Child protection

The HALO Trust is dedicated to preserving and protecting the rights of the child in line with the UN Convention on the rights of the Child (1989), International Mine Action Standards, International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law. HALO ensures compliance by embedding children’s rights policies within the organisation’s philosophies, policies, standards, guidelines, procedures and culture to protect children from both intentional and unintentional harm.

In cases where HALO is required to sub-contract partners, the organisation will work with internationally or nationally recognised non-governmental organisations who are also required to adhere to the highest codes of conduct and standards, including the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief and the SPHERE Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. HALO also adheres to the core principles of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Plan of Action and Core Principles of Codes of Conduct on Protection from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in Humanitarian Crises.

In the context within which HALO works - often fragile and conflict-affected states - children are already susceptible to the risk of marginalisation, discrimination, exploitation and violence. Therefore, HALO adheres to the following principles in all areas of its work:

THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD

In all actions concerning children, the best interests of the child are of primary consideration. This principle, where applicable, guides the design and monitoring of HALO programmes and interventions. Through monitoring and evaluation processes HALO conducts socio-economic assessments on intended beneficiaries, disaggregating the resulting data by both age and gender. This allows for the understanding of the threat and effect of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) on children, to target its response to those most in need and to assess the potential and actual impact of clearance on all members of the community.

PROTECTION

HALO’s work directly and positively impacts the physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual security of children by removing the threat of landmines and ERW to themselves, their families and communities.HALO understands that landmines and ERW impact girls, boys, women and men in different ways and works to mitigate this impact.

NON-EXPLOITATION

HALO prevents the exploitation of children, ensuring underage employees are not recruited, by conducting diligent checks during the employment process.

NON-DISCRIMINATION

As a non-political and non-religious organisation HALO practises a policy of non-discrimination, irrespective of a child’s, or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.  

All HALO landmine and ERW interventions are non-discriminate and target the most vulnerable sectors of society, including children. This type of indiscriminate intervention positively affects change for children and their communities, making land safe for development, for access to schools and healthcare facilities and creating opportunities for economic stability and security.

PARTICIPATION

HALO ensures appropriate ways of child participation and understanding in all survey and mine risk education (MRE) activities, taking steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children with which the organisation comes into contact.

By taking into account different levels of education and literacy among children, girls and boys of different ages, abilities and perspectives are given the opportunity to learn and express their knowledge of landmines and ERW in a safe, respectful and understanding environment. HALO tailors its MRE approaches to the requirements of different recipients.

HALO ensures children directly benefit from its landmine and ERW clearance by prioritising its response to landmines and ERW in targeted areas with the greatest humanitarian need.