VOLUNTEER CHARTER 

By joining to become a member of RWC, you are also agreeing to respect and follow the volunteer charter set out below. 

 

Our mission:

To provide holistic support for migrant families without shelter in Calais and Grande-Synthe, and surrounding accommodation centres. We aim to create safe spaces for women and children, provide the means for those living irregularly to live independently and with dignity, and to advocate for access to shelter and for human rights to be met.

 

Our members personal interests must never come into conflict with the interests of the Organisations, the primary concern of the Refugee Women's Centre namely being the welfare and wellbeing of Refugees. For that reason, we will strive to the best of our abilities to empower refugees, by enabling them to contribute to the improvement of their own and their communities’ lives and conditions, whenever possible and practical. 

1.

We recognise the importance of individuals’ feeling of self-worth and confidence, and the immense benefits these provide to morale and psychological well-being, both of which are crucial to surviving the conditions of a refugee camp. 

2.

We will listen to Refugees’ voices, welcome their views, and always aim to help them fulfil their needs.

3.

Members may come into contact with, or possession of, information and items of a sensitive nature in relation to the lives, identity, and needs of refugees. Such information must be treated with discretion and never made public, as it could add to the vulnerability and instability of the lives of individuals seeking asylum. Misuse of such information can expose them to potentially dangerous situations that may not be evident at the time. 

4.

All individuals must be treated with dignity and have the right to privacy. Photography of any individual must be entirely and unambiguously consensual – distribution points in Dunkirk and Calais are safe spaces and are not tourist destinations. For safeguarding reasons, no photos of children 17 or under we work with should be taken without express parental consent; photos of or identification information regarding children should not, under any circumstances, be shared publicly. Where express parental consent is not possible to be obtained for any reason, no photographs of the minors in questions should be taken and shared. 

The age of many refugees we work with cannot be verified, and the consequence of photographs taken cannot always be foreseen; the dignity and privacy of individuals are of paramount importance - for these reasons we recommend you refrain from taking photos that could reveal refugees’ identities in any way.

5.

Sensitive and private information also relating to the work of the organisation and other members should not be shared irresponsibly i.e. in a public forum, such as social media or a public space. Such information includes confidential staff details, meetings and any other documents regarding private dealings of other Associates.

6.

Refugee children and vulnerable adults must never be subject to any form of conduct by members that can be degrading or that might put them at risk of harm. All refugee children and vulnerable adults that the organisation and their member come into contact with through their work have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and be free of further harm and discrimination. While members will seek to develop and maintain trust and cooperation between themselves and refugees, they must recognise the extraordinarily vulnerable position refugees are in and maintain a level of personal integrity.

7.

For safeguarding purposes, members will not be permitted to work with refugee children under 18 and any other vulnerable individuals unless they can provide an up-to-date DBS check. No member aged over 18 can be alone with any refugee children under 18 or any other vulnerable individuals, unless it is immediately necessary, or impractical to act otherwise. No sexual relationship should exist between any member in a position of trust and any young person under the age of 18 while working under the remit of the RWC, and it is a criminal offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

8.

Any pattern of sexual activity between members and adult refugees will not be condoned, on the basis of recognising the fundamental vulnerability of all refugees, even adults, in refugee camps and the possibility of exploitative behaviour. We recognise that members are in a position of trust, which can create an imbalance of power and can lead to refugees being put at risk of further harm. This applies even when a refugee is a consenting party, as it is impossible to avoid the context of a disproportionate power balance.

9.

Members must demonstrate and promote responsible conduct appropriate to the activities they are involved in while working under the remit of RWC. They must understand and respect the high standards of responsible conduct, accountability, and transparency required in order to allow the humanitarian work of the RWC and their members to benefit the refugees.

10.

Members will seek to adopt the highest level of professional standards in their work with the RWC, based on principles such as personal responsibility, accountability, and honesty. Efforts to directly undermine, subvert, or intentionally negatively affect the humanitarian work of RWC and their other members for personal gain or to the detriment of refugees will not be condoned. Similarly, public remarks intentionally meant to bring into disrepute the humanitarian efforts of the RWC and their members will also not be condoned. Remarks made on social media should not be made to appearing to be on behalf of RWC, unless with the express approval from RWC.

11.

Refugee children and vulnerable adults must never be subject to any form of conduct by members that can be degrading or that might put them at risk of harm. All refugee children and vulnerable adults that the RWC and their members come into contact with through their work have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and be free of further harm and discrimination. While members will seek to develop and maintain trust and cooperation between themselves and refugees, they must recognise the extraordinarily vulnerable position refugees are in and maintain a level of personal integrity.

12.

Members must make sure to take all reasonable steps to ensure their own safety and the safety of other members and refugees. We value the well-being and safety of all members who work with us, and consider it to be of crucial importance to the sustainability of the work of the RWC. For that reason, we will endeavour to support the welfare of all RWC to the best of our knowledge and ability, and always make it a priority.

13.

RWC

The Refugee Women's Centre

is committed to supporting migrant women and children living without shelter in Grande-Synthe, Dunkirk and Calais.

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