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The vision of PADI is to create a safe, supportive and responsive society that upholds the protection rights and dignity of every child in India (as defined by the law). This is to be achieved by establishing effective prevention and early intervention measures, strengthening treatment support services and building partnerships. We do this by engaging with all sectors of society upon whom the well being of children depends, in initiatives that will bring about these changes.


Definition of Child according to CRC:

A child means every human being below the age of 18 years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier

1.1 PADI is committed to the rights and welfare of children in India and opposes all forms of child abuse, especially child sexual abuse and exploitation

1.2PADI is committed to upholding the law on child rights and welfare, as outlined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and various legal statutes of   the prevailing law in India

UN Article 19:

No one should hurt you in any way. Adults should make sure that you are protected from abuse, violence and neglect. Even your parents have no right to hurt you.

UN Article 34:

You have the right to be protected from sexual abuse. This means that nobody can do anything to your body that you do not want them to do, such as touching you or taking pictures of you or making you say things that you don’t want to say.

1.3  PADI believes that all children have a right to protection from abuse irrespective of race, social background, age, gender, skin color, disability, religion, caste or beliefs.

1.4  PADI believes that child abuse and exploitation is not acceptable in any form. Keeping silent and inaction is also wrong, if it is known that a child is being abused or exploited.

1.5. PADI believes in the importance of child protection, so that not only are children protected from abuse by PADI committee (or board of directors) members, staff, donors, and volunteers, but also that preventative measures can be made to protect the name of PADI staff, and the PADI’s own integrity.

1.6  PADI believes that children have the right to participation through any form of expression (in accordance with their evolving capacities) and be heard. Therefore where possible children will also be included as stakeholders and in research and other relevant reports/evaluations.

1.7  All committee (or board of directors) members, staff, and volunteers agree to this policy. It will be evaluated and reviewed every year by PADI and the Board based on experience and evolving circumstances and law.


2.1.1  Physical Abuse: Actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury, or suffering, to a child, including deliberate or non-accidental hitting, beating, shaking, throwing, burning, drowning, suffocating or poisoning, drugging, any form of corporal punishment.

2.1.2.  Mental/Emotional Abuse: Actual or likely severe adverse effect on the emotional and behavioral development of a child caused by persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection. May involve conveying to the child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate and cause children to feel frightened, in danger and corrupted.

2.1.3  Physical and emotional abuse may occur even when a parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child. It may however have been the result of physical or emotional over discipline or punishment which is inappropriate to the age of the child.

2.1.4 Neglect: The persistent or severe neglect of a child or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including severe weather conditions and starvation, or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the child’s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive.

The various aspects of neglect can be further detailed as below:  The failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional. Physical neglect can include not providing adequate food or clothing, appropriate medical care, supervision, or proper weather protection (heat or cold). It may include abandonment. Educational neglect includes failure to provide appropriate schooling or special educational needs, allowing excessive truancies. Psychological neglect includes the lack of any emotional support and love, never attending to the child, spousal abuse, drug and alcohol abuse including allowing the child to participate in drug and alcohol use.

2.1.5  Sexual Abuse: Actual or likely exploitation of a child, representing the involvement of dependent, developmentally immature children in sexual activities they do not truly comprehend, to which they are unable to give informed consent or that violate social taboos or family rules, such as but not limited to touching a child’s genitals, forcing a child to watch or take part in pornography or coercing the child to have sex. It is considered abuse whether or not the child consents.

 Sexual exploitation is the exchanging of money or other economic favors in return for sex.

The abuser is often an adult but can be a child as well.

Child Sexual Abuse Includes-

  • An adult exposing his/her genitals to a child or persuading the child to do the same
  • An adult touching/ fondling a child’s genitals or making the child touch the adult’s genitalia.
  • An adult involving a child in pornography which includes exposing a child to pornographic material
  • An adult having  oral, vaginal or anal intercourse with a child
  • Any verbal or other sexual suggestion made to a child by adult
  • An adult persuading children to engage in sexual activity

Above points are some examples but sexual abuse is not limited to these points. To be considered child abuse these acts have to be committed by a person responsible for the care of a child or related to the child. If a stranger commits these acts, it would be considered sexual assault. It is considered abuse whether or not the child consents. Sexual exploitation is the exchanging of money or other economic favors in return for sex.


3.1  PADI expects all its partner organizations (committee members, staff, volunteers, patrons, and visitors) to give respect and dignity to all children associated with the work of PADI, as well as children within the personal lives of those individuals connected to PADI.

