Code of Conduct

  1. Introduction

The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) is a member of the worldwide Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement and is committed to its Fundamental Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.  As outlined in its Statutes NRCS's mission is ¨to alleviate the situation of the vulnerable people which include those affected by disaster, epidemics, armed conflicts, and the poorest communities in both urban and rural areas amongst whom are women, children, aged, displaced, disabled and other vulnerable people¨. 

The Credibility and success of the NRCS are underpinned not only by the services the Society offers but how the service is offered and the conduct of those who offer the services.  This Code of Conduct therefore applies to all NRCS Governance, Volunteers and Staff.  It is designed to protect the integrity, well-being and rights of all involved in the work of the organisation and to ensure an efficient operation and compliance with the laws of Nigeria, Government Regulations and established policies and practices as well as any other policies, procedures, rules and regulations as may be set forth by NRCS.

It is expected for all Governance, Volunteers and Staff to sign the Code of Conduct.  This Code, whether signed or not, shall automatically form an integral part of all NRCS contracts of employment and conditions of service for all Staff.  Governance is required to sign the Code immediately upon Election/Appointment.

Violations of this Code are subject to disciplinary measures by the Disciplinary Measures or local staff regulations, as appropriate. In addition, the NRCS reserves the right to recover from Staff, Volunteers or Governance all expenses incurred by the NRCS as a result of any violation of this Code by them.  Any Disciplinary measures taken will not negate Criminal Proceedings being taken against the violator should the case be deemed to have violated the Law.

1.1 Rules of Conduct

1.1.1 General Rules:

  1. The Conduct of all NRCS personnel must be consistent with the Fundamental Principles of the Movement.
  2. Governance, Volunteers and Staff must not conduct themselves at any time in such a manner as to bring NRCS into disrepute
  3. NRCS Governance, Volunteers and Staff must respect the dignity of the people with whom they come into contact, and in particular beneficiaries of NRCS, and must carry out their work for the NRCS ever mindful that each of their actions in this context can have repercussions for the fate of many human beings.
  4. Governance, Volunteers and Staff must not make statements or circumstances that may imply sponsorship or support by the NRCS of an outside employer or of a political, charitable, civic, religious, or similar organization when such is not the case.
  5. Governance, Volunteers and Staff must not solicit or agree to receive any money from a client as an inducement to facilitate NRCS work or for personal reasons. Similarly, employees may not seek or accept payment, loans, services, entertainment or other benefits from an individual or representative of any concern doing or seeking to do business with NRCS.
  6. Fraud in any form is strictly prohibited. Fraud is defined as any action aimed at obtaining an unauthorized benefit, such as money, goods, services or other personal or commercial advantages, regardless of whether such advantage benefits the Governance, Volunteer or Staff concerned, the NRCS or a third party.

1.1.2 Harassment, Abuse of Power and Sexual Exploitation

  1. Harassment in any form, including sexual harassment, is strictly prohibited. In general, harassment refers to a pattern of hostile language or actions expressed or carried out against an employee/volunteer over time. Sexual harassment refers to any sexual or gender-related behaviour that is not desired by the person who is the victim of it and that violates his or her dignity.
  2. The purchase of sexual services and the practice of sexual exploitation are prohibited. Sexual exploitation is understood as an abuse of authority, trust or a situation of vulnerability for sexual ends in exchange for money, work, goods or services.
  3. Entering into a sexual relationship with a direct beneficiary of NRCS programmes or with his or her immediate family, or using one’s position to solicit sexual services in exchange for humanitarian services provided by the NRCS, is prohibited.
  4. Entering into a sexual relationship with a child (a girl or boy under 18 years of age) or inciting or forcing a child to take part in activities of a sexual nature, whether or not he or she is aware of the act committed and irrespective of consent is prohibited. This prohibition also covers pornographic activities (photos, videos, games, etc.) that do not involve sexual contact with the child, as well as acquiring, storing or circulating documents of a paedophiliac nature, irrespective of the medium used.
  5. Abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against children (boys or girls below 18 years) is prohibited. Governance, Volunteers and Staff must ensure that Children’s well-being is protected at all times, and must prevent and respond to child abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. In all actions concerning children, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

When photographing or filming a child or using children’s images for work-related purposes, staff, volunteers, contractors and partners must:

  • assess and endeavour to comply with local traditions or restrictions for reproducing personal images before photographing or filming a child
  • obtain informed consent from the child and parent or guardian of the child before photographing or filming a child. As part of this, I must explain how the photograph or film will be used
  • to ensure photographs, films, videos and DVDs present children in a dignified and respectful manner and not in a vulnerable or submissive manner. Children should be adequately clothed and not in poses that could be seen as sexually suggestive
  • ensure images are honest representations of the context and the facts
  • ensure file labels, metadata or text descriptions do not reveal identifying information about a child when sending images electronically or publishing images in any form

1.1.3 Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues

Employees must:

  1. treat colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness and good faith. 
  2. cooperate with colleagues to promote KRCS professional interests and concerns.
  3. respect confidences shared by colleagues in the course of their professional relationships and transactions.
  4. create and maintain conditions of practice that facilitate ethical and competent professional performance by colleagues
  5. act with consideration for the interest, character and reputation of any employee who replaces or is replaced
  6. extend to colleagues of other professions the same respect and cooperation that is extended to other co-workers.

1.2 Protection of Information

  1. Governance, Volunteers and Staff must exercise the utmost discretion regarding all matters of official business and handle all confidential and sensitive information with the greatest care.
  2. They must not disclose sensitive information of individuals we serve where there is a risk of adverse consequences to the individuals if their identities are revealed. All efforts must be made to protect the identities of beneficiaries, including their names, faces and geographical locations.