Child Protection Policy


All employees and collaborators of Symplexis are actively involved in promoting child safety – specifically in the context of protecting children against abuse – as well as safeguarding and facilitating children’s rights. Symplexis’ work is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a legally binding international instrument supporting children’s rights to survival, development, participation and protection. The UNCRC was adopted in 1989, and has been signed and ratified by 194 countries.

We believe that child protection is crucial to ensuring that children under the age of 18 have the rights, information and space in which they can express their views and communicate effectively with other children and adults. Children can only become empowered agents of change to improve their lives and that of their families and communities if they are safeguarded from abuse, discrimination and harm of any kind, be it physical, sexual, emotional or neglect.

A “child” as defined in Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), means “every human being below the age of 18 years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier”

Symplexis’ Child Protection Policy constitutes a framework of rules, standards and guidelines intended to:

  • make all employees, experts and research associates of Symplexis realize the importance of taking action to protect children against abuse;
  • undertake appropriate intervention in the case of suspected child abuse and/or direct threat to their health and life;
  • develop within the organization a culture of work based on children’s rights and constant learning.

This policy applies to all Symplexis’ employees, consultants, contractors, experts and volunteers employed by or working with the organisation.


  1. A “child” is defined as anyone under the age of 18, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).
  2. According to the World Health Organisation, “Child abuse” or “maltreatment” constitutes ‘all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.
  3. “Child protection” is defined as the policies, standards, guidelines and procedures to protect children from both intentional and unintentional harm.
  4. “Child participation” asserts that children and young people have the right to freely express their views and that there is an obligation to listen to children’s views and to facilitate their participation in all matters affecting them within the family, schools, local communities, public services, institutions, government policy, and judicial procedures. World Vision considers child and youth’s meaningful, safe, and appropriate participation a key strategic priority for ensuring sustained child well-being and creating democratic societies with informed and engaged citizens.
  5. “Staff” is defined as those who are employed directly by or volunteer for, Symplexis, as well as staff and volunteers of partner organisations whilst they are working with children and young people in the care or supervision of Symplexis.

Statement of commitment

  • Symplexis acknowledges that children have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation.
  • Symplexis is committed to the prevention of abuse and to the well-being of members, children, young people, vulnerable adults and their families.
  • Symplexis is committed to acting at all times in the best interest of the children, young people and vulnerable adults to whom it provides a service.
  • Symplexis is committed to dealing with abuse, suspected abuse or disclosure of abuse in a timely fashion.
  • Symplexis recognises that the family’s primary role in caring and protecting the child should be valued and maintained.
  • Symplexis acknowledges that in cases of suspected child abuse, support for families is important.
  • Symplexis agrees that working in accordance with this policy requires staff to be trained and supported.
  • Symplexis is committed to complying with all relevant legislation.

Procedure for Responding to Child Abuse

Any issues of suspected child abuse must be taken seriously and handled in an appropriate manner that ensures the child’s safety.

At meetings and/or activities where children are directly involved, children should be informed about the protection policy, and complaints mechanism in a child-friendly manner.

Staff should normally discuss their concerns with the Director of Symplexis, who is the appointed Child Protection Focal point. Any information provided to the Child Protection Focal point will be handled with strict confidentiality. Discussions held with the Child Protection Focal point should focus on:

  • evidence that the child’s protection has been breached;
  • the identified risks to the child/children;
  • measures to safeguarding children and minimise risk; and
  • action/next steps

Reporting suspected or actual child abuse is mandatory for all employees, consultants, contractors, experts and volunteers employed by or working with Symplexis. Information about suspected abuse must be accurate and a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure or when the concern arises (Incident Report form provided in Annex 1).

If the personal safety of a child is immediately threatened, and/or when it is suspected that any form of criminal behaviour is taking place at a programme, the appropriate local authorities should be informed immediately and their advice followed, and/or other appropriate services (a list of relevant contacts is provided in Annex 2). Information sharing will be restricted to those who need to know in order to protect the children.

Role and responsibilities of staff

Symplexis ensures that all staff working with children, both paid and voluntary, have been appropriately vetted and screened.

One of the key priorities of Symplexis is to protect and promote within its capacity the rights of all children falling under its mandate.

The ability of staff to protect children in their care is critical. All staff will be expected to undertake training in child protection at a level appropriate to their position. Symplexis will ensure that such knowledge is kept up-to-date and relevant. As part of its child protection training, Symplexis will:

  • provide comprehensive written documents on Symplexis ‘s Child Protection Policy to all new staff/partners;
  • incorporate extensive information on the company’s Child Protection Policy in the briefing procedures for new staff;
  • provide child protection training for staff assigned in projects where they will work directly with children.

The Board of Symplexis is ultimately accountable for this policy and responsible for its implementation. The monitoring of adherence to this policy is made through the mandatory tracking of the Child Protection Policy implementation standards and Symplexis’ Code of Conduct by all parts of the organisation.

If a Symplexis’ member, associate or representative contravenes the policy, whether within or outside the context of our work, in ways that are criminal, grossly infringe children’s rights, or contravene the principles and standards contained in this document, Symplexis will take immediate disciplinary action and any other action appropriate to the circumstances.

Annex 1 — Incident Report Form

Important note

If you have knowledge that a child might be at risk of harm, please complete this form to the best of your knowledge.

Please note that child protection concerns must be reported (orally or in writing) directly to the Child Protection Focal point of Symplexis (preferably within the same working day). Depending on the urgency, this form can be completed before contacting the Child Protection Focal point or afterwards.

The report should be written and signed only by you to guarantee confidentiality and should be sent only to the Child Protection Focal point of Symplexis, who will hold it in a safe and secure place and treat it with the strictest confidentiality[1].

Download form here.

Annex 2 — National helplines and websites

National Helpline for children SOS1056
National Child Protection Helpline1107
Helpline of the Greek Safer Internet Centre210 6007686
SafeLine2811 391615
Together for the Child115 25
Children’s Ombudsman hotline for minors800 11 32 000
Hellenic Police 
Sub-unit of minor’s protection of Police Headquarters of Attiki210 6476370
Sub-unit of minor’s protection of Police Headquarters of Thessaloniki2310 388456
Cyber Crime Division11188

[1] Adapted from Eurochild Child Protection Policy. Retrieved from