Code of Conduct

“The Code of Conduct is a set of shared norms, principles, and values that aims to enhance the conduct and reputation of NGOs”.

Introduction:

‘Human rights Watch and Media Organization is a Non-Governmental Organization receiving international contribution to delivering welfare services. This Code of Conduct has been created and designed to ensure better Code implementation. The organization is fully committed to the core values of integrity, respect, and responsibility play in the delivery of services to the public and community. All staff should ensure that the business of Human Rights Watch and Media Organizations such as applications for services, procurement, or staff recruitment are dealt with an open, fair, and impartial manner.

Preamble:

This Code of Conduct sets out the basic standard of conduct expected of all staff and the organization’s policy on matters like acceptance of advantages and declaration of conflict of interest by staff in connection with their official duties. This Code also applies to temporary or part-time staff employed by the organization.

We are led by the following principles::

1. Commitment: We are committed to providing quality services to our target groups based on their needs, continuous improvement and innovations, and to effective collaboration with our stakeholders and society at large for positive and sustainable change.

2. Accountability: We should account for our activities, accept responsibilities for them, and disclose the results including financial results in a transparent manner to each contributor, donors, and the public. We promote openness and transparency in our operations, ensuring that we are always accountable for our actions.

3. Impartiality: We are impartial in our actions. The delivery of our services is based on the needs of our target groups, without consideration of nationality, race, religion, or political point of view.

4. Integrity: We conduct ourselves at all times in a manner that is ethical, legal, and professional, with the highest degree of honesty, respect, and fairness.

5. Respect: Regardless of gender, caste, religion, language, or ethnic considerations, we treat all segments of society without prejudice.

6. Human Rights: We endeavor to respect, protect, and promote the fulfillment of the human rights and obligations of all men and women in accordance with the Afghanistan constitution and international law.

7. Participation and non-discrimination: We involve men, women, youth, and children of our target communities to the greatest possible extent, engaging them in the conception, implementation, and evaluation of projects and programs. We attempt to ensure the participation of marginalized groups in communities where we work.

8. Environmental impact: We exercise a responsible and responsive approach to the care of the physical, natural environment and the proper management of Afghanistan's eco-systems in all our activities.

9. Monitoring and evaluation: We monitor and evaluate the impact of our programs and share findings with relevant stakeholders, including the communities we serve, donors, government, and the general public.

10. Transparency: We disseminate information on our goals and activities to interested stakeholders. We maintain and make available financial and activity reports upon request by relevant and interested parties. We use all available opportunities to inform the public about our work and the origin and the use of our resources.

11. No conflicts of interest: All our organizational transactions are free of conflicts of personal and professional interest. The services of board members shall be given freely and voluntarily, other than reimbursements for essential costs incurred during service.

12. Cost-effectiveness: We utilize the resources available to our organizations to pursue our missions and strategic objectives in cost-effective ways. We strive to minimize waste and unnecessary expense and to direct all possible resources to the people we serve.

13. Gender equity: We consider and value equally the different behavior, aspirations, needs, and rights of women and men. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different, but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities. Their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities do not depend on whether they are born male or female.

14. Capacity building: We take every appropriate opportunity to help build Afghan capacity to understand needs, establish priorities, and take effective action so that ultimately humanitarian, development, and reconstruction needs are met by Afghans.

15. Sustainability: We design and facilitate projects so that services may be taken over by target communities or by government bodies to enhance sustainability.

Zero Tolerance:

We have a zero-tolerance policy for the following situations:

• Unsafe, illegal, or unethical working practices

• Violence, aggression, and involvement in any unhealthy practices

• Discrimination, bullying, and harassment

• Bribery, embezzlement, and corruption

Complaint mechanism:

Who can make complaints:

a. Beneficiaries, community members, local media partners

b. Staff members of the signatory NGO

c. Any other stakeholders

The Secretariat may follow up on complaints published in the media or from any other stakeholders.

Processing complaints:

a) The Complaints Committee will receive complaints from relevant groups and individuals- by any possible channel.

b) The Complaints Committee is responsible to assess the complaints to determine if the complaints are reasonable and shall refer reasonable complaints to the Committee no later than 10 working days.

c) The Complaints Committee will investigate the complaints and will decide within 30 working days.

d) The NGO, subject to complaints, will be invited to address the Committee.

Dealing with conflicts of interest:

In our work, conflicts may arise between our interests and WHMO’s interests or those of our business partners, media partners, and target groups. We immediately reveal such conflicts of interest to our superior and we resolve them in a manner that is objectively verifiable by and understandable to all parties involved.

Misuse of Official Position:

Staff who misuse their official position for personal gains or to favor their relatives or friends are liable to disciplinary action or even prosecution. Staff is liable for misusing supplies, leaking tender information to his relative’s organizations to award the contract.

Handling of Classified or Proprietary Information:

Staff is not allowed to disclose any classified or proprietary information to anybody without authorization. Staff who have access to or are in control of such information should at all times provide adequate safeguards to prevent its abuse or misuse.

Property of the Organization:

Staff given access to any property of the organization should ensure that it is properly used to conduct the organization’s business. Misappropriation of the organization’s property for personal use or resale is strictly prohibited.

Gambling:

Staff must not engage in gambling with persons who have business dealings with the organization as well as among colleagues, particularly with subordinates. During working hours or breaks or on all social occasions gambling on the organization’s premises is strictly forbidden.

Compliance with the Code:

It is the personal responsibility of every staff member to understand and comply with the Code of Conduct.

All managers should also in their daily supervision ensure that their subordinates understand and comply with the standards and requirements stated in the Code. Any problems encountered as well as any suggestions should be channeled to Program Manager for consideration and advice.

Any staff member who violates any provision of the Code will be subject to disciplinary action. In cases of suspected corruption or other criminal offenses, a report will be made to the Attorney General Office.