• Save the Children is a rights based organization.  Those who work for Save the Children endorse the concept of human rights in general and particularly children’s rights and to respect those rights in all our positions, decisions and actions.
  • Save the Children’s work is based on deeply held values and principles.  It is essential that our commitment to children’s rights and humanitarian principles is supported and demonstrated by all members of staff.  If any of us fails to act in a way that is consistent with our values and principles, we fail as an organization.
  • Our ability to achieve our aims, often in complex and insecure environments, is linked to our reputation. This reputation relies heavily on everyone who works for us upholding and promoting high standards of conduct. Working for Save the Children, means you are accepting a special responsibility for safeguarding human rights in general and children’s right’s in particular.
  • The basic values of Save the Children are to observe the laws, customs and traditions of countries worked in or visited.  In cases where such laws, customs or traditions contravene the UN Convention on the Rights of the child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights these latter two shall prevail.  They are founded on the conviction that all children and adults are of equal value, children have special rights and everyone has a responsibility.
  • If you are a manager, you will have particular responsibilities to set a good example and to create working environments that support staff to uphold these standards and help you manage behaviour that breaks the Code of Conduct.
  • With this common rights perspective we strive for exemplary behaviour and the realisation of effective and reliable work for children’s rights. We consider of outmost importance to ensure that all resources are used in an appropriate and effective way, be it personal or economic resources, and that they are used for the means they are designated.
  • In order to make this Code of Conduct come alive within Save the Children we must not only apply it individually but be ready to bring to the attention of relevant management within Save the Children any potential incident, abuse or concern that we witness or are made aware of.



  1. I will respect others: I will respect the basic rights of all humans ….regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, caste, language, HIV status and other aspects of identity. I will act fairly, honestly and tactfully to treat people with dignity and respect.

    I will not

    • take part in any form of discrimination, harassment, or abuse (physical, sexual or verbal), intimidation or exploitation, or in any other way infringe the rights of others.
  2. I will work actively to safeguard children:
    By carrying out my special responsibility for children to whom Save the Children has a duty of care and creating a safe environment for children to prevent their physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect.

    I will not

    • act in any way that breaches Save the Children’s Safeguarding Policy and procedures or in any way places children at risk of harm.
    • withhold information about any current criminal convictions, charges or civil proceedings relating to child abuse, either when I join Save the Children or arising during my time of employment.
  3. I will maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct:
    By striving for high standards in my work, taking responsibility for my actions and not abusing my position of power as a Save the Children representative. I will not behave in a way that undermines my ability to do my job or is likely to bring Save the Children into disrepute.I will not

    • engage in sexual relations with anyone under the age of 18, or abuse or exploit a child in any way.
    • exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual favours.
    • drink alcohol or use any other substances in a way that affects my ability to do my job, or affects the reputation of the organization.
    • be in possession of, nor profit from the sale of, illegal goods or substances.
    • ask for or invite any personal payment, service or favour from others, especially beneficiaries, in return for our help, support, goods or services of any kind.
    • accept bribes or significant gifts (except small tokens of appreciation) from governments, beneficiaries, donors, suppliers or others which have been offered as a result of my employment.
    • enter into sort of business relationship on behalf of Save the Children with family, friends or other personal/professional contacts for the supply of any goods or service to Save the Children or any employment related matters without authorization.
    • Use the organization’s computer or other equipment to view, download, create or distribute inappropriate material, such as pornography.
  4. I will seek to protect the safety and wellbeing of myself and others:
    • By being aware of and complying with local Save the Children health and security and safety policies and practices and highlighting any areas of concern to management.

    I will not

    • behave in a way that causes unnecessary risk to myself or others
  5. I will protect Save the Children’s Assets and Resources:
    • By handling our financial and other resources carefully. I will ensure Save the Children’s Resources are not misused and protect them from theft, fraud and other damage.

    I will not

    • Release to others any private and confidential information relating to Save the Children (or for which we are responsible) unless legally required to do so



Policy:  Conduct Reference Number: 301
Location: NHQ, Ontario, Canada
Effective Date: Feb 1. 2012 Approval Date: Feb 1, 2012



By   their   conduct,   all employees   contribute to the   organization’s integrity   and enhancement of public confidence. Employees are responsible for familiarizing themselves with applicable policies and seeking guidance from their supervisor when they are unsure about a situation.


This policy applies to all full-time, part-time and contract positions including short-term contracts in which an independent contractor is hired to fulfil specific requirements.


