Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor



The Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’-Bor is Associations dealing with the protection and promotion of children’s rights in Serbia.

Mission “KOKORO” represents the exercise of rights, improvement of the position and improvement of the quality of life of children in Serbia.

Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’-Bor advocates for an inclusive society in which all children have the right to a happy and carefree childhood, in which children grow up protected from abuse, neglect, discrimination and violence and have equal access to quality education, health care, social services and a healthy environment and where they can develop their abilities to their full potential.

The work of Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’ is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which defines four basic principles that represent the basis for realizing all children’s rights:

  • that every child has the right to life, survival and development (Article 6);
  • that all rights guaranteed by the Convention must be available to all children without discrimination of any kind (Article 2);
  • that the position of the child must be taken into account in all matters and procedures concerning him (Article 12)
  • that the best interests of the child must be the primary factor in all procedures concerning him (Article 3); 

In addition to international documents, the work of Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor in the field of protecting children from neglect, abuse and violence is also based on the national strategic and legal framework, as well as accompanying protocols. These are: Family Law, Law on the Basics of the Education System, Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence, Law on Social Protection, Law on Health Care, Criminal Code, Law on Juvenile Offenders and Criminal Protection of Minors, Law on Prohibition of Discrimination , Law on special measures to prevent the commission of criminal acts against sexual freedom against minors, Law on Police; Strategy for the prevention and protection of children from violence (for the period from 2020 to 2023 with an Action Plan for 2020 and 2021), General Protocol for the protection of children from abuse and neglect.

1.1.  The purpose of the adoption of the CHILD SAFEGUARDING POLICY

The occurrence of violence and child abuse is a global phenomenon. It happens in all countries and in all societies. It can occur as physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children and adolescents. Children and adolescents can potentially be exposed to exploitation, abuse, violence and neglect, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEZ) in families, communities, institutions, organizations, in private and public places and in various circumstances. Persons who commit violence against children can have different levels of closeness with the child, including professionals who are engaged in the work of helping and supporting children.

Every child is potentially at risk of abuse and exploitation. Some children, due to their position and the circumstances in which they live, are at a higher risk of experiencing violence, abuse, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEZ) (these factors are socio-economic status, gender, disability, ethnicity, social class, etc.).

In order to preserve the safety of children and suppress potential violence, abuse, exploitation and sexual exploitation and abuse of children, Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ adopts the Child Safety Preservation Policy (POBD), a document that describes what is being done to ensure that employees in the organization and activities do not harm children and states how it reacts if it comes to that.

Keeping children safe includes all actions an organization takes to ensure:

•     that the people it hires, the activities and programs it implements do not harm children, that is, to prevent the abuse and exploitation of the children included in its activities;

•     to establish procedures to respond effectively when there are concerns about the safety of children

•     to report to the competent authorities any suspicion and/or concern for the safety of children that he observes within the organization (in relation to its employees and engaged collaborators and programs) and more widely in the community in which he works .

Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’   believes that „all organizations and professionals who work or are in contact with children have a duty to ensure that their activities are ‘child safe'“[1] and to ensure their right to protection. Organizations have an obligation and responsibility to respect policies and implement procedures in order to ensure, on the one hand, the prevention of violence and abuse of children, and on the other hand, adequate protection interventions in situations where children have already suffered some form of violence.

Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor is committed to safeguarding the safety of children and for this purpose a Policy for safeguarding the safety of children has been developed with clearly defined measures.

These measures are necessary to:

  • Child protection : Some children are at particular risk of experiencing abuse, exploitation, violence, sexual exploitation and abuse by adults – parents/guardians, project workers and those who have access to their personal data. Many children who grow up in risky circumstances have already experienced the breakdown of trust or the abuse of adult-child relationships in the form of physical, psychological or sexual abuse.
  • Protections from organization staff : All children have the right to be free from all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. That is why MODS is responsible for making all activities, projects and programs „safe for children“. This means that staff do not pose a risk to children and that programs, policies and practices can be established and developed to promote the protection of children.
  • Protecting the organization and its reputation : Organizations without policies, guidelines and safeguarding systems are at greater risk of acting ineffectively when child abuse occurs, from reporting to prosecution. They are also at risk of abuse of child abuse reports.

Without proper child protection policies and standards in place, allegations of abuse, whether substantiated or unfounded, can destroy an organization’s reputation. This leads to serious consequences for the entire functioning of organizations that deal with the protection of children’s rights.

POBD refers to the protection of children as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should be viewed holistically, as a comprehensive framework for the protection, care and participation of all children.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides an international framework that states children’s rights to protection from abuse and neglect (Article 19), discrimination (Article 2) and various forms of exploitation (Articles 32-36); children deprived of parental care (Article 20), refugee children (Article 22), children at risk of developing drug addiction (Article 33), children deprived of freedom (Articles 37 and 40), children in situations of armed conflict (Articles 38, 40).

1.2. Statement – basic principles of   Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’  – Bor in connection with the preservation of children’s safety and SEA

The network of organizations for children of Serbia is dedicated to preserving the safety of children and is guided by a zero-tolerance approach to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by all persons and to all persons involved in MODS activities, including employees, Association of citizens ’KOKORO’’-Bor organizations, associates, partners, and volunteers.

All employees and related staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of personal and professional conduct at all times in order to preserve the safety of children during their involvement in  Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor activities and programs.

All children participating in  Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor  activities, projects and programs have the right to have their health, safety and well-being a priority; the right to promote and protect development so that they can realize their full potential; the right to be respected and understood in the context of their own culture, religion and ethnicity; the right to be heard and to have their views carefully considered and the right to be encouraged and assisted in participating in decisions that affect them, including child protection decisions.

 Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor believes that organizations dealing with the promotion and protection of children’s rights have an absolute duty to protect children from any form of abuse, mistreatment and exploitation, sexual exploitation and abuse within organizations that are intended for their welfare.

Without the application of appropriate standards and mechanisms for safeguarding the safety of children, an organization not only fails to perform its basic duty of care for children, but can inadvertently or carelessly foster an environment conducive to abuse.

1.3. Six basic principles for protection against sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA)[2]

  1. Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor  employees and related staff is a serious offense and grounds for termination of employment.
  2. Sexual activity with children (persons under 18) is prohibited, regardless of the locally applicable age of majority or consent. A mistaken belief as to the child’s age is not a defense.
  3. Providing money, employment, goods or services for sex, including sexual services or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour, is prohibited. This includes providing follow-up help to users.
  4. Any sexual relations between Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor employees and related staff and aid beneficiaries or other vulnerable members of the local community, which imply inappropriate use of position, are prohibited. Such relationships undermine the credibility and integrity of humanitarian work.
  5. Where a  Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor employee or related staff suspects the occurrence of sexual exploitation or abuse by a colleague, whether the alleged perpetrator is from the same organization or not, he/she must report such suspicion through established reporting mechanisms.
  6. All   Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor employees and related personnel are required to create and maintain an environment that prevents SEA and promotes the implementation of this policy. Management at every level has a special responsibility to support and develop systems that preserve this environment.

1.4. Scope of application of the CHILD SAFEGUARDING POLICY

The Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor CHILD SAFEGUARDING POLICY refers to:

  • Staff engaged in the implementation of activities within the  Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor, members of the   Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor secretariat and members of all Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor   bodies, in accordance with the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor   Statute, as well as volunteers and other persons who are involved in a certain way in the implementation of Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor  activities a;
  • Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor member organizations;
  • External consultants engaged in certain projects, in accordance with the needs of  Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor
  • All adults accompanying children to events and activities organized by Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor  ;
  • Everyone who participates in events and meetings organized by Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor in which children are present, including journalists, sponsors, donors, policy makers, etc.

All named persons are expected to be familiar with the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor Child Safeguarding (POBD) policy and undertake by signing to adhere to the principles and procedures that are part of theAssociation of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor  POBD.

1.5. Definitions

A child

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), a child is „any human being under the age of 18, unless national law recognizes an earlier period of maturity“.

Definition of violence

The term „violence“ means „any form of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse“ as stated in Article 19, paragraph 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In General Comment no. 13 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: The right of the child to be free from all forms of violence , it is emphasized that clear operational legal definitions of the various forms of violence mentioned in Article 19 are needed, in order to prohibit all forms of violence in all environments. The following is a list of definitions of various forms of violence that are used in international documents ratified by the Republic of Serbia and which are mostly incorporated into domestic legislation.

