Terms of Use

Safeguarding Children’s Participation in the Arigatou International Online Community

Introduction:

All users of the Arigatou International online community website, by the act of such use, thereby agree to abide by these Terms of Use, in order to foster a healthy and safe online interactive environment for all members and to ensure child protection. 

In addition to participants aged 18 and over, Arigatou International welcomes children to this online community as full and equal participants.  We are committed to continue supporting their active participation.

We have developed this online community for all GNRC members and Arigatou International partners, and within it, closed, moderated spaces for children only. These spaces will give children opportunities to continue exchanging ideas, sharing about the actions they have been engaged in, learning from one another, further exploring various topics and planning joint actions.

All children under the age of 18 years participating in the Arigatou International online community shall have the adequate and appropriate support of an adult moderator, carefully selected by Arigatou International, who will closely monitor the safety and well-being of and guide the children participating in this community. This moderator shall not only consent to these Terms of Use but also agree to a moderator’s code of conduct which delineates the moderator’s responsibilities for child protection, as well as specifics on how to interact with children and foster their participation. The responsibilities of the adult moderator start from the time a child registers as a participant in the online community.

In the community, there will also be opportunities for children to interact with adult community members in the open areas of the community. All such interactions will be carefully prepared and managed by the adult moderator.

Ensuring that children have a safe online experience is of paramount importance and, in addition to the children’s participation moderator, every effort has been made to adopt technological features and functions that will keep children safe.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) offers support on

policy and practice regarding children’s protection and participation. The UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959) included a focus on the protection of children.

The CRC explicitly recognizes children as subjects of human rights, competent in exercising their rights, giving their views and participating in society. Children as human beings and citizens require protection and participation.

We count on all members of this community to help us create safe spaces for children to participate fully, so they may feel confident to speak, to raise questions, be listened to, share their concerns and provide recommendations in the online community.

Please join us in creating a safe, equal and participatory environment for all children!

Purpose:

This document sets out the Terms of Use for all members of the Arigatou International online community in a way that:

  • Protects children
  • Protects you
  • Fosters children’s active and safe participation
  • Protects Arigatou International and its initiatives
  • Protects the rights of others

Scope:

Arigatou International as an organization is committed to safeguarding and supporting children’s participation, respecting the rights of children to participate in the decisions that affect their well-being. These Terms of Use are meant to continue and strengthen this commitment to ensuring that children, GNRC members, and all partners can enjoy an online experience, exchanging ideas and continuing to learn from one another in a safe and encouraging environment.

These Terms of Use apply to all users of the community and are organized into two parts:

Part 1 pertains to the adult participants (aged 18 and over) of the community, who will not be able to directly contact children, view their profiles, add them as friends, or initiate discussions with them. Adult participants will only be able to reply to comments made by the children in designated group discussions or actions.

Part 2 pertains to children (below age 18), asking them to practice positive conduct in the online community, where they will have a private space to directly contact other children and, on specific monitored occasions supported by the adult moderator, the ability to share information with adult participants.

1. GUIDELINES FOR ADULT PARTICIPANTS

  • Conduct yourself appropriately, as you would face-to-face.
  • Do not engage in one-to-one communication with children or via text messages, instant messaging or chat facilities.

Some spaces will be created for you to interact with children; when that happens:

  • Actively listen to what children share, without stereotyping or judging, trying to understand their point of view.
  • Pose questions using a child-friendly language and approach.
  • Be sensitive and respectful to the context children come from, their age, rhythm and willingness to participate.
  • Support them in ways that safeguard their dignity — physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
  • Contact the adult moderator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have a discussion topic you would like to start and invite children to participate in.
  • Ensure you have parental/legal guardians’ permission to use any photographs/video or interviews of children. Only use their first names and do not identify a specific location that may lead to the identification of any child.
  • Ensure the safety of the children and minimize the risk of harm by promoting good practice and identifying and managing potential risks.
  • Repost or share information that children have posted in the forum discussions outside the community. A public area in the online community will be created where children can share information with the entire community when they wish.
  • If you are concerned about the way a child is attempting to contact you, report it immediately to the adult moderator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • If you have a need to email children, contact the adult moderator first to approve your request.
  • WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE YOUR PERSONAL SOCIAL NETWORKING ACCOUNT TO COMMUNICATE WITH CHILDREN
  • TREAT OTHER ADULT PARTICIPANTS IN THE COMMUNITY WITH THE SAME RESPECT FOR THEIR DIGNITY AND INDIVIDUALITY AS YOU TREAT CHILD PARTICIPANTS.

