Child Protection Policy

The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) in Gaza believes in the adherence to the principles of children protection, safety and their rights to live in dignity and protection from any form of abuse pursuant to the Palestinian Child Law of 2004. The MECC is responsible for the children safe environment in all its programs and projects and takes all procedures needed to prevent such abuse occurrence. This policy is applicable to all MECC staff whether they are core staff, temporary or contracted employees, volunteers, trainees or partners (individuals or organizations).

MECC principles and values:

1.       We appreciate and respect all children regardless of their race, color, gender, language, religion, political tendency or hindrance etc.

2.       All children have equal rights in protection from abuse. Children mistreatment is an aggression on their rights.

3.       All children situation should be improved through the enhancement of their rights provided in the UN Children Rights Agreement. This right includes keeping the children away from abuse and trade-on.

4.       Children abuse is absolutely rejected.

5.       We abide by the protection of the children we work with.

6.       When working with the partners we will be responsible for assisting them on the fulfillment of the fundamental standards of the children protection in their programmers and projects.

7.       We pay special attention to the encouragement of the children to express their opinions and we listen to their suggestions and particularly their topics and decisions related and affecting them.


Health concept: It is a state of full physical, psychological, mental and social health rather than the absence of a disease or inability.

Child: A human being under 18 years.

Child protection concept: It is a comprehensive term that describes the policies, criteria and procedures aiming to the protection of children from abuse pursuant to the UN Children Rights protection Agreement of 1989.

Concept of child safe environment: It is an environment free from real and possible harm to children.

Concept of children mistreatment: It is an action intended and directed to the child during his treatment that would lead to his psychological and physical abuse (his welfare and growing up).

Abuse forms:

-          Physical abuse: It is a physical attack on the child resulting in physical harm that may be caused by (beating, strangle, shaking, kicking, biting or burning) which may jeopardize the child’s life and health.

-          Emotional abuse: It is the use of humiliating and humbling methods and practices against the child such as calling him with bad nicknames, criticism, rebuke, marginalization and refusal, threating, continuous upbraid and underestimation.

-          Sexual abuse: It is real and potential sexual exploitation of the child including sexual attack, usurpation, incest and all forms of sexual activity that may undergo by the children including:

-          Rakish items.

-          Obligatory early marriage (under legal age)

-          Innocent touching and fondling.

-          Enforcing the child to take off his clothes.

-          Using clear sexual language and terms.

-          Negligence: It is the failure to fulfill the child’s basic needs such as food, drink, dresses, medical care, psychological aspects and failure to provide the child with full protection from any danger. Yet, such negligence may be intended or unintended but ultimately it leads to causing harm to the child’s health and development.

-          Exploitation: It is the use of the children under the legal age in performing paid or unpaid works for others’ benefit which may ultimately cause harm to all the child living aspects.

-          Discrimination: This includes exclusion, mistreatment or any procedures against any individual on the basis of the social status, race, color or religion or gender or age or marital status or political involvement or hindrance.


1.       Increase the awareness inside the organization towards the children attack and keeping them safe.

2.       Identify the organization liability through providing safe environment to the children and protecting them on any harm.

3.       Provide the guidelines needed to the staff, volunteers and partners in addition to showing the potentials of dealing with protection, notification and response to the fears related to any attack on the child.

4.       Provide the staff with practical guide book for the children safety procedures and policies.

The way to apply the policy:

We shall abide by the children safety through the following:

-          Awareness: We shall ensure that all staff and other consultants, BD members, trainees, volunteers, partners and visitors are well-versed with the children attacks and the existing and potential dangers they may undergo.

-          Protection: Through awareness and good practices we shall ensure that the staff, trainees, volunteers and partners minimize the dangers that children may undergo.

-          Notification: We shall ensure that the staff, trainees, volunteers and partners are fully aware of the steps that should be taken to notify the fears that may exist regarding the children safety.

-          Response: We shall ensure that the procedures needed to support and protect the children are adopted in case of fears of potential attack.

Conducts record for protecting the children at the Middle East Council of Churches:

The conducts record in MECC is a group of moral bases and standards that govern the behaviors of the staff, volunteers and trainees inside the society and in the locations and centers in which the society activities are executed. This record stipulates the abidance to the moral and behaviors of dealing with the children.