Child protection

Actions taken by individuals, organizations and states to prevent and/or respond to violence, exploitation and abuse of children in all contexts.

Child Safeguarding

Actions that an organization undertakes: that the people it hires, the activities and programs it implements do not harm children, that is, to prevent the abuse and exploitation of the children it has included in its activities; to establish procedures to respond effectively when there are concerns about the safety of children and to report to the relevant authorities any suspicion and/or concern for the safety of children that it observes within the organization (in relation to its employees and engaged associates and programs) and more widely in the community in which it works .


A document in which the organization describes what it is doing to ensure that its employees and activities do not harm children and states how it reacts if this happens and affirms its commitment to keeping children safe.

Direct contact with children

In terms of this document, direct contact with children means being in the physical presence of the child/children in the context of MODS work, whether the contact is occasional or regular, short-term or long-term. This may include attending meetings and conferences where children are present or child activism in the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor office ( note that these are examples ).

Indirect contact with children includes:[3]

  1. Access to information about children for the purposes of achieving the goals of KOKORO The information includes knowing the name, location (address of the individual), photos of the children and various reports about the children.

2)         Providing financial resources for organizations that work with children. Although indirectly, this still has an impact on children, so the donor organization has a responsibility regarding the protection of children. (Please note that this list does not include all examples).


In the context of POBD Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor, a member is considered an organization with full or associate membership inAssociation of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor .

1.6. Forms of violence against children

The most common forms of violence against children – definitions

Physical violence against a child is that which leads to actual or potential physical injury as a result of some interaction or lack of interaction, which falls under the reasonable supervision of a parent, or a person in a position in which he has responsibility, power over the child or his trust (WHO, 1999 ). It includes a wide range of activities such as hitting, beating, kicking, pulling hair, biting, suffocating, shoving, burning, poisoning, strangling, tying with a string or chain, forcing a child to remain in a position that causes pain or is humiliating as punishment, threat with a knife or gun and others. It can manifest itself as an isolated incident or repeated activity of a chronic nature.

Corporal punishment of a child in order to correct or control behavior constitutes child abuse. [4]In general comment no. 8 (paragraph 11), the Committee defined „corporal“ or „physical“ punishment as any punishment in which physical force is used with the intention of inflicting a certain, even minimal, degree of pain or discomfort. In the majority of cases, this refers to hitting children („slapping“, „slapping“, „slapping on the buttocks“), with a fist or some object – a whip, a rod, a belt, a shoe, a welder.

Emotional violence , which is stated in art. 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as „mental violence“, it is often described as psychological maltreatment, mental abuse, verbal abuse and emotional abuse or neglect and it can include actions that are belittled, denigrated, blamed without reason, threatened, intimidated, restricts the child’s movement, discriminates, ridicules or engages in other forms of non-physical, hostile or dismissive treatment of the child.

Sexual violence is the involvement of a child in a sexual activity that he does not fully understand, with which he does not agree or for which he is not developmentally mature and is unable to agree with it, or one that violates the laws or social taboos of society (WHO, 1999). . [5]The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse expressly states that sexual abuse of a child includes the following types of intentional behavior, which should be criminalized: a) engaging in sexual activities with a child who has not reached the legal age in which sexual activities are allowed; b) engaging in sexual activities with a child when coercion, force or threats were used; or, abused recognized position of trust, authority or influence over the child, including the position in the family; or, abused particularly sensitive situation in which the child is, his vulnerable position, primarily due to mental or physical handicap or addiction. Sexual violence also includes the exploitation of children in prostitution and pornography, which is described as child exploitation.

Sexual exploitation is the actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, difference in power, or trust for sexual purposes, i.e. the acquisition of financial, social or political benefits due to the sexual exploitation of another person.

Sexual assault is an actual or threatened physical assault of a sexual nature, whether carried out by the use or threat of force. It includes both face-to-face and online sexual exploitation and abuse.

Neglect and negligent treatment is the negligence or failure of a parent, guardian or other care provider to ensure the child’s development in any or all areas: health, upbringing and education, emotional development, nutrition, housing and safe living conditions, and within the reasonably available resources or family care provider, which impairs or is likely to impair the health of the child or his physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. It also includes the failure to perform proper supervision and protection of the child from injury to the extent that it is feasible. (WHO, 1999). Neglect can be physical, emotional, medical and educational neglect or a combination of these forms.

Child exploitation refers to the use of a child for work or other activities for the benefit of other persons. These activities impair the physical or mental health, education of the child, his moral, or social and emotional development (WHO, 1999). The following acts are child exploitation:

  • Child abuse in child trafficking, prostitution and pornography; [6]Child trafficking includes luring, transporting, transferring, hiding or receiving a person under the age of 18 with the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, kidnapping or deception, fraud, abuse of power or a state of vulnerability, giving or receiving money or privileges for obtaining the consent of a person who has control over the child, with the aim of exploiting him. [7]Enticing, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a child for the purpose of exploitation is considered „trafficking in human beings“ even if it does not involve the above means;[8]
  • Exploitation of a child for prostitution means hiring a child to engage in prostitution or inducing a child to participate in prostitution, forcing a child into prostitution or making money from some other form of exploitation of a child for such purposes.[9]
  • Exploitation of a child for pornography includes producing, offering or making available, distributing or transmitting, obtaining, brokering child pornography, or knowingly obtaining access through information or communication technology to child pornography. Recruiting a child to participate, leading or forcing a child to participate in pornographic performances, or making money or any other form of exploiting a child for such purposes, as well as knowingly attending pornographic performances in which children participate constitutes sexual violence against a child.[10]
  • Abuse of child labor. [11]Abuse of child labor is considered to be the work of a child, which is mentally, psychologically, socially and morally dangerous and harmful to the child and which affects the child’s education by preventing the child from attending school, obliging the child to leave education early, or forcing the child to attend school under extremely difficult conditions, including the worst forms of child labor according to the Convention of the International Labor Organization no. 128.
  • Child trafficking for the purpose of adoption is recognized as the taking away of a person who has not reached the age of sixteen for the purpose of his adoption contrary to the applicable regulations, the adoption of such a person or mediation in such an adoption, as well as the purchase, sale, delivery, transportation, provision of accommodation or concealment.[12]
  • Abuse of a child for medical or scientific purposes, through the inclusion of a child in experiments that may be harmful to the child’s development, and abuse in the trade of organs;
  • Social exploitation of children, which includes all forms of child abuse in the media, for advertising purposes, in political party campaigns, etc.

Violence among children (also called peer violence) is a deliberate, conscious desire to upset/harass, intimidate, cause injury to another person – a peer. The most common forms of peer violence are: verbal abuse, stealing and destroying things, forcing and blackmailing others to do what they were ordered to do, beatings and physical injuries, financial blackmail, threats with weapons and sexual violence, social isolation of the child, ridicule, insults.

Gender-based violence among children is any act of violence against a person due to gender [13], sex or sexual orientation, and may include gender prejudice and discrimination (sexism), gender stereotyping and sexual objectification, sexual harassment, violence in (early) partner relationships, violence due to sexual orientation and other forms of physical, sexual and psychological gender-based violence.[14]

Digital violence is the use of digital technology with the aim of upsetting, hurting, humiliating and harming another person. It is carried out in the form of: messages sent by e-mail, text and video calls, through social networks, through a website, chatting, inclusion in forums, etc. Other terms for this type of violence can be found in the literature, such as: bullying in the digital world, electronic violence, violence on the Internet, online violence, cyberbullying, etc.

Institutional violence is violence committed by professionals in institutions, and it can include direct violence towards service users, as well as attitudes and behaviors that lead to insensitive treatment, neglect of needs and denial of help, minimizing the violence committed or its consequences, blaming the victim, ineffective, ineffective and unrelated actions, which contribute to the re-victimization of service users, i.e. victims of violence.

