Child Protection

1. Purpose of Policy

Through the work of Atlassian Foundation International Limited (“AFIL”) and the programs and projects we support, we will interact with children. This policy sets out our commitment to the safety and well-being of all children and to zero tolerance of child abuse, and provides guidance to our personnel and project partners as to our principles and practices when engaging with children.

2. Scope of the Policy

This applies to all our personnel, including directors and Atlassian staff and all partner organisations involved in implementing our programs and projects.

3. Policy Principles

  • Any form of child abuse and exploitation is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • All children, everywhere, will be treated with respect regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, social status or political persuasion.
  • Compliance with all relevant Australian, international and local legislation, including the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child and labour laws in relation to child labour.

4. Policy in Practice

a) Training and risk management

We will take proactive steps to ensure:

  • All programs and projects that we support are child-safe and child-friendly and our project partners have appropriate child protection policies that are consistent with our policy principles.
  • Everyone to whom this policy applies is made aware of this policy and their responsibilities and is appropriately trained in child protection and how to reduce risks of harm to children and create child-safe environments.
  • All AFIL Directors and staff will have current working with children clearance and sign the Code of Conduct (appendix to this policy) before any interactions with children on behalf of AFIL and on international project visits.

b)  Visiting and interacting with children

We will always:

  • Respect cultural differences.
  • Respect the policies of our international partners when we visit them.
  • Maintain and promote a safe environment for children to participate in the programs of in-country partners.
  • Empower children, their families and communities to be knowledgeable about their rights, to know what is acceptable and unacceptable and to know what they can do when there are problems.
  • Engage in open communication between children, young people, parents, staff and volunteers and to have children and young people participate in the decisions that affect them.
  • Interact with children in such a way so as to facilitate transparency and accountability to other adults.
  • Appoint teams rather than individuals to work with unaccompanied children where feasible in the circumstances.
  • Refrain from using language or behaviour towards children that is demeaning, harassing, culturally inappropriate or sexually provocative.
  • Refrain from physical punishment or discipline of children in the course of rendering aid.
  • Not hire children for domestic tasks or other labour inappropriate for their developmental stage, which places them at risk of injury or prevents them from accessing education.
  • Never engage children in any form of sexual activity or acts.

c)  Responding to and reporting child protection concerns

We will always:

  • Take all concerns and reports of incidents and situations where the safety and wellbeing of any child is at risk seriously.
  • Immediately report to a Director of AFIL any actual or suspected concerns/allegations of child abuse.
  • All reports will be handled professionally, confidentially and expediently, with the rights and welfare of the child being of prime importance in how we handle every report.

d) Communication and use of children’s images

We will always:

  • Comply with local traditions and cultural expectations when photographing/filming children. Ensure all images are honest representations of the context and the facts.
  • Not use images in such a way as to reveal identifying information about the child.
  • Appropriately use technology around children, including computers, mobile phones, video and cameras, and never engage in exploitative, harassing or pornographic activities.
  • Ensure all images present children in a dignified and respectful manner, adequately clothed and not in sexually suggestive poses.

5. Policy Revision History

Initial Policy adopted by AFIL in September 2017.

6. Appendices

  • Child Protection Code of Conduct - to be signed and acknowledged by all AFIL and Atlassian staff before visiting children as part of an AFIL project or program.