Ethical Framework

This framework sets out the ethical approach for our organisation, it articulates the values by which we work and the principles of our operation in support of the humanitarian programmes of the Sisters of Mary.

The policy is owned by the UK Manager, monitored by the board of Trustees and followed by all our team. It upholds the best practice approaches and codes which are relevant to our operations, governance and fundraising activity including the Fundraising Regulator Code of Practice, The Charity Governance Code and the legal and best practice advice of the Charity Commission. It upholds the legislation in the Equality Act 2010, the Bribery Act 2010 and the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

1. Introduction

World Villages for Children (WVC) is working to provide care and access to education for the world’s poorest children by raising funds to support the humanitarian programmes of the Sisters of Mary. We fundraise for the food they eat, the clothes they wear and the lessons they learn. We work to ensure they have the skills they need to find work and become independent, productive adults living free from poverty and to ensure they can help their families and communities onto a better future.

Our humanitarian work is based on the fundamental values of dedication, compassion and integrity and these values provide guidance and inspiration as we deliver our charitable mission.

All our activities should be undertaken to the highest ethical standards and the manner in which we work is integral to developing high levels of trust and demonstrating our integrity. Without this, we cannot support the Sisters of Mary and children living in poverty to deliver our charitable objectives.

2. Policy aims, Purpose and Scope

This ethical framework and the supporting policies, establish the ethical standards through which we will assess relationships within and without the charity, investments, procurement, funding or any significant activity:

  1. i)  The framework and supporting policies ensure appropriate safeguards and processes are in place to protect the vulnerable people that we support and our organisation’s reputation, as well as others, with whom we interact.
  2. ii)  Through its work, the charity seeks always to protect and promote the human rights and basic freedoms of all its employees and al of those whose work and support contributes to the success of the charity and the achievement of our humanitarian mission.
  3. iii)  The charity is committed to eliminating bribery and corruption. All employees and persons associated with the charity must adhere to this policy and abstain from giving or receiving bribes of any form.

The policies are non-exhaustive and all aspects of the charity’s work should be considered in the spirit of this ethical framework.

3. Ethical framework

This ethical framework is informed by our charitable objectives and our core organisational values of dedication, compassion and integrity and is underpinned by the following specific policies and principles:

Human Rights

i) WVC will ensure that all of its employees, agents and contractors are entitled to their human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998.

ii) WVC will not enter into any arrangement with any person, company or organisation which fails to uphold the human rights of its workers or who breach the human rights of those affected by the organisation’s activities.

iii)  WVC is vehemently opposed to the use of slavery in all forms; cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments; and any attempt to control or reduce freedom of thought or conscience.

iv)  As a humanitarian organisation, we will not tolerate harassment of any kind nor discrimination on the ground of one or more of the protected characteristics detailed in the equality act 2010. We expect those we work with to fully comply with their responsibilities under this Act and act consistently with our equality and diversity requirements and share our commitment to uphold and promote equal opportunities.

Employee Rights

i)  WVC is committed to complying with all relevant UK employment legislation and regulations. We regard such regulations and legislation as the minimum rather than the recommended standard.

ii)  No member of staff should be discriminated against on the basis of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs, gender reassignment, marital status or pregnancy. ln their work all staff members should be treated equally.

iii)  No member of staff will be prevented from joining or forming a staff association or trade union, nor should any staff member suffer any detriment as a result of joining, or failing to join, any such organisation.

iv)  WVC does not accept any corporal punishment, harassment in any form, or bullying in any form.

v)  Our Health and Safety Policy highlights our commitment to safeguarding our people fully in respect of their health, safety and welfare at work.

Environmental Issues

WVC is committed to keeping the environmental impact of its activities to a minimum and meeting all applicable environmental laws in its jurisdiction.

Conflicts of Interest

i) The charity holds as fundamental to its success the trust and confidence of those with whom it deals, including supporters, suppliers and employees.

ii) In order to help preserve and strengthen these relationships WVC has a Conflict of lnterest Policy which provides rules and guidelines concerning the conduct of its officers and employees aimed at minimising the possibility of conflicts of interest, working in accordance with charity and company law and at avoiding risks associated with bribery and corruption.

iii) All representatives of the charity are expected to act honestly and within the law.

Information and Confidentiality

i)  lnformation received by employees, contractors or agents of WVC will not be used for any personal gain, nor will it be used for any purpose beyond that for which it was given.

ii)  The Company will at all times ensure that it complies with all applicable requirements of the Data Protection Legislation. “Data Protection Legislation” means (L) unless and until General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 20761679l.(“GDPR”) is no longer directly applicable in the UK, the GDPR and any national implementing laws, regulations, and secondary legislation (as amended from time to time) in the UK and subsequently (2) any legislation which succeeds the GDPR.

Funders and Partners of the charity

i)  WVC requires all funders and partners to work towards and uphold similar ethical and moral standards.

ii)  We will investigate the ethical record of potential new funders and partners before entering into any agreement either for funding or services. Further, we follow a gift acceptancy policy regarding new funding and where there are appropriate reasons to do so we may decline opportunities for funding.

iii) Where suppliers share our ethical values our procurement approach for services to the charity embeds value for money as a defining principle.

iv) WVC reserves the right to withdraw from any agreement or other arrangement with any supplier or partner who is found to have acted in contravention of the spirit or principles of this Ethical framework.

Bribery and Corruption

i) WVC’s approach is included in our Anti Bribery Policy. We are fundamentally opposed to any acts of bribery and to the making of facilitation payments as defined by the Bribery Act 2010.

ii) Employees and any other persons associated with us are not permitted to either offer or receive any type of bribe and/or facilitation payment.

iii) All employees are encouraged to report any suspicion of corruption or bribery within the Company in accordance with the Whistleblowing Policy’

iv) If an employee or associated person is found, following investigation to have given or received a bribe, he/she will be personally criminally liable and may be subject to disciplinary action.

v) Anyone found guilty of bribery, will be responsible for bearing any related remedial costs such as losses, court fees or expenses.

Ethical Storytelling

World Villages for Children is committed ethical storytelling. We aim to shift the narrative to depict our beneficiaries accurately and preserve their dignity through all the communications that we produce. We seek to inform audiences about the drivers of poverty using the voice of the children we serve.

Where possible, we use the children’s stories in their own words, and seek to amplify their voice through everything we do. We believe that storytelling is a powerful tool to educate and inform supporters as well as raise funds to continue this important work.

This policy has been approved & authorised by:
Nicola Lawson, UK Manager and Trustee
22 February 2021