Child and forced marriage . A child marriage is a „marriage“ in which at least one of the partners is a child, i.e. a person under the age of 18. [15]. Forced marriage is defined as any marriage entered into without the full and free will of one or both partners and/or in which one or both partners cannot end the marriage due to family or wider societal pressure/coercion.

1. Information and education about CHILD SAFEGUARDING POLICY (acronym POBD)

For the effective implementation of the POBD, it is necessary that all those to whom it applies fully understand its meaning. Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor  will ensure that all employees of the Secretariat, all members of  bodies, volunteers, consultants, etc. to be informed about POBD and to act in accordance with all the aforementioned provisions and not to harm children with whom they potentially come into contact as part of or outside of their work.

The POBD will be delivered to all member organizations after they become members of KOKORO, as well as to all acquaintances who start any kind of involvement in KOKORO .

The POBD Implementation Coordinator will be responsible for providing a copy of the POBD to all organizations that organize meetings on behalf of KOKORO or travel with children to events organized by KOKORO. Organizations will be asked to inform their staff who work and travel with children to events to which KOKORO is invited about POBD, as well as to inform parents, carers and children of their right to protection and the reporting mechanisms available.

Education and training are essential to the implementation of POBD. This entails the following:

  1. At the beginning of their engagement (within 3 weeks after entering the position), staff members/volunteers/interns/members of the Management Board and other bodies of KOKORO will undergo introductory training on the implementation of POBD, by the coordinator for the implementation of POBD. The content of the training includes familiarization with the instructions for behavior for those who are in direct contact with children and instructions on the adequate sharing of data about children. The training will also enable staff to identify sources of support for children and their families.
  1. All employees, consultants and volunteers will undergo child safety training, in accordance with their role and responsibilities.

At meetings and activities in which children directly participate, children will be informed in a child-friendly manner about the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor Child Safety Policy, the code of conduct, the existence of a contact person for child protection and the complaint mechanism.

For this purpose, we have also created a version of the Child Safety Policy that is suitable for children and can be accessed via the following link .

On the website of Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor, a special page dedicated to keeping children safe and protecting them from SEZ, the latest version of POBD and child-friendly POBD has been set up. On the front page, a special banner leads to the page for POBD and a special banner on POBD for children.

2. Management and human resources

3.1. Candidate screening and recruitment

All those engaged in the organization as well as appointed members of the organization’s bodies – the Management Board, the Supervisory Board, and others (consultants and volunteers…) are obliged to perform the following procedures before receiving the status of employee/appointed:

  • familiarization with the content of POBD;
  • acceptance of prescribed standards by giving consent in writing to adhere to the principles and procedures contained in the POBD document for safeguarding the safety of children and zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEZ) during work or cooperation with KOKORO;
  • When starting engagement and appointment to certain positions:
  •  employees, volunteers, interns and consultants are engaged with a clear job or role description that includes a statement of responsibility for complying with the POBD;
  • all employment interviews include a conversation about child protection and care, when it comes to finding out whether and how much the candidate understands that principle, as well as the principles and values related to child protection;
  • the basic standards and principles of preserving the safety of children and protection from SEZ are incorporated into the contract that regulates the engagement of a person in the organization, so that it represents a mandatory provision of the contract that the contracting parties are obliged to respect.
  • Signing a personal statement stating any criminal convictions, including sentences served as well as misdemeanor proceedings.
  • Submitting the contact information of two people for the purpose of giving a recommendation. The persons submitting the recommendation should know the person for whom they are vouching for with their recommendation for at least two years, so that these persons are not family members or related to the person applying, and that the persons making the recommendation have been informed about the candidate’s experience and suitability for working with children . The identity of persons providing references will be verified.

3.2.  Management

Managing the Policy for the Protection of Children’s Safety involves monitoring the implementation, evaluating the effects of the implementation and reporting on the implementation of the POBD. In order to manage POBD, a child protection contact person will be appointed who will be responsible for:

  • Improving awareness of POBD and its application in the organization.
  • Monitoring the implementation of the POBD and reporting on events at team and Steering Committee meetings.
  • Developing child safety training resources as needed.
  • Sharing knowledge about best practices and legislative framework in the area of protecting children from violence.
  • Acting as a source of support and information for staff on safeguarding issues.

Information about the contact person in charge of managing the POBD will be available and visible in the KOKORO Office, as well as at KOKORO activities, and new staff will be introduced to this role in a timely manner.

The Board of Directors will have overall responsibility to oversee and ensure the implementation of the POBD.

3. Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Borcode of conduct regarding the preservation of children’s safety and SEA

Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor is committed to the complete protection of children from all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation and protection from SEZ. Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor  will undertake all necessary actions to prevent such situations and/or in order to provide the necessary assistance to children in such situations. Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor will respond to all reports of suspicion of violence, abuse and SEZ based on POBD, regardless of the nature of the report, who the person is alleged to be, or where the person who made the report is from.

This Code of Conduct contains instructions on the standards of ethical and correct behavior of adults towards children, and of children towards other children. The code of conduct respects the best interest of the child as one of the basic principles and rights of the child. Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor aims for everyone, children and adults, to safely and happily participate in the work and activities of the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor network. Therefore, we list a few guidelines that personnel engaged in Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor should adhere to:

  • Find out what acts and omissions in relation to and towards children constitute neglect, abuse, exploitation of children and SEZ (covered by the Child Safety Policy) and find out what the provisions of the Child Safety Policy are.
  • Recognize the signs of abuse and report any suspicions to the child protection contact immediately.
  • Be familiar from the beginning with who the contact person is in charge of child protection in the  Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor network.
  • Follow procedures for reporting suspected child abuse.
  • Respect the basic rights of others by acting fairly, honestly and tactfully and treating people with dignity and respect.
  • Treat all children equally: implement work based on inclusive principles and include all children without discrimination.
  • You actively work to ensure that there is the highest level of respect for each other.
  • Maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct with yourself and others.
  • Protect the health, safety and well-being of yourself and others.
  • Be aware of high-risk situations when it comes to a group of children (eg leaving a group of children of higher and lower calendar ages unattended as well as situations of discrimination against children).
  • Be aware that there is a risk of peer violence.
  • When talking to children, use child-friendly vocabulary in such a way that your expressions, actions and relationships do not endanger children in any way.
  • Develop special measures/monitoring to protect younger and especially vulnerable children from abuse and SEZ by peers and adults.
  • Provide a favorable environment for the personal, physical, social, emotional, moral and intellectual development of children.
  • Encourage and respect the expression of children’s opinions and views.
  • Limit children’s access to inappropriate electronic material and/or do not expose children to such material.
  • Always respect the confidentiality of children’s personal information.
  • Obtain the written consent of the child and parent/guardian when photographing, recording or requesting personal data for activities .


  • Do not engage in any form of sexual activity with children.
  • Avoid actions or behaviors that could be interpreted as bad practice or potential abuse. For example, never behave in an inappropriate or sexually provocative manner.
  • A child may never spend the night in an adult’s room or sleep in the same bed with an adult (unless both the child and his parent/guardian have previously given their consent).
  • If children have the skills to do certain things independently (including dressing, bathing and cleaning), allow them to do it independently. If they need support, provide it in that area in an adequate way.
  • Any form of discrimination, humiliation, disparagement or degradation of children is prohibited. This includes anything that can be considered emotional abuse (eg a way of expressing that mentally or emotionally abuses a child or telling a story/showing pictures that mentally or emotionally abuse a child).
  • The use of physical punishment as a method of disciplining children is prohibited
  • Do not act in any way that may lead to abuse or put others at risk of abuse.
  • Do not condone violations of this Code by others – staff, interns, consultants, etc.
  • Do not allow children to play sexually provocative games with each other.
  • It is forbidden to kiss, hug, caress or touch the child in an inappropriate way.
  • Do not suggest inappropriate behavior or relationships of any kind between children
  • Do not take photos and film or ask for personal data if they are not required for the implementation of KOKORO activities.
  • It is forbidden to use contact information of children in an inappropriate way (including promotion on social networks, etc.).

Report any suspicion of child abuse, neglect and SEZ to the contact person for child protection.

