All invitations extended to the Junior Parliament should be by HC12091404055


									          Junior Parliament
          Operations Manual

Junior Parliament Operations Manual   Page 1
   1. Introduction

The Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe is an institution established to give regard and respect
to the views of Children as stipulated in Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the
Child (CRC) which was adopted and ratified by the Government of Zimbabwe. Children’s
opinions and participation in decision making are central to the realisation of their rights.

This operations manual gives the code of conduct to individuals and organisations who
would want to engage the Junior Parliament in formal and informal activities, functions and
programmes. The manual describes the positive approach to work with the Junior
Parliament which ZYC wishes to encourage, but also contains details of conduct that is
deemed inappropriate and unacceptable.

As stipulated in the CRC, article 3, the best interests of the child should be the primary
consideration in all actions and decisions affecting children.

   2. Target Groups

This manual shall apply to:

      The Junior Parliament
      All staff
      Government ministries
      All partnership organisations
      All contractors: consultants, researchers, writers etc.

   3. Invitations

Junior MPs are often invited to officiate, make presentations and be Guest of Honour or be
key participants at meetings /functions and workshops. All invitations extended to the
Junior Parliament should be done through the Zimbabwe Youth Council. A formal
invitation should be written to ZYC stating the purpose /agenda of the
meeting/workshop/project, period of the workshop, venue and other necessary details in
reasonable time. Engagement of the Junior Parliament must only be done when ZYC has
responded in the affirmative having ensured the school and parents involved have

ZYC acknowledges the rights of families to make decisions about their children hence the
need to consult them for any travelling.

Invitations must ensure that Junior MPs are not discriminated against on the basis of gender,
ability/ disability, school status, religion, language, culture, or geographical location( rural
or urban).

   4. Travelling and Accommodation Arrangements

The Junior MP will be accompanied by a chaperon preferably of similar sex provided by
ZYC or the Ministry of Education official assigned when attending a function. No Junior
MP will be allowed to travel alone no matter how short the distance will be.

Arrangements should be communicated in advance noting the travelling and
accommodation logistics and transport reimbursements (where applicable) by the

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If the Junior MP/s are to be accommodated, decent accommodation must be provided with
amenities like water, clean bedding and decent meals.

The accommodation facility and type of transport must ensure safety and security of the
Junior MPs.

Adequate provisions must be made to ensure that food in transit is catered for and where
necessary out of pocket allowances are provided for without prejudice to their status.

No Junior MP will be allowed to be visited or leave the premise where the
function/workshop is being held without the chaperon informed consent.

   5. Dress code

Junior MPs attending Junior Parliament duties/roles must always be in school uniform
unless the activities are of a sporting nature or alternative clothing is provided like
promotional t-shirts.

   6. Presentations

The invited Junior MP must be informed of the agenda of the meeting in advance and
notified of any role he/she is to play. The Junior MP is to prepare his/her own
presentations. No undue influence will be allowed to direct presentations to an individual or
organisational favour undermining the ability, knowledge and experience of the Junior MP
on the subject.

The Junior Parliament remains apolitical only addressing developmental issues pertaining to
children and young people. No Junior MP will be involved in a political discourse of any
nature. No Junior MP will be involved in sloganeering to any political party or reading or
presenting political statements.

   7. Abuse

There is need to create and maintain safe, healthy environments, spaces and places, which
enhance the Junior Parliamentarians’ engagement, initiative, self-worth, dignity and show
respect for their contributions

No adult will be allowed to treat the Junior MPs in any manner that will cause physical or
emotional pain. Therefore harassment of any kind is unacceptable.

Chastity is a virtue to be held in high esteem and promoted in practice. Sexual abuse of any
sort, coercing of any Junior MP to engage in sexual acts , physically touching the sexual
parts of his /her body, treating him/her like a sexual object are unacceptable and abusive

ZYC will meet its commitment to safeguard the Junior MPs through awareness, prevention,
reporting and responding to any concerns regarding possible abuse.

Wherever there are concerns regarding any form of abuse to the Junior MPs by adults, they
will be investigated honestly and fairly with due regard to internal disciplinary procedures
and national legal procedures

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   8. Disciplinary Action on the MPs

All Junior MPs are expected to behave in a manner that upholds the dignity and respect of
their office. However if any Junior MP has conducted him/herself in a decorous manner
disciplinary measures must be instituted. Such disciplinary measures must be done in
consultation with ZYC and the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture.

Administration of any punishment to a Junior MP must be done in secret in order to uphold
the dignity of the office.

Junior MPs should still maintain good behaviour even after their term of office has ended. If
this is not observed and they bring the name of the Council or Junior Parliament into
disrepute legal action may be taken against the perpetrator as they will always be
ambassadors of the Junior Parliament.

   9. Behaviour of the Stakeholders

All adults when involved with the Junior Parliament are encouraged to maintain high
standards of personal and professional conduct

No adult accompanying the child should behave in a way which threatens the safety and
security of him/herself and the child/ren

No adult shall be allowed to drink alcohol or use any other substances in a way that
adversely affects his/her ability to take custody of the Junior MPs

   10. Interviewing or photographing Junior MPs

No one should interview or photograph Junior MPs in the absence of, or without the consent
of an adult who is responsible for the child.

   11. Feedback

A report of the event/function must be submitted to ZYC within two weeks of its occurring
both by the Junior MP and the organisers/ partners involved.

   12. Conclusion

ZYC is committed to ensure that the Junior Parliament plays its critical role of advancing the
cause of children and young people in Zimbabwe by creating an environment free from
abuse and exploitation. Parties concerned are encouraged to adopt and act in accordance
with this manual, and action will be taken against unethical behaviours. This manual
compliments the code of conduct when dealing with children administered by the Ministry
of Education, Sports and Culture when dealing with children.

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