In all aspects of their conduct, employees are to consider the spirit and intent of the policy and are not to use agents or others to achieve what they should not directly.   Certain principles apply:

  • avoid conduct which might appear to present a conflict between the best interests of the organization and private interests,
  • identify,  declare and  discuss real,  potential, or perceived  difficulties in meeting standards of conduct,
  • develop a plan to resolve any possible conduct violations.


Alcohol and Drugs

While at work employees must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs (other than those prescribed by a doctor).


If unable to report for work, employees must notify their supervisor no later than one hour before their regular starting time, in order that alternate arrangements can be made to cover their area of responsibility.    Employees should indicate when they expect to return, or when they will next contact their supervisor. The organization may consider an employee to have abandoned their job, if for more than three consecutive working days, they do not report for work when expected, contact the organization, or provide a satisfactory reason for the absence.


Any changes to computer software or hardware are under the direction of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  Under no circumstances should employees load unauthorized software onto any PC, or network. Employees are to use, copy, and distribute third party software only as stated in each specific license agreement.

More than incidental use of the Internet for personal use during working hours is unacceptable.  This includes browsing, downloading or forwarding offensive or inappropriate materials from the Internet.  E-mail, the LAN, voicemail services and other media are the property of Save the Children-Canada, and are to be treated as any other resource.


Employees must be cautious about discussing, electronically transmitting, disposing of, or leaving confidential information where others can see it.   Confidential records are to be secured with passwords and physical locks. Employees should not discuss confidential information with friends, family or others who do not have an official need to know. Confidential information includes, but is not limited to:

  • personnel records and payroll information, including home telephone numbers client information and donor lists
  • personal information about volunteers financial information

Display of Materials

Employees should ensure that any words, pictures, emblems, symbols, posters, tee-shirt slogans or other displayed materials are not offensive to colleagues; this conduct is also discussed in the Harassment Policy.

Duty of Care

Each employee has a general duty of care towards the organization’s assets, including records and information.  Misuse or negligence of these assets may include: approval or incurring an expense which is clearly inconsistent with policy failure to establish or adhere to basic financial controls failure to ensure the security of the organization’s assets.

Off-Site Use of Equipment and Property

Equipment, files and records may be used away from the workplace, if authorized by the supervisor. Please note that use of equipment by unauthorized people, such as family members, friends or others is not allowed.

Ownership of Work

All information and material collected, conceived or developed while performing work for Save the Children-Canada,  is the property of the organization,  unless otherwise agreed to by the Executive Director or designate and the employee.

Personal Business

Employees are expected to limit the conduct of personal business during working hours.

As well, employees are not to use organizational resources to send personal mail, send or receive personal e-mail, or charge personal long distance telephone calls.

Employees are not to use organizational resources without permission while engaging in outside professional or commercial activities.   For other than incidental use, employees should reimburse the organization for any supplies or materials used.

Personal Loans

Personal loans or advances can be made to staff at the discretion of the President & CEO or designate.  Travel advances are not considered personal loans and are discussed in the policy on travel expenses.

Political Activity

Employees in Canada or in their country of citizenship are entitled to engage in political activities as they see fit, but must not imply that their candidacy or support for a political process has been in any way endorsed by the organization.

Non-nationals in host countries should not engage in any political activity in the assigned country or in any other foreign country while under contract to Save the Children- Canada.

Public Information and Records

Annual  report and  audited financial  statements are in the  public’s interest and are available to any employee or public member who requests it.  Within the confidentiality guidelines, employees should ensure that information given to the public is complete, understandable and truthful.

The accuracy of personnel, donor and other administrative records is critical to providing the quality of service and ensuring continuing trust in our services.  It is a violation of policy to misrepresent the organization, omit statements of fact, or to falsify any record or report.

Disciplinary Action

Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.

Related Policies

  • CCIC Code of Ethics in the Program Handbook
  • Code of Conduct for International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement and NGO’s in Disaster Relief (Alliance)
  • Code of Conduct in the Board Policies
  • Ethics Policy for Fundraising in the Board Policies Disciplinary Measures in the Human Resource Policies Employment of Relatives in the Human Resource Policies Harassment in the Human Resource Policies


I confirm that I have read, understood and shall abide by the Code of Conduct principles for the entire period I am working or associated with, and or represent, Save the Children. I understand that violation of any of the above code of conduct can, depending on the degree of severity, result in immediate disciplinary action which can include dismissal.

I will raise through appropriate channels any matter which appears to break the standards contained within this Code of Conduct.




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