3.2  PADI committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors with direct contact with projects and children must sign a statement to say that they have read the policy, will respect and abide by it and understand that action will be taken in cases where behavior is not in accordance to the policy.  This will lead to disciplinary action and possible job loss for staff or dismissal of committee members or volunteers who break these protocols.

3.3 Permission will be required from authorized persons PADI, for volunteers and external visitors to take photographs or video footage of children. Authorization should be sought from the Director/Committee and strict regulations will be implemented on the nature of how photographs are taken. These photographs and/or video will not be used for any other purpose outside PADI without prior permission. It is advisable to take the consent of the children and share the pictures with them to the extent possible.

3.4  Committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors must never be alone with children who are not their own offspring in a private place that cannot be readily seen by other responsible adults.

3.5  Where possible and practical, the ‘two – adult’ rule, wherein two or more adults supervise all activities where minors or children are involved and are present at all times, should be followed. If this is not possible, PADI staff members are encouraged to look for alternatives such as being accompanied by community members on visits to children.

3.6  PADI committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors will not discipline a child in a way that is against the Convention on the Rights of the ChildThis effectively means no tolerance to any form of violence against the child.

3.7  PADI committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors need to be aware that they may work with children who, because of the circumstances and abuses they have experienced, may use a relationship to obtain “special attention”. The adult is always considered responsible even if a child behaves seductively. Adults should avoid being placed in a compromising or vulnerable position.

3.8  Inappropriate behavior toward children, including failure to follow PADI Behavior Protocols or sexual abuse of a child is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment, volunteer/internship or board /advisory council membership.

3.9  PADI committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors must be concerned about perception and appearance in their language, actions and relationships with minors and children. PADI committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors should maintain a high standard of behavior/character in presence of children. (Example: should not use any unacceptable language in the presence of a child)

3.10  PADI committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors dress appropriately and culturally sensitive when they visit children, families, communities and programs or work with children.

3.11  Inexperienced PADI staff and volunteers should not try to handle children with complicating problems. (Example: children who have been sexually abused). These children should be directed to PADI a team or professionals with the consultation of the responsible officers.

3.12  PADI committee members, staff and volunteers should seek to live up to the PADI Mission Statement and Core Values in all relationship with others in any circumstances.


  • PADI committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors will be carefully and properly screened during their recruitment period, including obtaining a police check where possible or necessary.
  • PADI committee members, staff and volunteers will be carefully and properly screened during their recruitment period which includes signing to agree to the Child Protection Policy and stating that there have been no previous convictions for abuse against children, violent behavior or improper and unlawful conduct.
  • PADI will ensure that all the references of approved local candidates for work are checked, preferably by telephone, and recorded in the staff files before the new staff member is invited to take the position. This will include a verbal and written request to the referee of whether they have any concerns as to why the candidate should be employed to work with children.
  • PADI staff, volunteers and visitors agree to inform the Director/Committee Member immediately if new information arises that casts doubt on the team member’s trustworthiness with children. Such information would be treated as confidential and disclosed to the individual team member for appropriate action.
  • Individuals who are hired as independent contractors are notified of PADI’s Policy and Required Standards for Child Protection and are made aware that they are expected to follow behavior protocols set out below.
  • In the best interests of children, organizations must not hire anyone with a prior conviction for child abuse, pedophilia or related offences. In the event that local law prohibits this broad hiring rule, no person with a conviction for child abuse, paedophilia or related offences may be hired into any position which includes direct access to children. PADI reserves the right not to hire an applicant if the background check reveals that the person is not suitable to work with children.

4.1.  PADI committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors will be encouraged to be open in discussing the potential of abuse within the organization, including during the mandatory annual child protection training.

4.2  Where an allegation has been made that any of PADI committee member, staff, volunteer or visitors has abused a child, PADI will take the appropriate action to deal with the situation.

4.2.1.  Where there is an allegation, first inform the Director. If the Director is the subject of the allegation, a Committee (or board of directors) member must be informed.

4.2.2. The allegation will be kept confidential, with only those directly involved having the appropriate information.

4.2.3.  All details will be entered on the PADI Allegation form and filed confidentially.

4.2.4.  PADI committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors found to be widening the circle of confidentiality will have disciplinary action taken against them according to the rules of the sending agency. Committee members and staff will receive a written warning.

4.2.5.  Any investigations will be kept confidential and take place under external advice and counsel.

4.2.6.  Relationships with child welfare and legal organizations should be encouraged for accountability and support in times following an allegation.