All the staff/volunteers/representatives of the society should abide by the following:

1.       Respect the child rights in obtaining all the society services.

2.       Non-discrimination in dealing with the children on the basis of age, gender, religion and color.

3.       Abidance to the complete secrecy and privacy of the children.

4.       Being patient in dealing with the children.

5.       Non-exploitation of the children.

6.       Inform the children parents on any activity in which they would participate and the nature of such activities and attain their consent –in– writing for the children participation in any external activities.

7.       Avoid being alone with the child for long time.

8.       Back-up the child personality, encourage him to express his opinion and participation and listen carefully to his opinions and suggestions.

9.       Abidance to all the principles and procedures of the child protection stipulated by the society policy.

10.   Non-hesitation to notify the parties in-charge on any abuse of child.

11.   The employee or volunteer or trainee should be a notable example for the children.

12.   Parental and the child consent must be attained for taking pictures to him during the execution of the children programmes ensuring that such pictures would not cause him any abuse.

The aim of the conducts record is to maintain the children rights where MECC believes that the children are entitled:

1.       To be carefully listened to and their opinions be paid sufficient attention.

2.       To be encouraged and assisted to participate in making the decisions that would affect them.

3.       To support their safety, security and growth so as to be able to realize the minimum of their potentials.

4.       To be considered main players in their health growth and safety and their benefit be prioritized.

5.       To be estimated, respected and understood within the context of their culture and religion.

6.       To identify their needs and to satisfy such needs within the familial framework if possible.

The MECC staff must abstain from:

1.       Beating, physically abusing or mistreating the children.

2.       Physical acting or using improper or sexual terms.

3.       Discrimination in the children treatment on the basis of race or gender or color or language or religion or political tendence or hindrance or any other similar situation.

4.       Developing special relations with definite children for realizing his personal needs.

5.       Preference in serving the children (such presenting gifts to specific children without the others).

6.       Making personal contacts with children who benefit from the society programs in the off-work time.

7.       Being with the child alone in a closed room except for extreme necessity (such as giving him special advice) and attaining the prior consent of the supervisor.

8.       Being alone for long time with the children away from others (this also includes the society drivers).

Using the children pictures:

1.       Pictures may be taken for the children in a kind and respectful way rather than dishonorable one. The children should be well-addressed in such a case.

2.       The child and his parents’ consent should be attained for using the child’s picture and when such consent is attained full details on how and where such a picture will be used.

3.       The children pictures should be true representation of the context and facts.

4.       Explanatory particulars (such as his address and full name) should not be unveiled on the child when his picture is to be advertised observing the privacy of the full recorded particulars.


Instructions on the children safe maintenance policy in MECC in Gaza:

The MECC believes in the full abidance to the principles of children protection and their safe maintenance and their right to live kind and respectful life and to be protected from any attack forms pursuant to the Palestinian Child Law of 2004. The society is also responsible for the provision of safe environment for the children in all its programs and projects and taking all procedures necessary to prevent such an attack.

Procedures to follow on notifying any child abuse/attack:

·         Call on the center administration to report the complaint.

·         Fill up a notification form on the children safety.

·         Ensure the clear registration of all information in the form and handing it over to the center administration.

·         The center administration should verify the complaint and submit it to the persons in-charge in the society for taking the necessary procedures.

·         Such information should be kept in top secrecy and will never be unveiled to anyone except the notifying person who will be informed on the procedures to be taken.

Steps to be taken in case of any complaint:

·         Notifying person should call on the center administration to report the complaint.

·         Fill up the notification form of the children safety by the notifying person.

·         Ensure the clear registration of all information in the form.

·         Maintain a copy of the complaint form in the center and hand over the original to the person in-charge of complaints at the society administration.

·         Receive the complaint form by the following staff in-charge: Hala Shareef (Project and Communication Coordinator) and Wafaa Kanaan (Health Programs Coordinator) – Tel. No. 08-2860146 or 08-2862573

·         Ensure and verify the complaint information.

·         Evaluating the complaint by the administration and identifying the adequate procedures.

·         Should the complaint be related to any one of the society staff or volunteers or trainees or partners, the legal procedures then shall be as stipulated by the society law. The person, complained against, may raise an objection within two weeks as of the date of the complaint hand-over.

·         In case the person, complained against, is from outside the society, authorities in-charge such as: Children Protection Network shall be notified.

·         Complaint follow-up by related persons.

·         Complaint notifying person should be informed on the procedures to be taken.

·          Information should be kept under top secrecy.