Welcome to my world of child protection today. In this world, I think just one thing, yet I think three things. I think the child, I think today and I think the future. The child’s name is today and the future of our world depends on the child.
Today, I seek to continue the 12 Attributes of a Child-Friendly Workplace. It is necessary for me to submit that when I talk about a child-friendly workplace, I talk about a workplace, which has in place a system within their system which promotes the best interest of the child. System here must have three components. The first is goal or set of goals, the second is interdependence and the third is balance. Executing child-focused Corporate Social Responsibility projects is not necessarily equal child friendliness. The interest of children must assume the status of internal system for you to be tagged child friendly. The truth is that if a workplace does not have internal system, which protects the best interest of the child, it cannot say it sponsors programs which promote children’s interest. The truth of the matter is that no person or organization can give what it does not have. It is also a fact of life that every person organization produces after its kind. Whatever we claim to produce, which is not traceable to who we really are will be christened nothing but deception and it will not stand the test of time.
Someone may be wondering, why do we need this information? Well, I think we need the information to create a safe world for the child. I believe that the foundation of such world can only be laid by enlightenment, built with enlightenment and sustained by enlightenment. Ignorance is the tool the power of darkness uses to keep people under their enslavement. Therefore ignorance must be resisted. The second reason for this information is to help employees of labour, who are either family people or who hope to have a family one day to know what to watch out for in deciding for a workplace. If a man or woman cares about his or her children and make them his or her number one priority, he or she will want to know whether the workplace he or she seeks to give his or her best to also have same corporate philosophy, which puts children first. Lastly, I want a situation, where Human Resource practitioners within the workplace will be armed with the facts necessary to create a child-friendly workplace and help them to lead a child-friendly workplace revolution.
With the foregoing in mind, permit me to share with you the 1st Attributes of a Child-Friendly Workplace: The existence of a child protection policy. A policy refers to the guiding principle or guidelines on a matter. It is important to note that everything, which is important to a workplace, is backed up with policies. The implication is that a matter on which there is a company policy has been taken away from the whims and caprices of individuals. A policy creates stability and put an end to argument. It creates standards of behaviour and backs it up with a sound system.
Please note that a child protection policy is not only meant to schools, child-focused Non-Governmental Organizations and the rest. It is my informed opinion that every organization must have a child protection policy. The only point of difference will be that the provisions of the child protection policy of schools and child-focused Non-Governmental Organizations will be different from that of other workplaces. The truth of the matter is that there are no two child protection policies that are the same. A child protection policy must take into consideration the peculiarities of the body from which it evolves.
The child protection policy of a workplace will address the perception of the workplace of the child. It will state clearly its position on child abuse and how they deal with a member of staff, who is involved in child abuse. The policy will address the issue of child labour. Would it employ an underage? Recently there was a case of children being used in cocoa farms, which supplies cocoa to chocolate companies in some developed countries. Underage here refers to anyone below 18. I have seen factories, which employ children in their thousands in many developing countries.
On a final note the child protection policy is the number one proof that a workplace is child friendly. I think I should sign out here. I urge you friends, Think the Child, Think Today, Think the Future. Have an INSPIRED day.