4. Implementation strategy: procedure in case of suspected violence and SEA

All staff engaged in Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor should know the indicators that indicate that a child needs help (see annex 1). The decision on whether to report suspected abuse and SEZ of a child is the responsibility of the person who notices that there is a basis for a report. The reporting procedure should be known to everyone so that everyone is sure of what steps are necessary to take to ensure the safety of children and other witnesses.

If there is a suspicion that one of the staff has violated a provision from the POBD KOKORO, it is necessary to report it to the contact person for child protection via the protection report form (annex 2), immediately after the suspicion is raised. Basic principlehere, the safety of the child is always the most important factor. These records will be kept securely with access restricted to the Child Protection Contact or Director.

At meetings and in activities in which children directly participate, children will be informed in a child-friendly manner about the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor Child Safety Policy, the code of conduct, the existence of a contact person for child protection and the complaint mechanism.

5.1.  Recognizing and reporting suspected violence and SEA

The first step in protection is the detection of child abuse, neglect and SEA, and it is also the most sensitive part of that process, on which, to a large extent, the further course of child protection depends (see annex 1). The first phase of response also differs in relation to whether the suspicion of violence against a child and SEZ refers to a person within the organization (internal) or the knowledge of the suspicion of violence refers to a situation outside the organization (external).

When someone draws your attention to a problem with keeping children safe – REACT

Respond if you notice a problem yourself. If you’re not sure, report it.

Child protection is child-centred. It is the most important topic.

Time is important. The reaction to problems with child protection must be timely, efficient, confidential and adequate [16].

If the problem is internal and related to the behavior of staff, volunteers, trainees, member or members of the Board of Directors, it is necessary to consider whether it is necessary to report the case to the competent authorities. If it is decided not to report the case to the competent authorities, an internal protection procedure is applied . If the need arises, the case is reported to the competent authorities, and the action of the competent authorities is further monitored, and then a decision is made on the further reaction, recording of the case and the measures taken.

If the problem is external , i.e. employees of the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor Secretariat and appointed to positions in the MODS bodies have knowledge of suspected violence and SEZ against a child, they are obliged to act in accordance with the General Protocol for the Protection of Children from Neglect, Abuse and violence. After consultation within KOKORO, knowledge of the case is reported to the designated contact person for child protection. The contact person for child protection is obliged to report it to the competent authorities: the center for social work, the internal affairs authority and the public prosecutor immediately after receiving information about suspected violence and SEZ.

Knowing that there is a suspicion of violence can come from:

  • recognition of signs of injury on the child or behavior of the child and family that indicate the possibility of abuse/neglect and SEZ of the child.
  • trust, which can be direct – from the child himself or indirectly – from other persons who have knowledge or suspicion that the child has been abused and SEZ (parent or other family member, neighbors, peers, teachers).


If you find out that a child may be in danger, there is suspicion of violence and SEZ, fill out the protection application form (annex 2) as best you can. Please note that child protection issues must be reported directly ( orally or in writing ) to the child protection contact person at MODS (preferably on the same working day). Depending on the urgency, you could complete this form before contacting the child protection contact or complete the report afterwards.

You can also report an accident or incident using this form. An accident is an unplanned event that has resulted or could have resulted in injury, damage to equipment or property, or endangerment of the environment. An incident is an unpleasant or unusual event.

The report should be written and signed by you alone to guarantee confidentiality. You should only send it to the child protection contact who will keep it in a safe and secure place in the strictest confidence.

5.2. Procedure in case of suspected violence and SEA

The police and the public prosecutor are responsible for the investigation of criminal offenses in accordance with the criminal law in our country.

Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor has jurisdiction to investigate acts allegedly committed by KOKORO personnel or persons engaged by KOKORO.

5.3. Administrative investigation

Upon learning that there is a suspicion of violence and SEA, the Secretariat of the KOKORO will inform the Management Board, which, in cooperation with the director, will make a decision based on the available information to initiate an administrative investigation . An administrative investigation of the SEZ allegations involving KOKORO personnel is proceeding without delay.

An administrative investigation relates to conduct prohibited by KOKORO or a KOKORO contract partner (eg UNICEF) – and does not necessarily constitute illegal conduct.

Criteria for making decisions regarding the administrative investigation process include the nature of the misconduct (for example: violation of organizational policies, codes of conduct or procedures); credibility of allegations (whether there is a reasonable factual basis that a violation has occurred), availability of evidence and witnesses ; the verifiability of the information received, including the action that could be taken to identify potential victims and/or the subject (if unknown); and the risk(s) to the victim(s) associated with the investigation process.

The Board of Directors appoints 3 members of the Investigation Team who come from the Secretariat of the MODS, the Board of Directors and members of theAssociation of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor  who have the most experience in implementing policies to preserve the safety of children and protection from SEZs.

The investigation team takes a victim-centred approach and takes care not to harm the victim and to protect her rights, dignity and well-being. Security measures are being planned to ensure the protection of the victim from retaliation, re-victimization and re-traumatization. The investigative team will be guided by the basic standards in the offense:

Informed consent: After explaining the process and possible consequences, the investigator will ask the victim for express written consent to the investigation.

Confidentiality: Confidentiality of the procedure does not mean anonymity. The investigator must keep confidential information about the investigation and the identities of the persons involved to ensure the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of the investigation participants. Some information about the investigation can be shared:

  • for legitimate investigative purposes;
  • for the safety or welfare of interested parties (eg cases involving the risk of retaliation);
  • that the victim is informed about the process;
  • to enable the Secretariat and/or the director to take appropriate measures.

Presumption of innocence: The legal principle that someone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The investigation process has five steps: suspicion report, investigation, report, legal review and disciplinary action. The role of the investigator is limited to the first three steps: report of suspicion, investigation and report.

A. If there is a suspicion that one of the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor staff has violated the POBD, the contact person for child protection will report it to the director immediately upon learning, and the director will pass this information on to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors makes a decision on the initiation of an administrative investigation and a decision on the formation of an investigative team .

Upon learning that there is a suspicion of violence and SEZ against a child, the investigator will conduct a risk assessment and propose measures for risk management. In risk assessment and planning measures to reduce risk, he will cooperate with the members of the investigation team and the secretariat of the KOKORO For risk assessment and management, they will use the Form for risk assessment and management during the investigation of violence and SEZ (Annex 3).

The person who is the subject of the investigation will be notified in writing and invited to an interview no later than 24 hours before the scheduled interview. The notice of investigation should contain the following information: A description of the alleged misconduct (brief description of the allegation); basic information about the investigation process; rights in accordance with the law; the duty of cooperation; the name of the investigator; confidentiality; interview information; possibility to bring a person for moral support; information about his/her right to present evidence; any other relevant information.

In the event that it is established that the POBD was violated by persons engaged in the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor, the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor will immediately suspend that person from duty. Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor reserves the right to take disciplinary and other measures against a person who is found to have violated the POBD.

If it is about a committed criminal act, based on the decision of the Management Board, Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor will submit a criminal complaint to the public prosecutor or the police.

B. If there is knowledge that employees from organizations that are members of Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor or adults who accompany children have violated POBD at meetings and activities organized by Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor, it is necessary to report it to the  Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Borcontact person for child protection immediately, immediately after finding out (Annex 2 Application form for protection).

The Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor Child Protection Contact will investigate complaints or concerns confidentially and discreetly and report them to the Director. If possible, the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor child protection contact person together with the KOKORO director will talk to the person responsible for the incident and/or their organization in order to change the behavior or actions of that person/organization.

In the event that a person or organization is unwilling or unable to change its behavior in accordance with POBD standards, the director will report this to the Board of Directors, which may suspend further cooperation with this member organization on activities directly involving children or suspend membership. .

The member organization has the right to appeal the decision of the Management Board. In such cases, the organization must write to the President of the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor Board of Directors within one week of receiving written confirmation of the outcome of the complaint and explain the reasons for the complaint. The President of the KOKORO Board of Directors will consider the appeal. This involves reviewing evidence and reports and may include direct interviews with staff and others. The President of the Board of Directors of KOKORO will make the final decision, which will be confirmed in writing. The decision from the appeal procedure is final.

If it is about a committed criminal act, based on the decision of the Management Board, KOKORO will submit a criminal complaint to the public prosecutor or the police.