4.2.7.  Both child and alleged perpetrator will be treated with respect from the start of the process to the end.

4.2.8.  PADI will not dismiss a child’s accusation of abuse without appropriate investigation, no matter who the alleged perpetrator is.

4.2.9.  PADI will confer with other organizations in a case where the child involved requires extra protection.

4.2.10.  Records will be made of all facts related to the investigation and allegation, and these will be carefully and confidentially filed by the Committee. (Refer to allegation forms)

4.2.11. If a foreigner is involved, the relevant Embassy will be informed.

4.2.12.  PADI will designate someone to deal with the media and the police if necessary. Consideration will be made beforehand by the Committee about how the police and media will be informed/involved.


 5.1.  In order to facilitate the reporting, investigation and follow-through of all cases, PADI will set up formal or informal support systems of related professionals and authority within their community. That is, relationships will be maintained with local police, government or non-government social services, doctors, lawyers, social workers, and teachers. All individuals should be encouraged to attend the PADI annual child protection training sessions, as both participants as well as providers of information related to their community and particular service.

5.2.  Whenever a staff of PADI has a reasonable cause to believe that a child, regardless of whether served by PADI, is being abused, that staff must report within 48 hours to the Director, who will report immediately to local authority utilizing the same Allegation form of 5.2.10.

5.3.  Procedures from all points of 5.2 will be followed, assuring the safety of the alleged victim and all children within the community.


6.1.  PADI recognizes that the world-wide web is increasingly being used by those seeking to abuse children, and that photographs are doctored to create further abuse of children. Therefore, PADI will only post pictures of groups of children on its website, and not individuals. It will never display pictures of children in brothels or in vulnerable situations.

6.2.  Where photographs of children are used, PADI will take special care to protect children’s identities and specific geographic location in all materials.

6.3   Disclosure of information about past or present abuse of children and any of the persons involved should be limited to only the people who need to know.

6.4  Communications about children should use pictures that are decent and respectful, not presenting them as victims. Children should be adequately clothed and poses that could be interpreted as sexually suggestive should be avoided. Language that implies a relationship of power should also be avoided.

6.5  Individuals or organizations requesting the use of PADI resources such as videos or photographs should be required to sign an agreement with the appropriate PADI entity as to the proper use of such materials. The agreement should include a statement that any use of such materials for purposes other than what is agreed upon could subject the borrowing individual or organization to legal action. Furthermore, failure to adhere to the agreed upon use of the material will result in the immediate termination of PADI’s permission to use the subject materials and/or require immediate return of all materials provided by PADI as well as any copies of such materials.

6.6  Private correspondence with individual children by volunteers is discouraged. When reasonable ground exists, all correspondence with a child by the PADI volunteers is reviewed for inappropriate or suggestive comments, requests or obscenities. In the event of inappropriate correspondence being discovered, PADI reserves the right to sever the volunteer relationship.


 7.1  PADI will implement training to ensure that all committee members, staff, volunteers and visitors understand the content of this Child Protection Policy before signing their commitment. This training will be provided as mandatory participation by all new member and staff, and local support team members. The scope  of the training will include but not limit itself to Definitions of child abuse, characteristics, causes, handling of disclosure, reporting systems, laws, local multi-disciplinary specific measures open to PADI.

7.2  PADI will be committed to the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of child protection procedures and behavior protocols. Annual staff evaluations will include the items of active listening, activities and behavior that empower clients, assertiveness when advocating for a client, and basic knowledge on child protection issues.

7.3.  Once a year there will be an opportunity for all members, staff and volunteers to partake in a self appraisal and peer appraisal to monitor the behavior of each.

7.4  Should there be any concerns, these should be raised with the Director/ Committee.

8.  DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT: To be signed by all PADI committee (board of directors) members, staff, volunteer visitors and partner organizations.  A copy will be kept on file in the PADI office.


There is a need to address both the practical and strategic needs of women in the work place. The current situation is such that there is inequity in the participation of men and women in major decision making areas. Women do not enjoy equal status in terms of making choices on issues affecting them.


Objectives of Gender Policy:

  • To explicitly state the organizational commitment towards gender
  • To provide a direction towards building gender related agenda
  • To provide a framework for effectively integrating gender concerns into the organizational agenda and policy domain
  • To create equal opportunities and a conducive environment for women and men at work place
  • To promote equal representation and participation of women in decision making at the professional/ programmatic and administrative levels.

