault and sexual abuse, publishing or threatening to publish morphed photos or abusive statements in the social media||Touching a child inappropriately, use of obscene language vulgar dressing and gestures, seeking favours over social media, soliciting friendship in social media||Make any physical gestures in a manner that appears to be inappropriate, frequent calling, texting, unsolicited offers|
|Emotional abuse||Isolation, denying medical attention, depriving recreation||Belittling, bullying by adult|
Low risk: Matter to be resolved appropriately by the IIC.
Medium risk: Issue to be resolved appropriately through a task group and preventive measures to be in place to reduce the risk becoming high. Disciplinary actions if needed are to be enforced.
High risk: Complaint to be validated, investigation launched and recommendations leading to legal action as per the law.
The Child Protection Officer
|Source of complaint||Complaint box/phone/post/ oral(identify…..)/ anonymous/other……….|
|Date & time of violation|
|Witness if any (adults & children)|
|Details of the CP violation|
|Who allegedly carried out the violation||Yes/No|
|Is it the first time you have observed such a violation|
|If No, provide details of earlier violations|
VET maintains a culture of honesty, trust, transparency, justice and neutrality while dealing with allegations and ensure that staff will not misuse this form to make baseless allegations. If you choose to divulge your identity, confidentiality is assured. Each reported violation will be investigated thoroughly with impartiality.
Name of the complainant (optional)