Annexes related to the administrative investigation:

Investigation plan form

Form of investigation report

Confidentiality Statement

Confidentiality Agreement

TOR form for SEZ allegation investigator (in case there is no person with appropriate competences in the organization).

5.4. Vulnerability levels and reactions to violence, neglect and SEZ

When there is suspicion of violence and SEZ, the contact person for child protection will follow the procedures and deadlines listed below, with the support of the management structures in the organization.

Protection in emergency cases. A situation in which there is an immediate danger to a person’s life.

What we will do – Immediately contact emergency services directly – police, ambulance. Once the emergency services take control of the situation, we will determine if there is an immediate need for support and the involvement of other organizations.

Suspicion of violence. The child is unable to protect himself and is currently at risk of, or has experienced, abuse, exploitation, radicalization or neglect or SEZ.

What we will do – Within 24 hours, directly contact the center for social work or the police or the public prosecutor. We will follow the instructions of the competent authorities. Procedures and instructions should be in writing.

Complex or serious needs. No one is harmed in any way, but the child faces a wide range of adverse circumstances and is very vulnerable. If there is no intervention, there is a possibility that the health or development of the child will be seriously damaged.

What we will do – Within three days, we will help the child and family to obtain available services in the local government or we will refer them to another organization with their consent.

If we do not receive consent, we will contact the Social Work Center for advice and inform the child and family of our actions.

In order to refer the victim for help and support to the appropriate organization and/or institution, use the Victim Referral Form (Annex 4). Please restrict the availability of this document and keep it safe. Share copies of the completed form with the victim and the reception service, and keep one copy for the organization’s internal records and subsequent steps.

The contact person for protection keeps a register of reports of cases of violence and SEZ, which contains the date and description of the reported case and the measures taken (annex 5).

5. Guidelines for communication and media

This chapter refers to the principles that KOKORO uses when communicating externally about its work and the work of its member organizations. It contains general principles for the safety of children at all times, as well as specific instructions to be followed by KOKORO employees, as well as photographers, film crews and visiting journalists.

Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor events and media activities

All measures to protect and preserve the safety of children in POBD are equally applicable in the activities of KOKORO in the media and in other communications, including the use of social media.

In order for all children to be protected and safe in all situations, it is important to obtain the written consent of parents/guardians for photographing children and/or making statements of children, which will be used in public. Any public participation of the child will be carried out exclusively for the purpose of promoting the rights of the child. ( annex 6 contains a special consent form for the media).

  • Principles that are respected when portraying children in the media

When reporting on children, the media are obliged to act in accordance with the Serbian Code of Journalists.

  • Any participation of children in the media should be in the best interest of the child.
  • In their reporting, the media is obliged to respect the rights and dignity of the child
  • The use of discriminatory or humiliating expressions is prohibited.

Below are instructions for the use of photos, films and stories in which children are participants in order to protect children and information about children .

When reporting Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor (publishing news, videos, photos with children), the following principles apply:

Dignity : The dignity of the child is respected at all times. It is forbidden to use words that degrade or victimize a child. In photographs, children should always be appropriately dressed, and it is forbidden to display photographs in which children are shown in poses that could be interpreted as sexually provocative.

Accuracy of data presentation : Exposure of children in the media must not be done in a manipulative or sensationalist manner. Photos and stories should provide a balanced view of the child’s life and circumstances. There needs to be a balance between negative images and images that encourage or show the progress children are making. In communications, generalizations that do not reflect the exact nature of the situation should be avoided, and photos should not be taken and used out of context.

Privacy: No information will be used that could identify or put a child at risk.

Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor will take care of:

  • That the identity of the child will not be revealed, but that it will be disguised with initials. It is not allowed to display any information that refers to the identity of the child (house, yard, school, etc.).
  • That information about the child/children’s life and photographs of children (including information stored on a computer) are kept in secure files. Access to them should be limited to those who need to use them during work.
  • That photographs taken should focus on the activity and, where possible, include groups of children rather than individual children.
  • KOKORO is committed to representing children from different social groups in its publications and videos – boys and girls, of different ages, abilities and ethnicities. KOKORO will take care that the communication material represents the diversity of children, which reflects the value that KOKORO stands for – respect for diversity and non-discrimination.

Complaints procedure : All complaints about inappropriate photos or suspicions about them should be reported and recorded as well as other issues related to the protection of children and the preservation of their safety and security.

6.2.  Informed consent

Before taking any photos, recording videos or seeking personal information about the lives of children that can be used in materials authored by KOKORO, it is necessary to obtain informed consent from the child’s parent/guardian. Informed consent means that before the consent of the parents/guardians is requested for the child’s participation in photography/recording, the parents/guardians of the children are provided with all the necessary information as well as how the photo/film will be used. Parents are not obliged to give their consent. Also, it is necessary to inform the children about everything and ask for their consent.

Consent must be obtained by filling in and signing the media consent form (in the consent forms in annex 6).

Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor will keep media consent forms and other consent forms in its records.

Obtaining prior written consent does not mean that there is no need to obtain verbal consent when taking photos/videos/interviews.

6.3. Interviewing children

When interviewing children, it is necessary to follow certain basic principles in order to respect the dignity and rights of children.

  • Informed consent : With regard to interviews, informed consent includes explaining the topics that will be covered in the interview and the child’s right to withdraw consent at any time. The person conducting the interview should check at the beginning of the interview whether the child understands the consent.
  • Providing support : Another person the child knows should be present during the interview. Whenever possible, the child should be given a choice about the person who supports him during the interview.
  • Respecting the right to say „no“ : Inform the child before the interview begins that the child should only talk if he feels comfortable and that he can stop and withdraw consent at any time.
  • Gender : Consider the different needs of boys and girls and whether they would be more comfortable talking to someone of the same or different gender. Gender must be taken into account when deciding on the topics that can be discussed.
  • Respecting the right to information : If the interview is recorded in some other way, it is necessary to explain it to the child and verbally ask for their permission for it.

6.4.   Visits by photographers, film crews, journalists and others

  • does not comply with the Child Safety Policy and principles for media and other communication.

If the photos or any material is used by another organization, it must be attributed to Association of citizens When organizing visits by external photographers, film crews, journalists or visitors, and on the occasion and within KOKORO projects, activities and publications, take special care to:

  • Journalists, photographers/film crews must fully familiarize themselves with the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor Child Safety Policy before meeting the children they will be interviewing, photographing or filming. They need to agree with their signature to comply with the POBD.
  • Photographers and filmmakers are not allowed to spend time with or have unsupervised access to children. KOKORO personnel are required to be present at all times.
  • Children, parents/guardians must be informed about how the film, photo or story will be used and consent must be obtained. This consent is different from the consent they have given to use the material for the activities of KOKORO or the national/local organization in which they are involved.
  • Copies of the photos, film and story should be sent to the organization (member) who will forward them to the children.
  • In order to protect children’s confidentiality and privacy, Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor must be notified of how the photographer or filmmaker intends to use the photos or stories. Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor reserves the right not to allow use if it considers that it ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor or the photographer’s name with a ©.

6. Responsibility: monitoring and evaluation of the Child Safety Protection Policy

The goal of monitoring and evaluating the Child Safety Protection Policy is to contribute to well-founded changes and additions to the Policy based on experience from practice.

Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor will regularly monitor the implementation of POBD and child protection procedures. The contact person for child protection reports annually to the Board of Directors on progress, performance and lessons learned. Those reports are an integral part of the Annual Report on the work of Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor. Monitoring and evaluation will be done by monitoring the extent to which the standards from the POBD are applied and whether protective measures are working. This will be done by conducting a survey with the employees of the Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor Secretariat, the KOKORO Management Board, and others engaged in KOKORO (volunteers, consultants…) on how the standards from the POBD are met, how effective they are and what needs to be improved.

In addition to the general monitoring and evaluation of the POBD, reactive monitoring will be carried out after possible incidents, which will contribute to improving the reporting procedures and the learning process in KOKORO. If necessary, the POBD or application procedures will be modified.

Every three years, an internal audit of POBD will be carried out and its results will be approved by the Management Board.

7.    Statement of Commitment to the Policy for the Protection of Children’s Safety

I, ________________________________________________, have read and understood the standards and instructions set forth in the KOKORO Child Safety Policy.

