The Salesians of Don Bosco recognize and reaffirm that :
- A child is any person below the age of 18 years.
- Every Child has the right to childhood.
- The “children must have the right to express their views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child”.
- Although the Right to Education Act recognizes the right to free and compulsory elementary education for all children in the 6 – 14 years age group, we agree with the Juvenile Justice Act and UNCRC that education for children should be extended from 0 to 18.
- All children have the right to be protected from any employment till the age of 14.
- All Children have the right to be protected from being abused or forced by economic or any other necessity to enter occupations unsuited to their age or strength.
- All children have the right to equal opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and a guaranteed protection of childhood and youth against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
- Accompaniment of Children is a loving and continual presence in their life to enable a sense of educative confidence and dialogue. This implies guidance, direction and a certain style. Pedagogy of accompaniment is at the core of Don Bosco’s Educative system.
GUIDELINES FOR CHILD PROTECTION IN SALESIAN PROVINCES IN INDIA
General norms for the Salesian Provinces:
- The Salesian Provinces of India will exercise vigilant management to eliminate all risks of child exploitation and abuse.
- Any allegation of child abuse must be reported to the Rector/Director/Local Superior of the Salesian Institutions and the Provincial/Major Superior (and the Vice Provincial in the absence of Provincial) of that jurisdiction or to the Provincial Commission for Professional Standards.
- The Salesian Provinces/Institutions will stand by the victims of child abuse, shall respond to the child abuse report immediately and shall monitor internal and external compliance with the child protection policy.
- As prescribed by the Law, the Salesian provinces/Institutions commit to fully cooperate with legal authorities, if ever a child abuse is denounced against anyone working in our institutions.
- As demanded by the Law, the province will support any ensuing investigation by any recognised
- The Salesian Province/Institution assures any Salesian, Staff, Child or any person reporting about child abuse, that their concerns will be taken seriously and treated sensitively.
- The Salesian province/institution will not tolerate harassment of any Salesian, Staff, Associate, visitor or child who raises concerns of child abuse.
- When someone working in our Institutions is alleged to have abused children, the Salesian province will supervise the individual concerned and may offer remedial care, but in its commitment to the protection of children, set boundaries for that person, which may include suspension and separation from children and eventually also termination of professional/work contract.
- False allegations do occur. However, if children indicate that they are being abused or information is obtained which gives concern that a child is being abused, this should never be ignored and the burden of proof falls on the perpetrator.
- The Salesian Province/Institution shall take appropriate disciplinary or legal action against Staff, Associates and Visitors of Don Bosco Institution who make false and malicious accusations of child abuse.