Safeguarding Children and Adults

Everything World Vision does is focused on one goal: the sustained wellbeing of children, especially the most vulnerable.

Central to everything we do is our commitment to first do no harm to children or adult beneficiaries, to respect the rights of all beneficiaries, and to uphold the best interests of children as a primary consideration in all actions and decisions. World Vision safeguards children and vulnerable adults; and upholds children’s rights to survival, development, protection, and participation as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

We take our responsibility to protect those we work with seriously. We have extensive Safeguarding policies and protocols in place to safeguard children and communities. World Vision’s Child and Adult Safeguarding Policy affirms our commitment to the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and their protection from abuse and exploitation. We condemn all forms of exploitation or abuse of children or adults, and have a zero-tolerance policy of incidents of violence, especially against children. 

All World Vision New Zealand staff, board members, volunteers, contractors, and field visitors have passed police background checks, including a criminal conviction background clearance; and must sign the World Vision Child and Adult Safeguarding policy, committing to preventing harm to children and adults.

Safe programming
World Vision offices around the world are actively involved in protecting children and adults in the communities in which they work. 

To ensure we are delivering safe programmes, World Vision works in partnership with:
  • Communities: To provide clean drinking water, nutrition, and primary health services that protect children and adults from preventable diseases and provide early treatment of illness.
  • Children: To empower children by promoting and encouraging their ability to participate and engage in decisions that affect them.
  • The most vulnerable children, adults and their families: Such as boys and girls involved in being exploited through child labour, those who survive war and conflict, survivors of abuse and neglect, and those who suffer from the effects of harmful traditional practices.
  • Other Non-governmental Organisations, United Nations Agencies: To establish a united voice on issues that affect children and vulnerable adults and to learn from one another about safeguarding best practice, programmes and interventions. World Vision advocates with governments and opinion leaders for policies, laws, and practices that strengthen the protection of children.
Behaviour protocols
All World Vision New Zealand staff, board members, volunteers, contractors, and field visitors adhere to safeguarding behaviour protocols, including but not limited to:
  • Create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and abuse of children and adults.
  • Ensure all physical and online contact with children and adult beneficiaries is appropriate in the local culture.
  • Use positive, non-violent methods to manage children’s behaviour.
  • Comply with digital safeguarding policies when handling individuals’ information.
  • Report any suspected breach or incident and comply with any investigation.
  • Do not seek or conduct a sexual relationship with anyone under 18 or any beneficiary.
  • Do not sexually exploit or abuse any beneficiary.
  • Do not exchange cash, goods or employment for sex, including hiring sex workers.
  • Do not inappropriately touch any beneficiary.
  • Do not hire children in any form of child labour.
  • Do not communicate with a child through social media without parental consent.
Non-compliance with any of these behaviour protocols is taken seriously, and any allegations will be investigated by the World Vision New Zealand Safeguarding Committee.

Visiting Sponsored Children or other World Vision projects
We encourage sponsors to visit their Sponsored Child and welcome requests from supporters to visit other World Vision projects. 

All visits to field projects must be pre-arranged through the New Zealand office of World Vision at least three months before a visit. Due to safety issues, and to minimise the impact on programming work it is not possible to accommodate unscheduled or ‘last-minute’ visits and travel dates will depend on programming activities. 

Before any visit:
  • A police background check will be completed for all visitors.
  • All visitors must sign the World Vision Child and Adult Safeguarding policy.
  • World Vision will ensure all visitors receive appropriate information before travelling including; personal safety, guidelines for safe interaction with children and adult beneficiaries; and all relevant cultural considerations. 
During the visit:
  • All visitors will be accompanied by a World Vision staff member.
  • All visitors must adhere to the behaviour protocols detailed in the World Vision Child and Adult Safeguarding policy.
  • All visitors must adhere to culturally appropriate behaviour, including their speech, and dress.
We appreciate your support and understanding of protecting the safety of your Sponsored Child. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the care and protection of your Sponsored Children or other children in a World Vision project, you can confidentially talk with our Supporter Care Manager on or 0800 800 776. 

Keeping children safe online
We are fully committed to making communications with your Sponsored Child as enjoyable and efficient as possible. Our priority is to ensure the safety and privacy of you and your Sponsored Child; because of this, we do discourage you from contacting your Sponsored Child using technology like social media sites. 

If you would like to share information or updates about your Sponsored Child online, we ask that you adhere to these posting guidelines to keep your Sponsored Child safe:
  • Please do not publish identifying or private information about the child (e.g. the name of the location where he or she lives).
  • Only use the first name of your Sponsored Child.
  • Do not post your Sponsored Child’s ID number.
  • Ensure that the photos you post are appropriate and that your Sponsored Child is adequately clothed.
  • Photos should not be geotagged and wherever possible, measures should be taken to prevent electronic copying of photographs.
Making a complaint
We take all expressions of dissatisfaction by supporters, donors, partners, government agencies, other NGOs and external bodies very seriously. If you would like to report any issue of a serious nature, regarding the conduct of World Vision New Zealand or its employees; including, but not limited to: dishonesty, fraud or corruption, bribery or suspected terrorist engagement or involvement, illegal acts or unethical actions; please use the anonymous and confidential 'Whistleblower hotline' hosted on EthicsPoint's secure servers. All investigations are treated confidentially. 

Any complaints made to World Vision New Zealand can be made verbally or in writing, but verbal complaints will be logged and recorded. Any person may lodge a complaint with World Vision New Zealand over any matter which World Vision New Zealand has control over. Our policies ensure investigations are conducted promptly and fairly.