I agree with the principles contained in the Child Safety Policy and accept the importance of implementing and promoting child safety policies, procedures and practices and zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse (SEZ) while working or cooperating with Association of citizens  ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor.

In addition, I understand that compliance with the KOKORO POBD includes the following: checking criminal convictions related to working with children; signing a personal statement listing all criminal convictions, including those deemed served, reporting any previous investigations or allegations against me related to child protection issues and providing two character references.

I am aware that violation of any of the rules of conduct may, depending on the severity of the violation, lead to appropriate consequences in accordance with KOKORO regulations and legal regulations.

__________________________________________ (Name)

________________________________________________ (Job position/role)

________________________________________________ (Signature)

________________________________________________ (Date)

8.    Character recommendations

Provide the name, address and contact information of two character references who you have known for at least 2 years, excluding family members:

 Name and surname: Address: Phone number: Email:     Name and surname: Address: Phone number: Email:   
  • Statement of criminal convictions

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? ☐ Yes  No

If so, provide details of any criminal convictions, including those considered „time served“ and report any previous investigations or allegations against you. The KOKORO Child Protection Contact will keep these statements confidential and will assess whether they pose a risk or comply with KOKORO child safety policy.

Annex 1. Recognition of signs of abuse (indicators)

Recognizing the signs of potential abuse is complex and there is no simple checklist that would allow for easy recognition. There are potential warning signs to look out for, but you should evaluate them carefully. It should not be automatically assumed that abuse is occurring. However, it is equally important not to dismiss suspicions or ignore signs of abuse. You should discuss these with the Child Protection Contact as soon as possible to decide the most appropriate response.

Possible signs of physical abuse:Bruises, burns, sprains, sprains, bites, cutsImplausible explanations of injuriesRefusal to discuss injuriesWithdrawal from physical contactLong sleeves and pants during warm weatherUnwillingness to participate in physical activities that may involve removing clothes, e.g. sportsFear of returning home or contacting parentsWariness or mistrust of adultsTendencies towards self-harmAggressiveness towards othersPassivity and obedienceChronic running awayPossible signs of neglect:Frequent hungerTaking food scraps from bins or plates or stealing foodPoor personal hygieneConstant fatigueInappropriate clothing, e.g. summer clothes in winterFrequent tardiness or absence from schoolUntreated health problemsLow self-esteemBad social relationsCompulsive stealingTaking drugs or alcohol
Possible signs of emotional abuse:A delay in physical, cognitive or emotional developmentHigh anxietyDifficulty speaking or a sudden speech disorderFear of new situationsLow self-esteemInappropriate emotional responses to situationsExtreme passivity or aggressivenessTaking drugs or alcoholChronic running awayCompulsive stealingPossible signs of sexual abuse:Sexual behavior inappropriate for age or highly sexualized expressionNocturnal urination or defecationPain in the anal or genital areaSleep problemsFear of being with adultsPromiscuityExtreme risky behavior in adolescents

Some of the indicators of undesirable behavior of adults, and represent the risk that child abuse happens/happens:

  • A person in whose presence the child’s behavior changes significantly, e.g. becomes withdrawn, fearful, anxious or agitated.
  • Asks the child to lie or keep secrets.
  • Violates the Code of Conduct/conduct protocols of the organization.
  • Initiates private contact with the child, in person, by email or phone.

Annex 2. Application form for protection

If you become aware that a child may be at risk, there is suspicion of violence and SEZ, please complete this form to the best of your ability. Please note that child protection issues must be reported directly ( orally or in writing ) to the child protection contact person at MODS (preferably on the same working day). Depending on the urgency, you could complete this form before contacting the child protection contact or complete the report afterwards.

You can also report an accident or incident using this form. An accident is an unplanned event that has resulted or could have resulted in injury, damage to equipment or property, or endangerment of the environment. An incident is an unpleasant or unusual event.

The report should be written and signed by you alone to guarantee confidentiality. You should only send it to the child protection contact who will keep it in a safe and secure place in the strictest confidence.

  1. About you

Name: ________________________________________________________________

Workplace: ______________________________________________________________

Organization you work for: __________________________________________________________

Nature of your contact with the child: ____________________________________________

Contact information:                 Phone: __________________________________________________________


  • About the child

Child’s name: _________________________________________________________________

Gender of the child: ____________________________________________________________

Child’s age: _________________________________________________________________

Child’s address: ________________________________________________________________

Parents/guardians of the child: __________________________________________________________

Has the child received any treatment?

The child received treatment from __________________________________________________________

Taken to hospital ☐ YES; ☐ NO;

If so, to which hospital and how _________________________________________________

3. About the problem; details of the incident

Do you:

                                                                                                                                                                        ☐                                                       ☐                                                       

saw the incident,                                   suspect the incident,                  someone pointed out the incident to you

If someone else told you about the problem, state who it is and what their relationship is with the child: __________________________________________________________________________

What happened? Explain the cause (how and why) if known. If you state personal observations, make a distinction between facts and opinions or allegations ( e.g. the child’s emotional state, visible injuries, etc.) :

 Did the child/young person or another source say something to you [if relevant] and how did you respond to him/her: [Do not induce the child to make statements. Record actual details]


 Date of alleged incident: __________________________________________________________

Time of the alleged incident: __________________________________________________________

Location of the alleged incident: ___________________________________________________

Name of Alleged Offender (if applicable): _______________________________________

Were other children/persons involved in the alleged incident? ____________________________________________________________________

Was there a danger to other children? ________________________________________

Actions you have taken:


Signature: __________________________________________________________________

Date: __________________________________________________________________

————————————————– ————————————————– —————

This should be completed by the contact person for child protection :

An incident/accident investigation was conducted:                                  Yes ☐ No 

A written investigation report is required:                                   Yes ☐ No 

A written investigation report is required:                                   Yes ☐ No 

It may be necessary to question the persons involved in order to determine the cause of the incident or accident. Details and witness statements etc. can be added here.


Annex 3. Form for risk assessment and management during the investigation of violence and SEZ[17]

CONFIDENTIAL : Please restrict access to this document and keep it secure.

no.Who is at risk?Identified risk/risksProbability of risk* Previous risk management measures taken to dateAdditional risk mitigation measuresWho did it?Until when?
ExampleThe victimThe alleged perpetrator pressures the victim to retract the statementMediumVerbal communication with the alleged perpetrator, where he was told to refrain from contact with the victim (February 3, 2019)A written warning to the alleged perpetrator regarding the consequences of continued contact with the victimAnaUntil March 5, 2022 (immediately)

* High / Medium / Low

Annex 4 . Victim Referral Form

CONFIDENTIAL: Please restrict the availability of this document and keep it secure.

Note: Please share copies of the completed form with the victim and the reception service, and keep one copy for the organization’s internal records and follow-up.

Referring service
Service / organization: Contact person: 
Phone: Email address:
Reception service
Service / organization: Contact person: 
Phone: Email address:
Information about the victim
Name: Phone: 
Gender: Nationality:
Language:ID number:
If the victim is a minor (under 18 years old)
Primary Caregiver’s Name: Relationship with the child: 
Guardian contact information: Is the child separated or unaccompanied? ☐ Yes ☐ No   
The guardian has been notified of the referral? ☐ Yes ☐ No (if not, explain)     
Context information/Reasons for referral and services already provided
Was the victim notified of the referral?☐ Yes ☐ No (if not, explain) Was the victim referred to another organization? ☐ Yes ☐ No (If yes, explain)   
Requested services
  mental health services  psychosocial support  social services  medical services     protection services  legal services  education  life support    shelter  material assistance  nutrition  support for children born as a result of SEZ
Please explain each service you requested:   
Consent to sharing information. (Read with the victim/ guardian and answer all questions before he/she signs. Sign for the victim/guardian if consent was given verbally and the victim/guardian cannot sign.) 
I, _______________________(name of victim), understand the purpose of this referral and that the disclosure of this information to ________________________(name of receiving agency) is to ensure safety and continuity of care among service providers working with the client. The service provider, ______________ __(name of referring agency), explained the referral procedure to me in detail and listed the specific information that would be disclosed. By signing this form, I give my consent to this sharing of information. 
Signature of the responsible person (victim or guardian of the victim’s child): 
Date (DD/MM/YY): 
Referral details
Contact restrictions and other restrictions? ☐ Yes ☐ No (if yes, explain) 
Referral made via: ☐ Phone (emergency only) ☐ Email ☐ Electronic (eg, app or database) ☐ In person 
Further contacts are expected via: ☐ Telephone ☐ E-mail ☐ In person. By date (DD/MM/YY): 
Information that agencies agree to share during further activities: 

Name and signature: Date of receipt (DD/MM/YY): __________________________________________________________________________________________

Annex 5. Register of cases of violence and SEZ

 DateDescription registered caseAction taken

Annex 6. Consent forms

PERSONAL AND EMERGENCY INFORMATION Your name and age Address Phone number Mobile phone number (if any): Email address: 
  • Do you want to participate in ………………………………. (eg meeting, event, etc.)?

