Declaration of membership

Caritas Africa adheres to the Caritas Internationalis Anti-Harassment Policy.

  1. Objective

Caritas Africa is committed to providing a work environment that is professional and free from intimidation, hostility, humiliation, bullying, harassment or any other affront that may interfere with job performance or personal dignity.

Harassment of any kind – verbal, physical, visual – will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, harassment based on race, color, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sex, age, nationality or ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or any other legally protected status.

Harassment of colleagues, counterparts or anyone with whom we work is also prohibited.

  1. Scope

This policy applies to all Caritas Internationalis staff[1] and associates[2 ].

  1. Definition

Harassment can take many forms. This may include, but is not limited to, words, signs, offensive jokes, cartoons, pictures, posters, jokes or e-mail, pranks, intimidation, physical assault or contact, or violence.

Harassment is not necessarily sexual in nature. It can also take the form of verbal activity involving derogatory remarks, not directly addressed to the target but uttered within earshot. Another type of prohibited conduct is retaliating against an employee for reporting or filing a harassment complaint.

Downloading inappropriate images or text from computer systems is also against Caritas policy (see Caritas Internationalis Safeguarding Policy for Children and Vulnerable Adults and Appendix II – Standards of Conduct for Children).

Sexual harassment may include any unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, nonverbal, or physical, with sexual connotations, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of the individual, including when it contributes to a threatening, hostile, demeaning, or aggressive environment. This may include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any other type of verbal or physical contact with sexual overtones. It is important to note that sexual harassment does not take into account the limitations imposed by age or gender.

  1. Responsibility

All employees, including management, have a responsibility to maintain a harassment-free workplace. Any employee who has knowledge of an incident of harassment, either as a witness, or through hearsay, or as a victim of harassment, is strongly encouraged to report it in accordance with the Caritas Africa Complaint Procedure. When leaders become aware of potential harassment, they should immediately bring this to the attention of the Complaints Officer.

Harassment by Caritas staff or associates of any person with whom we work must be reported immediately in accordance with the Caritas Africa Complaints Procedure. When management becomes aware of possible harassment, it is required by law to take prompt and appropriate action, even if the affected person(s) does not want Caritas to do so.

  1. Report

It is essential to immediately inform the Complaints Officer or the National Director of the organization involved, even if it is not clear whether the aggressive behavior qualifies as harassment. Any incident of harassment should be reported immediately to the Complaints Officer. An appropriate investigation and, if necessary, disciplinary action will be initiated.

All reported cases will be promptly investigated, with due regard to the confidentiality of the individuals involved, in accordance with the Caritas Africa Complaints Procedure.

  1. Retaliation

Caritas Africa prohibits its employees from retaliating in any way against anyone who raises a concern about harassment, sexual harassment, or discrimination against another. No enforcement action will be taken against an employee who has submitted a report of alleged harassment in good faith.

[1] “Staff” refers to staff, volunteers, interns and governance members.

[2] “Associates” refers to consultants and providers.