At Organizational level: 

A. Staff composition/representation

  • Recruiting adequate women staff and ensuring the balance also at senior levels; with an objective of achieving a numerical gender balance in all posts at all levels.
  • Ensuring equal opportunities among male and female staff for personal growth, in promotion benefits, training and working conditions
  • Ensuring equitable representation and participation of men and women in the core group, Board of trustees and in various functional committees of the organization.

B.  Workplace

  • Providing a safe and secure workplace for women staff, free from sexual harassment with a Gender Complaints committee to look into specific concerns.
  • Providing an enabling and friendly work environment where both men and women enjoy and actively participate in work. This includes providing flexible working hours and allowing working from home, wherever possible
  • Extending work related concessions and relaxations for women staff depending upon the situations and requirements; e.g. providing secure transport facilities when they work late hours; giving relaxation over travel time for the next day for those in the field; ensuring security measures along with minimum basic facilities for women staff travelling in the field.
  • Reviewing the organizational structure, functioning, problems in relation to gender imbalances among staff and the work environment time to time and taking definite steps to address the same
  • Strategic orientation to staff in the field based programs and advocacy initiatives towards increasing women’s access, control and ownership over the natural resources.

Placing Gender in existing committees:

  • A woman employee who has put in 3 months of service after confirmation shall be entitled for 3 months of Maternity Leave on full pay and under probation, she will be eligible for leave without pay for the same length of period.
  • Men employees when their spouses have children shall be entitled for 30 days of leave either immediately after child birth or fifteen days before child birth and fifteen days after child birth for primary parenting and child nurturing. In case of miscarriage / abortion, women staff can avail 2 weeks of Maternity Leave with full pay and spouses are entitled for one week’s leave.
  • Making efforts to develop infrastructure for childcare facilities in the office premises in order to ensure that the parents can bring their children in circumstances in which the child cannot be taken.

 In the field –

  • Furthering deliberate and intense efforts to promote participation of women and their collectives in various aspects of natural resource management.
  • Facilitating participation and even representation of women in various institutional structures created for the management of natural resources like committees, user groups etc.
  • Analysis of gender disaggregated roles and work patterns, and make special efforts to reduce the work load of women
  • Extending constant orientation of field-level partners on gender perspectives in NRM as part of long-term gender goals like formal recognition of women’s rights over resources like land, assets etc.
  • Ensuring equal wages to equal work for both men and women in the works as part of the programs, where PADI is directly or indirectly involved either as an anchor of the program or as a facilitating support service provider.
  • Making special efforts to constantly identify vulnerable women and provide them the necessary support and guidance.
  • Sensitizing the men and mobilizing their support towards gender balance
  • Building awareness and sensitivity by processing information and publishing communication material in diverse media to appeal different strata of people in our functional domain

C)     Staff capacity building

  • Facilitating staff capacity building processes and trainings to enhance perspectives and conceptual clarity on Gender issues (for all the staff members). It will be an important component of the induction programme
  • Ensuring that all trainings (internal and external) facilitated by the organization are gender-sensitive.- a) training content/methodology/mode of facilitation b) logistics part -time/location of venue/crèche facilities/other logistics/first-aid kit
  • Conducting Gender trainings for both men and women; and ensuring participation of women in all the field level meetings and trainings

D)     Organizational policies and systems

  • Making all HR systems and policies gender-sensitive and responsive, and integrating gender indicators into staff performance appraisal systems.
  • Incorporating and explicitly mentioning gender sensitivity as an essential element in the tasks/job profiles in all terms of reference, including TORs for external consultants.
  • Ensuring that the conceptual clarity and sensitivity on gender issues will be one of the important selection criteria in recruitment processes and capacity building efforts of staff
  • Initiating and building the advocacy around gender balance and making efforts to integrate gender concerns into the scaling up and mainstream developmental programs

E)     Staff benefits

  • Following all statutory requirements related to maternity and paternity leaves.
  • Ensuring that staff access to and use of information technology is gender equitable

Arrangements should be made for recording all information and open access for reviewing the performance of tasks mentioned at organizational level regularly in different forums from staff meetings to Annual meetings.


  • PADI would proactively make several efforts in promoting gender concerns in the work with partners i.e. RCs and Federation It involves extending support to RCs and Federation in organizing training programs, conducting gender studies, preparing resource material, providing documentation support etc.
  • PADI would extend support to RCs and the Federation in developing their own gender policies, strategies and programs
  • Sharing Gender reports with our network members and other organizations and also facilitating similar process within the other organizations to promote gender sensitivity
  • Associating with networks and organisations working on this agenda.
  • Supporting and expressing solidarity with RCs and Federation at field level in taking up issues of discrimination or harassment against women

HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy

Every workplace should develop an HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy, to ensure that employees affected by HIV/AIDS are not unfairly discriminated against in employment policies and practices. It also contributes to the lessening of stigma and ignorance surrounding the disease, and the promotion of a healthy work environment.


  • HIV positive employees will be governed by the same con-tractual obligations as all other employees.
  • HIV/AIDS education and awareness training will be made available to all employees.
  • Pre and post test counselling services will be provided for employees wishing to be tested or for those who are infected with the virus.
  • PADI will ensure that where necessary/ appropriate, affected employees and their colleagues receive appropriate advice and guidance should such a colleague wish to disclose their status.
  • The project will also ensure that affected employees are referred to appropriate professionals for e.g. medical and or counselling service.
  • Consultation with affected employees in managing their illness will also be ensured.


Persons with HIV or AIDS have the legal right to confidentiality and privacy concerning their health and HIV status. Under no circumstances will employees be obliged to disclose their HIV status.

Where an employee chooses to voluntarily disclose his/her HIV status to the employer, this information may not be disclosed to any other party without the employees expressed consent.

All medical information regarding employees with HIV/AIDS will be kept strictly confidential, expect where required by law to be disclosed to specified people or / with the consent of the employee.

Should any person within PADI disclose such confidential medical information, without legal authority or relevant consent from the employee, appropriate disciplinary action will be instituted?

Non- discrimination

HIV/ AIDS is a disease that shows no racial, gender, or classes boundaries, PADI believes that person with the HIV or AIDS must be treated on a similar basis to any other employee suffering from a life threatening disease. As such, employees who are HIV positive or those with AIDS will not be subjected to any form of victimisation or discrimination.

PADI is committed to fair, sound and non- discrimination employment practice, employees who developed choose to disclose, or are diagnosed as HIV / AIDS positive will not be prejudiced, victimised or discriminated against on account of their medical condition of status. The presence of HIV/AIDS does not justify termination of employment, demotion, or discrimination in employment. The compulsory of service including person / provident funds, medical aid, stated benefits, sick leaves,  training and development would continue, as amended from time to time. Employees living with HIV/AIDS, have the same rights and obligation as all staff.


PADI acknowledges that employees with HIV/ AIDS as well as other life threatening disease may sometimes need continued therapeutic assistance in order to continue performing their duties. PADI commits itself to assisting employees wherever possible and necessary. Thus employees who are aware that they have a life threatening diseases are encouraged to inform the organisation as soon as possible to enable the organisation to assist. This information will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. No employee will be victimised or discriminated against. All situation(s) will be handled in accordance to the organisation’s Policy.


The diagnosis of HIV status is confidential. Should an employee wish to disclose to the organisation that he/she is HIV positive, appropriate counselling through the organisation’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) service will be offered?


Once an employee disease starts to impact on his / her ability to perform his/ her duties of attendance, the normal incapacity procedures will apply.


It is not possible for colleagues of an HIV positive employee to become infected though normal contact in the work place. Educational programmes in the workplace informing employees of the facts of AIDS should encourage the appropriate attitudes in this regard. Unless the HIV positive employee is acting in an inappropriate manner, it is not acceptable for colleagues to refuse to work with that person.

Should an employee, after reassurance and with all appropriate safety and health precautions being taken and supplied by the organisation, remain unwilling to work with the HIV positive employee and this refusal affects productivity, he/she will be warned that his/her reaction is unreasonable, medically unjustified and that disciplinary action may be taken against him/her.

Any colleague of an HIV positive employee who embarks on any form of discrimination towards that particular employee may be subjected to the organisation’s disciplinary procedure.


To be signed by all PADI committee (board of directors) members, staff, volunteer visitors (Field Practice Students) and partner organizations.  A copy will be kept on file in the PADI office.




        I____________________________________________________________Student of 

        _______________________________________________________College,  declare that

  1. I have read and understand the PADI Child Protection Policy and Work Place Policy and abide to its rules & regulations.
  1. I will work within the procedure as laid out in the PADI Child Protection Policy and Work Place Policy.
  1. I have not been accused or convicted of any offence involving physical or sexual abuse of children or young people.
  1. I understand that if a complaint is brought against me regarding the abuse of children or violation of this policy while engaged in PADI activities, the allegation will be thoroughly investigated in cooperation with the appropriate authorities.
  1. I will agree to follow the field work curriculum of Organisation.


Signature    :           _____________________

Date         :           _____________________




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