Check Yes or No:

☐ Yes

☐ No


Do you have any allergies we should know about?Yes ☐ No ☐ Details:
Do you have additional support needs that you would like to let us know about (physical or cognitive handicap, mental health problems, low self-esteem, communication difficulties, topics you find difficult to talk about)?Yes ☐ No ☐ Details:
Is there anything else we can do so you can come and participate fully?Yes ☐ No Details:
Are you taking any medications we should know about?Yes ☐ No ☐ Details:
Do you have any dietary needs?Yes ☐ No ☐ Details: 
If you belong to a religion, let us know if there is anything we should know about participating in the event Details:
Contact person for EMERGENCIES. It is very important that you complete this section completely
Name 1:Relationship with you:Phone number:Mobile phone number:Name 2:Relationship with you:Phone number:Mobile phone number:
Do you agree to receive hospital or dental treatment, including anesthesia, in an emergency?Yes ☐ No Details:


Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor actively promotes …………………………………………………… ( eg activities, events, etc. ). We publish photos and/or statements of participants. In this way, we inform the public and decision makers about ………………. ( an event )

If you or your parents/guardians are interested in following the work of  Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor through social media, we invite you to follow the our Facebook page , or the Kokoro  website:

  • Do you agree to participate in visual documentation during the KOKORO event ……………… ? If you consent, we may share photos, film, audio, text or art on the website or on social media; in reports or leaflets; at events and/or in promotions that we present to people at the national, regional and European level, with the aim of providing support to children and adolescents.

Check Yes or No:

☐ Yes

☐ No

  • Do you consent to us capturing you on film, photographs, audio, text and/or art and sharing this content in the ways listed above?

Check Yes or No:

☐ Yes

☐ No

  • Do you consent to us telling other people your name when we share this content? ( you can participate in the event ……………. if you don’t want us to tell others your name).

Check Yes or No:

☐ Yes, you can share my name

☐ No, you cannot share my name

  • Do you agree to speak to the press during the event …………. (which includes photography and recording with a TV or video camera)? All media interviews will be conducted in consultation with and in the presence of an accompanying adult and a MODS employee. You have the right not to answer questions you do not want to answer.

Check Yes or No:

☐ Yes

☐ No



The Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor implements the project „……………“*, which includes children and young people from several cities in Serbia. Kokoro undertakes to respect the privacy of the project participants and ensures the confidentiality of personal data of the participants. The data will be used exclusively for the efficient organization and management of the project „……………“ (including lists of participants, photographing/recording and/or giving statements of children, as well as for the purposes of project evaluation)

Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor actively promotes the activities on the project „……………..“ and we publish photos and/or statements of the participants and thus inform the public and decision makers about the activities on the project. If you or your parents/guardians are interested in following the work of Kokoro  through social media, we invite you to follow the Kokoro  Facebook page, or the  website

  • Do you consent to us recording you on film, photographs, audio material, texts and sharing this content on the website or on social media; in reports or leaflets; at events and/or in promotions that we present to people at the national, regional and European level, with the aim of providing support to children and young people. If you agree, we can share photos, film, audio material, texts in the way mentioned above.

Mark YES or NO:



  • Do you consent to us telling other people your name when we share this content? (you can also participate in the event of recording video messages for the project “…………….” if you do not want us to tell others your name).

Mark YES or NO:

 Yes, you can share my name

 No, you cannot share my name


Child’s signature


I agree that my child ______________________________________ participates in the activities of the project „…………….“.

I certify that I am the legal guardian of the child named above and therefore can give permission and this consent on behalf of the child:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name of the legal guardian / Relationship with the child Signature of the guardian


The Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor implements the project „Get started“*, in which children and young people participate. KOKORO undertakes to respect the privacy of the project participants and ensures the confidentiality of personal data of the participants. The data will be used exclusively for the efficient organization and management of the Get Started project (including participant lists and photography).

I agree that my child ______________________________________ participates in a consultation workshop within the project „…………..“.

I certify that I am the legal guardian of (child’s name) ________________ and therefore can give permission and this consent on behalf of the child:


Signature of parent/guardian

I agree ______________________________________ (child’s signature) to participate in a consultative workshop within the project „……………“.

Note 1 : If you do not want to give consent for certain activities, e.g. publishing photos to the public, please enter here


Note 2:We inform you that at any time the child can refuse to participate without any consequences

Annex 7. Important contact information

 Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’-Bor  Contact person for child protection __________________________________Mobile phone number:Email:  Director ________________________________________Mobile phone number:Email:  Board of directors President of the Board of Directors _______________________________Mobile phone number:Email:  

Annex 9. Form of investigation plan

Date:Number of items:
Alleged perpetrator:Victim:
Application date: 

Summary of the allegation (includes how and when the allegation was received and by whom, what was alleged against whom)

Applicable legal norms (identify the rules, regulations and standards of conduct that may have been violated by the alleged misconduct).

Summary of the management/investigation team’s decision (includes rationale for continuing the investigation, conditions of the investigation, safeguarding issues identified by the committee)

The alleged incident

 Information known
Type of abuse or exploitation  
Number of alleged incidents  
One or more alleged perpetrators  
One or more victims  
Relationship between alleged perpetrators and victims  
The degree of violence/aggression used  
A form of coercion  

Answer to the allegation

The applicant received a written acknowledgment of receipt/investigationYesNotUnknown
The needs of the victims were assessed   
The victim was offered support/recommendation for identified needs   
Victims/witnesses are currently in a safe location   
Confidentiality of the investigation was preserved   

Plan steps and timelines

  1. Facts to be established to support or disprove claims

In order to support or refute the allegation, it is necessary to establish the following facts:

Alleged violationRelevant policy/rule violated Elements to be proved Available evidence Additional evidence is needed 
  1. Suggested interviews
Not.Name/PositionStatus (alleged perpetrator, witness, victim, etc.)Contact information (phone and email)Purpose of the interview / Reason for the interviewTentative date/availabilityAny special considerations / need for an interpreter
  1. Evidence / records to be collected
Evidence to be collectedJustificationMeans of securing evidenceConsiderations (risks, confidentiality)Estimated timeline

Evidence may include

  • witness statement (eg statement of what someone saw, heard, suspected, etc.)
  • documentary evidence (eg forms, photographs, video tapes, computer files)
  • physical evidence (e.g. examinations of the alleged abuse site)
  • expert (authoritative opinion on whether something is likely to have happened).

4.         Potential risks

  1. Risks to the organization / investigation

Identify all risks to the Organization arising from the investigation and outline all possible solutions to address those risks. This includes the potential risks of unauthorized access to evidence.

Type of riskExplanation / solutionsHigh / Medium / Low
  1. Risks to individuals

Identify all risks to individuals involved in the investigation, including investigators, staff, the alleged perpetrator, witnesses. Include risks of witness intimidation.

Type of riskExplanation / solutionsHigh / Medium / Low
  1. Provisional measures, including possible suspension

Discuss any need to request that the alleged offender be suspended or if he/she is already suspended.

5.         General schedule and potential trips

6.         Resources

Budget required

Annex 10. Form of investigation report


This section provides a concise summary of the investigation. Note that some readers will only read the abstract; therefore, it should include the most relevant information, including the specific allegations made, how the allegation was received, the methodology of the investigation (eg evidence collected, witnesses interviewed) and the investigator’s conclusions.


