Purpose and scope of the Policy
- Purpose and scope of the Policy
The Vilnius Institute for Advanced Studies endeavors to provide a safe and supportive environment for all staff, volunteers, clients and visitors to the Institute. The Institute recognizes that there are a number of circumstances in which children and young people may come onto the Institute premises or otherwise come into contact with Institute staff or volunteers. The Institute endeavors to provide a safe environment for children and young people (i.e. those under the age of 18), to ensure that members of the Institute – staff and volunteers – do not put children at risk of harm and abuse, and to report any concerns about children’s safety to the appropriate authorities.
There are no laws directly addressing research institutions in this area, but the most important laws are the Law on the Fundamentals of the Protection of the Rights of the Child of the Republic of Lithuania and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Risk areas
There are a number of activities conducted or supported by the Institute where children come into contact with Institute staff and volunteers or on the Institute premises. The following activities represent the main risks:
Organised visits, summer schools, and other activities on Institute premises;
Outreach activities that take place in schools and other facilities outside the Institute’s premises;
Children of Institute staff or volunteers who are brought onto the Institute site;
Children who are on the premises of the Institute for sporting, social or other purposes;
Children being researched by Institute staff.
- Child protection procedures
The Institute recognizes its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children for whom it is responsible from time to time and to work closely with the statutory and voluntary local authorities to ensure that children are not placed at risk of harm or abuse. The Institute recognizes that abuse can take many forms and can be physical, sexual, emotional, or neglect.
The Institute takes seriously all incidents of suspected misbehaviour in relation to children, all failures to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and all omissions and actions that place children at risk of significant harm.
The Institute will refer concerns that a child may be at risk of significant harm to Children’s Services and/or the police.
All child protection measures will be taken in the best interests of the child.
- Guidelines for members of the Institute who have contact with children
Members of the Institute should actively seek to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their care or for whom they have responsibility. To fulfill this duty, members of the Institute should:
respect the dignity, privacy, and right of children to be protected from harm;
interact with children in an age- and culture-appropriate manner;
work with children in a fair, open, and honest way;
respond positively to children’s concerns without making hasty judgments;
always work with children in an open environment.