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Safeguarding Code of Conduct

Behavioural requirements for staff, members, volunteers and elected representatives

Working with children and adults at risk

When working with children and adults at risk through any Labour Party activities or events, it is essential that staff, members, volunteers and elected representatives follow Labour’s safeguarding principles, and uphold this code and any additional safeguarding procedures, at all times.

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Positive relationships
Planning events or activities
Abuse and concerns
Physical contact
Behaviour not to engage in

Staff members, volunteers, members and elected representatives must adhere to the below at all times:

Positive relationships

  • Treat children and adults at risk fairly, without prejudice or discrimination and avoid favouritism
  • Ensure that all contact, interactions and communications (face-to-face and online) with children and adults at risk are appropriate and relevant to the work of the Labour Party
  • Use language which is appropriate and is not bullying, offensive, intimidating or discriminatory on the grounds of: age; disability; gender reassignment, gender or transgender identity; race; religion or belief; sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership; or due to a person’s pregnancy
  • Ensure that the focus of any relationship with a child or an adult at risk that they have met through the Labour Party remains professional at all times
  • Foster a culture where children, young people and adults at risk feel comfortable enough to raise any concerns they may have about inappropriate attitudes or behaviour towards children or adults at risk

Planning events or activities

  • Maintain appropriate conduct and avoid threatening or potentially
    violent behaviour that may lead to children or adults at risk feeling anxious or frightened by adult behaviour during meetings or events
  • Value and take the contributions of children and adults at risk seriously, actively involving them in planning activities wherever possible
  • Plan activities so that they involve more than one other person being present, or at least within sight and hearing of others. There may be occasions where this is not possible so in such circumstances the meeting should be conducted in a room with an open door and/or in sight of other adults
  • Plan activities so that they are held in suitable venues and locations for children and adults at risk and ensure that appropriate travel arrangements and health and safety measures are in place

Reporting abuse and concerns

  • Ensure that allegations or disclosures about abuse by an adult or child are taken seriously and reported, including peer-on-peer abuse by children or young people
  • Follow the Labour Party safeguarding procedures for reporting safeguarding concerns which can be found in the Labour Party Safeguarding and Member Welfare Policy
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations and suspicions of abuse regardless of the status of the adult(s) involved, including their political office, or organisation(s) that may be implicated in so doing
  • Respect a child or an adult at risk’s right to personal privacy but never agree to keep any information relating to the harm of a child or an adult at risk confidential

Physical contact

  • Carefully consider any physical contact with a child or an adult
    at risk. Ensure that physical contact is appropriate and not unnecessary or unjustified
  • Be aware that physical contact with a child or an adult at risk may be misinterpreted, no matter how well intentioned
  • Staff, volunteers members and elected representatives should:
    • Consider the way in which they offer comfort and reassurance to a distressed child or adult at risk and do it in an appropriate way
    • Never touch a child or adult at risk in a way which may be considered indecent
    • Record and report situations which may give rise to concern from either party
    • Not assume that all children or adults at risk seek physical comfort if they are distressed
    • Ensure that if any kind of physical support is required during any activities, it is provided only when necessary in relation to the activity and that this is done in a way that other colleagues can observe them and in a way that the child or adult at risk is comfortable
    • Follow the recommended adult-to-young people ratios for meetings and activities
    • Follow the Safeguarding Guidance for Labour Party Members guidance when planning and delivering Labour Party activities

It is essential that staff, volunteers, members and elected representatives do not:

  • Conduct a sexual relationship with a child or have any form of sexual contact with a child involved in Labour Party activity. Any such behaviour between an adult member of staff, member, volunteer or elected representative and a child involved in Labour Party activity represents a serious breach of trust on the part of the staff member, party member or volunteer
  • Physically, emotionally or sexually abuse, maltreat or exploit any child or an adult at risk or neglect their basic physical and psychological needs
  • Exaggerate or trivialise child abuse or the abuse of adults at risk
  • Investigate safeguarding concerns, their responsibility is to report concerns
  • Undertake activity which lessens the effectiveness of this code or display attitudes or behaviours which are not conducive to protecting and promoting the welfare of children and adults at risk
  • Make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to, or in front of, children or discuss adult sexual relationships in front of them
  • Rely on their reputation or that of the Labour Party or any elected office that they hold to protect them
  • Give or receive gifts and/or substances such as drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes to or from a child
  • Encourage or appear to encourage children to drink alcohol or take drugs
  • Allow their judgment to be impaired by alcohol or any other substance when acting in a position of trust
  • Smoke cigarettes or vape with, or in front of, children and young people
  • Arrange any overnight event involving children or young people without consulting with the Safeguarding Unit in good time before the event
  • Use any type of physical punishment in order to discipline children or adults at risk. Shouting should be avoided whenever possible and used only if alternative forms of discipline have failed
  • Photograph or film children without first obtaining written consent
  • Take advantage of the vulnerability of an adult at risk to achieve financial gain for themselves or the Labour Party
  • Receive high value gifts from children or adults at risk
Up next

Online and e-safety

If you have, or receive, any information that a child or an adult at risk has been harmed, or is at risk of being harmed by their own or someone else’s behaviour you must report it now. To learn more and for more detail on the types and indicators of child abuse and neglect, visit the dedicated page.