This section provides a narrative account of the allegations against the staff member. If more than one staff member is involved, separate reports should be written for each. In this section, investigators should include:

  • Description of allegation that contains suspicion of violation of POBD and SEZ;
  • Involved staff – full name and title of staff member;
  • Policy/Standards Allegedly Violated – Applicable Rules and Regulations;
  • Background or context if necessary (eg details of location or program if these would not be familiar to the reader).

Investigation methodology

This section describes the process of conducting the investigation, any challenges or limitations faced (eg security issues), the types of evidence collected (electronic/digital etc.), and the list of witnesses/alleged perpetrators interviewed.

This section should also describe how the rights of the alleged perpetrator were respected, i.e. whether he had the opportunity to respond/present evidence, comment on the findings of the investigation, etc.

Risk assessment 

This section should outline the risk assessment and management process during the investigation, specifically listing any outstanding risks and recommended measures to mitigate these risks.

Findings of the investigation

This section should summarize the findings for and against the allegation, with separate sections for each violation. Depending on the complexity of the investigation, findings may be summarized in a table including evidence supporting the complaint and evidence not supporting the complaint for each allegation.


After presenting the evidence, the report must contain a conclusion for each complaint or allegation, namely:

  • The charge is confirmed, based on available evidence.
  • The allegation is not confirmed, based on the available evidence.
  • The accusation was not confirmed, due to insufficient evidence.

The report should include as appendices all relevant information to support the investigation, such as the investigation plan, risk assessment, signed interview transcripts, evidence records, copies of evidence collected, etc.

Annex 11. Confidentiality statement

I, the undersigned, will exercise the utmost discretion regarding my participation in an investigation conducted by ________________________ (name of organization). I will keep confidential all information known to me as a member of the Investigation Team .

I will not use such information for personal gain, nor to harm a third party. I understand that this statement will remain in effect after my assignment with the Investigation Team of ___________________ (organization name) is completed. I also understand that releasing confidential information to persons not authorized to receive it may be considered improper conduct and that a signed original of this statement will be retained in the appropriate investigative file.



The role:


Date and place:

A section to be completed by a member of the Investigation Team before signing the Declaration of Confidentiality

Case number:




Date and place:

Annex 12. Confidentiality Agreement

CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT – member of the Investigation Team (name and surname)

It is extremely important to respond to SEZ allegations in a safe and independent manner. To this end, it is important to ensure that the privacy/confidentiality of the persons involved in the accusation is respected.

Any investigator who has identifying information must not share that information except with the team responsible for managing the investigation and/or decision makers of the organization that requested the investigation. Any breach of confidentiality can have serious consequences for: (I) the alleged victim/survivor, (II) the complainant, witnesses or alleged perpetrator, (III) and the credibility and safety of the investigation team.

In connection with this Agreement, Confidential Information includes:

  • Direct or indirect information related to the charge and/or investigation
  • Documentary evidence (report form, emails, interview reports, handwritten notes, recordings, etc.)
  • Information related to investigation priorities and planning by the Investigation Team.

I, _______________________, have been hired as an investigator to investigate an allegation of sexual exploitation and/or abuse on behalf of [insert organization name]. I undertake to professionally perform the tasks entrusted to me. I agree to complete all tasks as fully and conscientiously as my abilities allow.

I understand that all information provided by witnesses and the organization that requested the investigation, or any other party involved in the investigation, is strictly confidential.

I will respect the right to privacy of everyone involved in this case.

I will always seek consent from victims to share their personal information with case decision makers and ensure they are informed of the case management procedures of the organization that requested the investigation.

I will not directly or indirectly discuss information related to the case with parties outside the case management team of the organization that requested the investigation, unless I have written permission from that organization.

I also agree to store all evidentiary documents securely, in accordance with the instructions of the organization that requested the investigation, keeping physical copies in a locked location and electronic copies in a password-protected location.

I agree not to make copies of the evidence unless necessary and to destroy all electronic and physical copies remaining in my possession after my participation in the investigation has ended.

If I am required to provide information to the competent authorities (police) in connection with the investigation, I will immediately notify the organization that requested the investigation in writing.

I understand that this obligation remains in effect after the investigation is closed and that sharing confidential information at any time may expose me to legal action and disciplinary action by my employer and/or the organization that requested the investigation.



    Investigator’s signature                                                          Date

Annex 13. TOR form for SEZ allegation investigator

SEZ Allegation Investigator

  1. Background

[Include a brief description of the SEZ allegation and other relevant information that may support the investigation.]

  1. Purpose and objectives

The purpose of this investigation is to conduct a thorough, objective and effective investigation into the above reported SEZ allegations and other related incidents, in accordance with professional standards and international best practice.

The specific goals are:

  1. Assess whether the allegations reasonably constitute a SEZ, and possibly a criminal offense under national law;
  2. Review the evidence presented and gather additional evidence that could support or undermine the allegations;
  3. Present a summary of the evidence and conclusions.

  • Expected results

The key results are:

  • Work plan, including detailed investigation methodology (eg review of relevant documents, visit(s), interviews with relevant stakeholders).
  • Recommended action plan for the protection of victims, witnesses, alleged perpetrators and organizations during the investigative procedure.
  • Investigation report, including:
  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Citations (ie listing any suspicions; names of the organization’s policies/codes of conduct and laws potentially violated)
  • Investigative approach (eg interviews, document review)
  • Chronology of events
  • Evidence analysis
  • Retaliation and Protection Risks (and Steps Taken to Address Them)
  • Analysis of the adequacy of the organization’s response to the SEZ allegation
  • Conclusions about the evidence supporting or not supporting the allegation(s)
  • Recommendations (including areas of improvement for the organization’s response to the SEZ)
  • Key skills and experience required
  • Experienced, reliable professional investigator with experience in handling highly sensitive cases.
  •       Trained in conducting interviews, including with children and people who have experienced trauma.
  • Demonstrated sensitivity and knowledge of cultural diversity and gender issues, including RN gender-based violence experience if possible.
  • Proven communication and organizational skills.

[1]Source: Child Safety: „Child Protection Standards and How They Are Applied“

[2] Taken from the manual PROTECTION AGAINST SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE (ZSEZ) PRACTICAL MANUAL AND TOOLS FOR UNICEF AND PARTNERS, 2020 and adapted for the needs of Association of citizens ‘’KOKORO’’ – Bor  .

[3]Note that this list does not include all examples

[4]Council of Europe (2007) Eliminating corporal punishment (a human rights imperative for Europe’s children) 2nd edition. Belgium: Council of Europe Publishing.

[5]World Health Organization , (1999) Report on Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention , 29-31 March 1999, Geneva, World Health Organization, document WHO/HSC/PVI/99.1

[6]Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (2000).

[7]United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Official Gazette of the FRY – International Treaties, no. 6 of June 27, 2001

[8]Council of Europe Convention on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Art. 4 – Definitions, „Official Gazette of RS – International Agreements“, no. 19/2009.

[9]Ibid. Art. 19 – Criminal acts related to child prostitution

[10]Ibid. Art. 20 – Criminal acts related to child pornography, and Art. 21 – Criminal acts related to the participation of a child in pornographic performances;

[11]Convention 182 of the International Labor Organization on the worst forms of child labor (2000), which was ratified by the Republic of Serbia in 2003.

[12]Article 389 of the Criminal Code – the criminal offense of trafficking minors for the purpose of adoption.

[13] “ Gender “ refers to the socially determined roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society deems appropriate for women and men. „Gender-based violence against women“ means violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman, that is, that which disproportionately affects women. Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, art. 3 – Definitions.

[14]Research on gender-based violence in schools in Serbia, J. Ćeriman et al., Faculty of Political Sciences, Center for Gender and Policy Studies, UNICEF, Serbia, Belgrade, 2015;

[15]Definition from the UN Human Rights Council report published on April 2, 2014.

[16]Source: International Plan, Guidelines for Child Protection Reporting and responding to child protection issues in the plan

[17] Adapted from form organization SOS Children’s Village, in: Organization Keeping Children Safe, Management of Child Safeguarding Violations ( Management violations preservation benefits children ) , 2016.