Corporate Policy

Habitat Association is committed to protecting and improving the well-being of the individuals it works with and serves, creating safe spaces for them; it expects all its employees, partners, stakeholders, and volunteers to realize this commitment. It has a zero-tolerance policy for behaviors incompatible with its objectives and principles in the policy document, especially sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, misconduct, and discrimination.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to protect people, especially children, at-risk adults, and aid beneficiaries, from any harm resulting from their contact with Habitat Association. These damages are as follows;

  • The behavior of staff or staff associated with Habitat
  • Design and implementation of Habitat programs and activities

The Policy sets out Habitat’s commitments and informs staff and relevant personnel[1] of their responsibilities concerning the safeguarding policy.

This Policy does not cover the following issues:

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace – this is addressed under the Habitat Association HR Policy.
  • Safeguarding concerns in the broader community that are not being addressed by Habitat or relevant staff.


2. What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding means protecting people’s health, well-being and human rights and ensuring they live free from harm, abuse, and neglect.

In our sector, we seek to protect people, including children and at-risk adults, from harm from contact with our staff or programs. Further definitions of safeguarding are provided in the list of terms below.

3. Scope

  • All contracted personnel within Habitat
  • Personnel associated with Habitat while performing business or visits, including but not limited to consultants; volunteers; contractors (business partners); all visitors of the program, including journalists, influencers, celebrities, and politicians.

4. Policy Statement

  • All contracted personnel within Habitat
  • Personnel associated with Habitat while performing business or visits, including but not limited to: consultants; volunteers; contractors (business partners); all visitors of the program, including journalists, influencers, celebrities, and politicians.

Phone: +09 212 265 33 14


Habitat commits to a three-tier protection: prevention, reporting and response.

5. Prevention

5.1. Habitat's Responsibilities


  • Ensures that its staff are familiar with and know their responsibilities under this Policy.
  • Strives to design and undertake all its programs and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may result from their contact with Habitat.
  • Adheres to strict safeguarding procedures when hiring, managing, and deploying staff and related personnel.
  • Ensures that staff receive training on safeguarding at a level commensurate with their role in the organization.
  • Ensures that reports received in line with the Safeguarding Policy are followed up promptly and according to due process.
5.2. Employee Responsibilities
5.2.1. Safety of Children

Habitat employees and affiliated personnel;

  • Cannot marry individuals under the age of 18
  • Cannot exploit or abuse children
  • Cannot inflict physical, emotional, or psychological violence on children
  • Cannot employ child labor or engage in activities where children may be commercially exploited
5.2.2. Adult Safety

Habitat employees and affiliated personnel;

  • Cannot abuse and exploit adults
  • Cannot commit physical, emotional, psychological violence against adults
5.2.3. Protection Against Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Habitat employees and affiliated personnel;

  • Cannot exchange money, employment, goods or services in exchange for sexual intercourse
  • Cannot use their power over the individuals Habitat provides assistance to engage in sexual intercourse

In addition, Habitat employees and affiliated personnel;

  • Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents violations of the Safeguard Policy and enables the implementation of the Safeguard Policy,
  • Are obliged to report any concerns or suspicions of a violation of the Safeguard Policy by a Habitat staff member or related personnel to the appropriate personnel.

6. Reporting

6.1. How to report a security breach 

Personnel with a security concern or complaint must immediately report this to their direct safety manager. If the personnel do not want to report the complaint to their safety manager (e.g. if they do not think the manager will take it seriously), they can report this to any other member of the staff, e.g. another senior manager or human resources.

7. Feedback

Habitat will follow up on the protection of reports and concerns according to policy, procedure, and legal obligations and apply appropriate disciplinary measures to personnel who violate policy.

Habitat will provide support to survivors of harm caused by staff or related personnel, regardless of whether a formal internal response (such as an internal investigation) is undertaken. The survivor will lead decisions regarding the support.

8. Confidentiality

It is crucial that confidentiality is preserved at all stages of the process when dealing with protection concerns. Information about the concern and subsequent case management should be shared as needed and kept secure at all times.

8.1. Related Texts 
  • Code of Conduct
  • HR Policy
  • Complaints Policy
  • Reporting and response procedures
  • Safeguarding procedures in personnel recruitment

Other appropriate policies

9. List of Terms

9.1. Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries are those who are receiving goods or services directly from Habitat. Note that abuse of power can also apply to the broader community that the NGO serves, and it can also include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power.

9.2. Child

Under 18 years of age. 

9.3. Damage

Any violation of psychological, physical, or personal rights.


9.4. Psychological Harm

Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) brutalizing and degrading treatment such as name-calling, constant criticism, belittling, permanent shame, solitary confinement, and isolation.

9.5. Protection against sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA)

It is the term used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or related personnel. The term derives from the United Nations Secretary-General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for the Protection Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. (ST/SGB/2003/13)

9.6. Protection

The term protection means safeguarding human health, well-being, and rights, ensuring that people live free from harm, abuse, and neglect.

In our sector, it means protecting individuals, including children and at-risk adults, from harm resulting from contact with our personnel or programs. The donor definition is as follows:

Protection means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, especially sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment, from occurring, to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm, and to respond appropriately when harm occurs. This definition shapes our values, principles, and culture. This protection places particular emphasis on preventing harm to individuals and responding to any potential or actual harm, particularly sexual assaults.

The protection is applied consistently and without exception across our programs, partners, and personnel.

This protection requires proactively identifying and preventing all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable, and transparent systems in place for the response, reporting and learning when risks occur. These systems should take a rescue approach and, at the same time, protect the accused until proven guilty.

Protection puts the beneficiaries of these programs and the people affected by them at the center of everything.

9.7. Sexual Abuse

The term “sexual abuse” refers to physical assault of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions, against an actual and threatened person.

9.8. Sexual Exploitation

The term “sexual exploitation” means the exploitation or attempted exploitation of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, monetary, social, or political benefit from the sexual exploitation of others. This definition includes human trafficking and modern slavery.

9.9. Survivor

The term identifies a person who is exploited or abused. The term “survivor” is often used when describing “victim” because it implies strength, resilience and capacity to survive, but it is the individual’s choice how they wish to identify themselves.

9.10. At-Risk Adult

A person who is or may be in need of care because of mental or other disability, age, or illness and, due to these conditions, is unable to care for themselves or protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation.