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Code of conduct

The aim of this Code of Conduct is to provide clear guidance on the standards of behaviour all staff are required to abide by. 

This code is governed by:

  • ACTED’s Values and Guiding Principles;
  • ACTED Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct;
  • ACTED Child Protection Policy;
  • ACTED Anti-Fraud and Whistle-Blowing Policy;
  • ACTED Anti-Terrorism Policy;
  • Code of Conduct for The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, of which the ACTED is signatory,
  • U.N. Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises. 

It is bindng on all ACTED staff : 

  • You must read and fully understand the content of this code. If you have any questions it is your responsibility to ask your supervisor for clarification. 
  • If you fail to adhere to any of the provisions set out in this document you can face disciplinary action, dismissal or even legal action. 
  • You also have a duty to inform beneficiaries and others with whom ACTED is working of this Code that ACTED staff must adhere to, including how and to whom they can report any misconduct or failure committed by ACTED staff. All reports and concerns will be properly considered and treated with discretion. ACTED will address any breaches of this Code that will be reported through the established mechanism. 
  • If you are a manager, you will have particular responsibilities to set a good example and to create a working environment conducive to upholding the standards in the Code of Conduct, as well as support and develop systems that maintain this environment.

It is the duty of all of us to think about and manage our behaviour to fit with the values and principles of ACTED and the following requirements:

1. I WILL RESPECT OTHERS

  • I will respect all persons equally and without any distinction or discrimination based on nationality, race, ethnicity, tribe, gender, religious beliefs, political opinion or disability. 
  • I will act fairly, honestly and tactfully and treat people with dignity and respect. I will respect the national law and local culture, traditions, customs and practices that are in line with UN conventions.
  • I will contribute to building a harmonious workplace based on team spirit, mutual respect and understanding. 
  • I will dress in a manner appropriate to the assignment and the cultural setting. 
  • Consequently,
  • 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 MAINTAIN HIGH STANDARDS OF PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT…

…by serving the mandate and values of ACTED, by applying ACTED manuals, internal rules and procedures, by striving for high standards in my work, taking responsibility for my actions and not abusing my position of power as an ACTED representative. I will refrain from behaving in a way that undermines my ability to do my job or is likely to harm ACTED’s reputation and I will ensure that my personal and professional performance is always based on a non-racist, non-discriminatory and gender sensitive conduct. 

Consequently, 

  • I will not engage in sexual relations with anyone under the age of 18, or abuse or exploit a child in any way, regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defense.
  • I will neither support nor take part in any form of criminal, illegal, exploitative or abusive activities, including, for example child labour, paedophilia, forced prostitution, trafficking of human beings, commodities and intoxicants. 
  • I will never knowingly support, tolerate or encourage terrorism or the activities of those who embrace terrorism;
  • I will not exchange money, employment, goods or services for for sex, including sexual favors or other forms of humiliating, degrading, or exploitative behavior is prohibited. This includes exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries.
  • I will not 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.
  • I will not be in possession of, nor profit from the sale of, illegal goods or substances.
  • I will not drink alcohol or use any other substances in a way that affects my ability to do my job or affects the reputation of ACTED. Likewise, I will under no circumstances drive an ACTED vehicle  under the influence of alcohol or any other illegal intoxicants. I understand that any knowledge of staff handling any kind of ACTED motorized transportation means under such influence should be reported and will be dealt with as a breach on the Code of Conduct and security regulations, and lead to disciplinary measures. 
  • I will not accept bribes or significant gifts (except small tokens of appreciation valued less than 30 USD that I will immediately notify to my line manager) from governments, beneficiaries, donors, suppliers or others which have been offered as a result of my employment.
  • I will not enter into any sort of business relationship on behalf of ACTED with family, friends or other personal/professional contacts for the supply of any goods or service to ACTED or any employment related matters without authorisation.
  • I will not use the organisation’s computer or other equipment to view, download, create or distribute inappropriate material, such as pornography and paedophilia.
  • I will not carry weapons or wear military uniforms within ACTED premises and vehicle and when on duty. 

3. I WILL WORK ACTIVELY TO PROTECT ACTED’S BENEFICIAIRES

By taking into consideration the difficult experiences that victims of disasters have faced and the disadvantaged position in which they may find themselves in relation to those who hold power or influence over certain aspects of their lives, I will always seek to care for and protect the rights of the most vulnerable, e.g. children, in particular orphans and separated children, women, single parents, elderly, disabled, chronically sick and vulnerable minority groups. I will do my utmost to support ACTED’s assistance and protection work and act in a manner that ensures that their interests are my paramount consideration. 

Consequently,

  • I will not act in a way that breaches ACTED’s operational guidelines and procedures, in particular ACTED’s child protection policy or in any way place our beneficiaries at risk of harm.
  • I will not abuse the power and influence that I have by virtue of my position over the lives and well-being of beneficiaries. I will never request or receive any service or favour from beneficiaries, staff members or other persons in return for assistance or protection. I will never engage in any exploitative relationships – sexual , emotional, financial or employment-related – with beneficiaries. 
  • I will not withhold information about any current criminal convictions, charges or civil proceedings, in particular relating to child abuse, either when I join ACTED or arising during the time of my employment. 

4. I WILL SEEK TO PROTECT THE SAFETY & SECURITY OF MYSELF & OTHERS…

…by being aware of and complying with ACTED health & safety policies and practices and highlighting to my line manager any areas of concern.

Consequently,

  • I will make myself familiar and comply with all global and local ACTED security & safety and health rules and procedures.
  • I will not behave in a way which creates unnecessary risk to my security or the security of others.

5. I WILL PROTECT ACTED’S RESOURCES, ASSETS AND CONFIDENTIALITY…

…by handling ACTED financial resources and assets carefully and by performing my official duties and conducting my private affairs in a manner that avoids conflict of interest. In particular:

  • I will ensure ACTED’s resources are not misused and protect them from theft, fraud or other damage.
  • I will disclose potential conflict of interest with a supplier, service provider or business partner (such as family relations or shareholding). 
  • I will safeguard and make responsible use of the information to which I have access as a result of my employment with ACTED. 
  • I will not use offices, ACTED property or knowledge gained from functions with ACTED for private gain, financial or otherwise, or for the private gain of any third party, including family, friends or those they favour. 
  • I will protect, manage and utilize ACTED human, financial and material resources efficiently and effectively, bearing in mind that these resources have been placed at ACTED's disposal for the benefit of beneficiaries and other persons of concern to ACTED. 
  • I will exercise due care in all matters of official business, and not divulge any confidential information about beneficiaries and persons of concern to ACTED, colleagues and other work-related matters.
  • I will maintain electronic files and archives in a responsible manner. Information that may be considered illegal, offensive or inappropriate must under no circumstances be processed, downloaded, stored or disseminated. 
  • I will exercise necessary caution and discretion in regards to political, military or security matters in official or private communications, including telephone calls, radio messages, e-mails and letters. 
  • When engaged in communication activities, I will ensure that portrayal of individuals and their circumstances is fairly represented in terms of their capacities and vulnerabilities. I will make all necessary efforts to explain how photos and stories will be used and to obtain permission from the individuals for the use of their photos and stories. 
  • Consequently,
  • I will not seek personal gain from my employment with ACTED and will resist any undue political pressure in decision-making. In particular, I will not receive or provide bribes, including kick-backs of any kind. 
  • I will neither seek nor accept instructions regarding the performance of my duties from any government or from any authority external to ACTED. I will not accept any honour, decoration, favour gift or remuneration from any authority; nor will I accept these from any other source external to ACTED without prior authorisation, except for minor token items of appreciation valued less than 30 USD. 
  • I will not engage in any outside occupation or employment without prior authorisation. I will not accept supplementary payments or subsidies from a government or any other source. 
  • I will not assist private persons or companies in their undertakings with ACTED where this might lead to actual or perceived preferential treatment. I will never participate in activities related to procurement of goods or services, or in human resource activities, where a conflict of interests may arise and will always act in strict conformity with related ACTED policies, guidelines and instructions. 
  • I will not reveal, both while working for and after leaving ACTED, any confidential information I have obtained while working for ACTED to any third party unless legally required to do so. I am aware that the breach of professional secrecy both while employed and after leaving the organization, might lead to a claim for compensation and/or prosecution. 
  • I will not make comments to the media or to journalists on behalf of ACTED without prior agreement with the Country Director or Director of Communications Department in Paris. 
  • I will not issue statements to the press or other agencies of public information or submit articles, books or other material for publication, including on internet blogs, websites, online media and any public electronic forums, if such act relates to the activities or interest of ACTED, without prior approval from the Country Director or the Director of the Communication Department in Paris. I commit to a responsible management of any personal social media platform, including Facebook and Twitter, in accordance with the law and the standards listed in the present code of conduct, on which I will not disclose any confidential professional matters, nor divulge any confidential information about beneficiaries and persons of concern to ACTED, colleagues and other work-related matters, nor represent ACTED in any way.

6. I WILL REPORT ANY INCIDENT OR CONCERN RELATING TO THIS CODE 

In order to create the conditions for this Code of Conduct to enter into force, we must not only apply it individually but be ready to bring to the attention of relevant management within ACTED any potential incident, abuse or concern that we witness or are made aware of.

Consequently,

 

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