Ghana Rural Integrated Development (GRID) works to alleviate poverty in Northern Ghana. Motivated By Christ’s love, our mission is to assist poor communities to meet their basic need in a sustainable manner. We believe that every human being is uniquely created and is inherently precious because of that. We are committed to the spiritual, mental, and physical well-being of each individual regardless of their age, sex, ethnicity, or ability.
This policy defines GRIDs commitment to the protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) of vulnerable adults, children and youth involving GRID Employees, Partner Organizations and Related Personnel. In recognition of the special vulnerability of children and youth, this policy also affirms GRIDs commitment to the welfare and protection from sexual exploitation and all forms of abuse of children, involving GRID Employees and Related Personnel.
Vulnerable adults, children and youth everywhere are at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse that devalues them and diminishes their well-being, both in the present and in the future. GRID has zero tolerance for any form of sexual exploitation, abuse. We acknowledge that we have a responsibility to promote the gender-responsive protection of vulnerable adults, children and youth; especially those with whom we work or have contact with. GRID would take seriously any concerns or complaints about sexual exploitation and abuse involving GRID Employees, initiate a rigorous investigation of complaints that indicate a possible violation of this policy, and take appropriate disciplinary action as needed.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that:
- everyone who works for and with us is able to meet their responsibilities of safeguarding vulnerable adults, children and youth from sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and violence and to interact with them positively in alignment with our mission and values;
- we have in place procedures to prevent and deal with behaviour of our staff, associates, and visitors that result in sexual exploitation, abuse or violence against a vulnerable adult, child or young person or places them at risk of the same;
This policy applies to all employees, volunteers, or anyone representing our organization. This policy governs conduct in the workplace as well as off-premises situations with a relationship to the workplace or that affect the workplace.
1.4.1 Value of vulnerable adults, children and youth
Each person is valuable. We take very seriously our responsibility that we as an organization, and anyone who represents us, does not in any way harm or abuse vulnerable adults, children and youth, or put them at risk of the same.
1.4.2 Promote safety
We promote practices and interventions that respect all vulnerable persons including children and youth. We will identify risks, including gender-based risks, to vulnerable adults, children and youth we are in contact with and put in place appropriate measures to protect them.
We will respond to all vulnerable adults, children or young people who may be in need of protection or support. Their welfare and best interests will be of paramount consideration at all times.
1.4.2 Create a safe culture
We will ensure that all who work with and for us understand their responsibilities and roles in safeguarding vulnerable adults, children and youth. We will take action to prevent anyone who may pose a risk to children from becoming involved with us. We will take appropriate action against any employee, volunteer or visitor who perpetrates an act of violence against a child.
Child or youth: Globally children are identified as persons under the age of 18. UNICEF defines youth as those ages 15-24, whereas adolescents are those aged 10–19.
Sexual abuse: Actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. All sexual activity with a child is considered as sexual abuse.
Sexual exploitation: 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 exploitation of another.
Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA): The term used by the United Nations and non-governmental community to refer to measures taken to protect vulnerable people from sexual exploitation and abuse by their own staff and associated personnel.
The term “GRID Employees, Partner Organizations or Related Personnel” includes all employees of GRID and all of GRID’s Affiliates and partners. The term also includes board members, volunteers, interns, and international and local consultants, in addition to individual and corporate contractors of these entities and related personnel. This includes non-GRID entities and their employees and individuals who have entered into partnership, sub-grant or sub-recipient agreements with GRID.
Vulnerable Adult: A person who is 18 years of age or over, and who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself, or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.
1.6 INVESTIGATING AND RESPONDING TO INCIDENTS OF ABUSE
We will investigate any breach of this policy quickly and thoroughly. Anyone who is determined to have violated this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures, up to and including termination as employee. If the violation is criminal in nature, we will refer the incident to local law enforcement.
If it is established that false allegations of abuse were made knowingly and intentionally, corrective action will be taken against the person making the allegations.
Actions taken outside of working hours or outside of GRIDs purview that contradict this policy are considered a violation of the policy, and appropriate corrective action will be taken.
1.7 ROLES AND RESPONSBILITIES
All Staff, Associates, and Visitors shall:
- commit and contribute to an environment where vulnerable adults, children and youth feel respected, supported, safe and protected.
- never act or behave in a manner that results in sexual exploitation, sexual abuse or violence against a vulnerable adult, child or young person or places a vulnerable adult’s child or young person at risk of violence.
All Staff shall:
- comply with this policy, including signing and adhering to the Prevention of Sexual Abuse, Exploitation and Violence (PSEA) Code of Conduct (below);
- report and respond to safeguarding concerns and breaches of the policy.
Managers shall ensure that:
- Staff under their supervision have signed and are adhering to the PSEA Code of Conduct.
- Associates and Visitors are aware of the PSEA Code of Conduct standards that are applicable for their role.
 Globally children are identified as persons under the age of 18. UNICEF defines youth as those ages 15-24, whereas adolescents are those aged 10–19.
 “Gender-responsive” means that we are aware that boys and girls have different risks and vulnerabilities because of their sex. It is important that we consider those differences as we seek to make all children and youth safe.
 Law Commission – Who Decides?: Making decisions on behalf of mentally incapacitated adults 1997
 An Associate is any contracted paid or non-paid individual who has committed to work with GRID. It includes board members, volunteers (including community volunteers), interns, sponsors, researchers, donors, consultants, contractors, staff and/or representatives of partner organizations and the local government.