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Social responsibility

Children in program in Sri LankaSocial activation is part of War Child’s strategic goals. One element is to inspire people to be active in supporting War Child’s goals. As an NGO working with children, War Child is very aware of the role it plays in mobilising the local communities in programme countries, the general public in the Netherlands, and the international community to take up their responsibilities to ensure the rights of children.

War Child does not have an overall social responsibility policy, but operates according to a set of policies, guidelines, and standards such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Global Compact Code for multinational enterprises. In addition, War Child has an internal child safety policy based on internationally recognised standards for working with children. In terms of fundraising, War Child uses ethical guidelines regarding corporate sponsors to ensure practices of sponsors do not interfere with War Child’s mission and vision.

Rights-based approach

As a rights-based organisation, War Child applies human rights values and principles at all levels of its internal policies and practices. War Child promotes participation, accountability and non-discrimination as much as possible in its internal procedures as well as in its programme activities.


Some measures regarding War Child’s impact on the environment include:

  • Strict regulations on the use of air transportation for staff to limit CO2 emission;
  • Purchasing of FSC-certified paper according to ISO 14001 norms;
  • Using organic products, animal-friendly meat for lunch and fair trade coffee at head office;
  • Stimulating use of public transportation, by fully covering commuting costs for public transportation and providing only a limited coverage of expenses for car usage;
  • War Child is currently looking for a new office, because the current office (an old church) is an inspiring place but environmentally less appropriate.

Lessons learned

To live up to the social responsibility standards that War Child adheres to, we conducted a baseline measurement at head office and raised awareness among employees. Findings have resulted in:

  • improved user friendliness of War Child’s corporate website for disabled people;
  • a focus on accessibility as one of the key functional criteria in the search for a new office building;
  • transferring pensions of employees to a social responsible pension fund.

A dilemma encountered is that ICT in war-affected areas often is not well developed, which leads to more frequent travel.


Photo Masja Stolk, Sri Lanka, 2012

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