3. GUIDELINES FOR CHILDREN

  • Be encouraged to participate and make suggestions with an open and respectful attitude, as you would do face-to-face.
  • Actively listen to what other children share, without stereotyping or judging, always trying to understand their point of view.
  • Be sensitive and respectful to the context the other children come from by careful listening and trying to understand from the others’ point of view/shoes.
  • Encourage but do not force the participation of other participants until they feel ready. We may have different rhythms and willingness to participate.
  • Never give out personal information such as numbers & addresses.
  • Never share information from other children, do not identify them with full name and location and do not share information that may hurt them or that is private.
  • Do not pursue outside contact with or engage in general social media interactions, (Facebook, etc.) with adults you got to know via this community.
  • Tell the adult moderator and parents/legal guardians if you come across with information or situation that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Contact the adult moderator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are privately contacted by an adult from this community in any way.

Duty of care:

Any child protection concerns/complaints should be reported to the adult moderator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and in the platform using the “Report a complaint” link. Such reports will be handled in strictest confidence and can serve as evidence for the start of formal complaint procedures, as required.

Code of conduct for all adult participants to protect children:

All adult participants commit to:

  • Be aware of situations which may present risks and take the appropriate action.
  • Foster that a culture of openness exists between the adult and child participants so that it is possible to raise and discuss any issues or concerns child participants may have.
  • Ensure that there is a sense of accountability with other adults so that poor practices or potentially abusive behavior does not go unchallenged.

All adult participants commit to NEVER:

  • Develop physical/sexual relationships with child participants.
  • Develop relationships with child participants which could in any way be seen as exploitative or abusive.
  • Act in ways that may be abusive or may place child participants at risk of abuse.
  • Use language, pose questions, make suggestions or offer advice which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive.
  • Permit, or participate in, the behavior of children that is illegal, unsafe and abusive.
  • Act in ways meant to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade child participants, or otherwise commit any form of emotional abuse.
  • Discriminate against, show differential treatment, or favor particular delegates to the exclusion of others.

By clicking the "accept terms" button and using this online community website, I agree to follow all of the applicable guidelines, duty of care, and code of conduct set out in these Terms of Use, and further also declare and certify:

  1. That I have not in the past been subject to any sentence for individual behavior incompatible with the responsibility of caring for or overseeing children or minors, and have never been subject to any administrative measure or investigation for criminal acts of pedophilia or breach of conduct jeopardizing the physical integrity or involving the ill-treatment of children placed under my responsibility;
  1. That I have received and taken due note of the guidelines for the adult moderators, adult participants, and child participants in respect of protection of children who participate in the Arigatou International online community;
  1. That I shall undertake to bring to the attention of Arigatou International any behavior or suspicion of sexual exploitation, inappropriate attitude or ill-treatment of children as well as any information on such acts or behavior that may be brought to my notice;
  1. That I have been informed of the particular vigilance of Arigatou International with regard to the protection of children and prevention of risks of ill-treatment or of violations of the physical or psychological integrity of the children placed under my responsibility;
  1. That I acknowledge and consent to Arigatou International’s right to monitor my participation in this community and suspend or revoke my usage privileges if I violate, or am suspected to have violated, any of these Terms of Use.
  1. That I have been informed that in the event of consistent evidence and known incidents, which are contradictory to the protection of the children participating in the online community, that the organization shall take appropriate administrative and legal measures, without limit of time or place.