Child Protection Policy

This document outlines how TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre (TIEKE Tietoyhteiskunnan kehittämiskeskus ry, hereinafter referred to as TIEKE) is committed to protecting children, and what practical measures TIEKE and its employees must take to keep children and young people safe in its work.

Version1.1. (Approved date 14.9.2022) Next review: 14.9.2025 or prior, where changes in legislation so require.
ReviewThis Policy and these Procedures will be regularly reviewed:
– In accordance with changes in legislation or official guidance on child protection or following any changes within TIEKE.
 – Following any issues or concerns raised about the protection of children within TIEKE.
– In all other circumstances, at least every three years.
Legislative contextUNCRC, The law of Finland, the Finnish Child Welfare Act, Non-Discrimination Act, GDPR.
TerminologyWhere in this policy we refer to a child, children, young person, young people, we mean a cohort of persons aged 0-17, whom by Finnish legislation are minors.

Where members of staff are mentioned, it refers to both paid and unpaid employees and workers. It includes apprentices, trainees and volunteers, and generally, employees on temporary, fixed term and permanent work contracts.
Purpose  This Child Protection Policy gives overarching guidance and direction on how any work involving children and young people is to be conducted in TIEKE. It is to be used in conjunction with the guidelines and training for staff, issued by TIEKE. This training is explained in a separate internal document.
The organisationTIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre is a neutral and non-profit organisation, which aims to develop, improve and support information society and all its digital endeavours. We take part in a wide range of strategic projects and have an important networking role in the public, private and third sectors.

TIEKE is registered and operates in Finland and complies with Finnish and EU laws as applicable.

TIEKE is not legally required to have a data protection officer, but due to the nature of its work, and the background and education of many of its members of staff, TIEKE is able to demonstrate a good level of compliance.
Working with children and young people – organisational capacityTIEKE is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children involved in or affected by TIEKEs development activities. TIEKE recognises its responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation.

TIEKE’s primary function is not to offer products and services particularly for children and young people, but it may occasionally participate in projects or other work where all, or part of the cohort are underaged. Due to its target cohorts primarily being adults, TIEKE does not require its employees to be trained or have qualifications in working with children and young people. It also does not undertake background checks with working with young people in mind when recruiting members of staff, but it has safeguards in place for employees working directly or remotely with underaged people. These include:  

– Training and guidance.
– A named Child Protection Representative
– Ensuring partners co-working on projects whose target groups may be underaged have relevant capacity to ensure safety and protection of children and young people. Details of procedures relating to safeguarding children are clarified with partner organisations at the start of each project
– Ensuring data protection laws and procedures are followed, particularly with underaged cohorts, and where deemed necessary, seeking guidance from The Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman. TIEKE has separate instructions on data protection procedures when working on projects.

In addition, TIEKE may apply additional safeguards where it is deemed beneficial, to ensure safety and protection of children and young people as well as other participants in its events and other work. 
Roles and responsibilities  Child Protection Representative
The Executive Director of TIEKE is the named Child Protection Representative. Their responsibilities include the following:

– Ensuring TIEKE staff who are going to be working with children and young people complete the mandatory child protection training before the new project commences, or before new members of staff get involved in an ongoing project;  
– Where there is a safeguarding concern involving a child or young person, investigating, and notifying the local authority where applicable,
– Informing TIEKE board of any safeguarding concerns and alerts;Ensuring the Child Protection Policy is reviewed every three years, or when legislative or internal changes take place.  

TIEKE staff and volunteers will work together to be inclusive and to accept and respect diversity and different backgrounds. TIEKE is committed to respecting the rights of children and young people at all times.  

Stakeholders are required to abide by this policy whilst co-working with TIEKE where children or young people are involved.  

Where work takes place in the premises of a stakeholder, or where TIEKE is providing the stakeholder content such as a presentation or a workshop in person, TIEKE would like staff with valid First Aid training and certification present. Where this is not possible, TIEKE must be made aware of the procedures in cases of a personal injury, i.e. which member of staff has a car and can take the injured person to a health centre, if required.

Where possible, at least some of the staff provided by the stakeholder should be familiar with the individuals. The staff provided by the stakeholder will take responsibility in supervising and caring for the children and young people present. TIEKE staff should not be required to supervise children and young people on their own.

Before the start of an event, TIEKE staff must be shown nearest fire escapes and equipment as per standard procedure, either by the stakeholder, or by the owner or landlord of the premises.  

Stakeholders are to be made aware of the abovementioned requirements at the planning stage of a project, and before the start of any individual event where children and young people are present, so that suitable arrangements can be made by the stakeholder.  

External visitors
Where external speakers or other visitors are invited, they are asked to follow the same processes and procedures as TIEKE employees. Visitors are only invited to participate in events and other work when it is relevant to the project.  

Children and young people and / or their parents or carers are made aware if photo- and videographers or other such professionals are invited to events, and their permission to be pictured and / or videoed is requested in writing, and media recorded only of individuals for whom a permission has been obtained.
Policy statements and principles  Recruit, train, support and supervise staff to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children from abuse and to reduce risk to themselves. Separate training and procedures have been developed for TIEKE staff, to ensure they know what to do in emergencies and other situations causing concern, where children or young people are present.

Require staff to adopt and abide by this Child Protection Policy and complete the internally provided training at required intervals and follow the guidelines given.

Respond to any allegations of misconduct or abuse of children in line with this Policy and these procedures as well as implementing, where appropriate, the relevant disciplinary and appeals procedures.

This child protection policy is based on current Finnish legislation and the UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child. In addition to these, the TIEKE’s child protection practices are guided by this policy.   TIEKE regularly monitors and evaluates the implementation of this policy and updates internal policies, when necessary.
ComplaintsComplaints should be directed to TIEKE’s Child Protection Representative, the CEO, whose contact details are available on TIEKE’s website: (Finnish) (English)