Effective safeguarding is fundamental to Fern’s work. Disrespectful behaviour undermines our credibility and integrity. We are therefore committed to demonstrating accountability in every aspect of our work and to creating and maintaining a safe and ethical working environment for our staff and partners as well as to ensuring exemplary professional behaviour towards the people we work with and for. Fern staff are expected to comply with ethical guidelines outlined in our House Rules including against embezzlement, corruption and fraud.

Our organisation strives to maintain a working atmosphere which prevents all forms of harassment, exploitation and abuse, including sexual, emotional and physical. The organisation and our staff are committed to dealing justly with any misconduct against Fern staff, partner staff or third parties.

We expect the conduct of our staff and partners to be consistent with our values and standards. This means treating all people with dignity and respect and challenging any form of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, exploitation or abuse. Harassment, exploitation, abuse and corruptions constitute acts of gross misconduct, and will therefore be grounds for termination of employment or partnership.

With regards to defining sexual misconduct, Fern as an organisation and all its staff and partners are committed to applying the following core safeguarding commitments during on duty and off duty hours:

  • Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority, or age of consent locally.
  • Any exchange of employment, goods or services for sex is prohibited.
  • Any sexual relationship between those providing assistance and protection, and a person benefiting from such assistance and protection involving abusive use of power is prohibited.

Staff are expected to create and maintain an environment which prevents sexual exploitation and abuse and promotes the implementation of these commitments. Whenever Fern staff or partners develop concerns regarding any of the above commitments, they must report such concerns via established reporting mechanisms.

If you feel that Fern or our partners are not delivering on these commitments, or you are concerned about any aspect of Fern’s work, you can report these to our dedicated safeguarding email address: complaints@fern.org. Our safeguarding leads will treat your disclosure with strict confidentiality and ensure appropriate follow-up actions.

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