Community Guidelines

The Girl Up Community aims to foster communication and collaboration between Girl Up members around the world and to provide a safe space for our members to find resources, support, and opportunities. With that in mind, we've set the following safety and security policy for all Girl Up members and require all users to adhere to the policy and internet safety guidelines. 

Girl Up Safety and Security Policy

ABOUT GIRL UP
No matter their background, girls have the power to transform themselves, their communities, and the world around them. Girl Up is a global movement of empowered young women leaders who defend gender equality and equal rights for every girl. Through leadership development training, Girl Up gives girls the resources and platform to start a movement for social change wherever they are. And for those that stand with us, there is no rest or compromise. Because when girls rise, we all rise.

Girl Up is a global leadership development initiative, positioning girls to be leaders in the movement for gender equality. With resources in five languages and 3,000 Girl Up Clubs in more than 100 countries, we’ve trained 48,000 girls of all backgrounds to create tangible change for girls everywhere. Girl Up provides leadership training and gives girls tools to become gender equality advocates and activists. Through our programs, girls broaden their social impact skill set, benefit from a platform to tell their stories, and apply STEM for social good. Our girl leaders create real policy change at local and national levels, help raise millions of dollars to support United Nations programs that reach tens of thousands of girls around the world, and build community-based movements.

Girl Up was founded by the United Nations Foundation in 2010, and continues to work across a global community of partners to achieve gender equality worldwide.

ABOUT THIS POLICY
This Girl Up Safety and Security Policy (“Policy”) contains information about Girl Up’s standard operating practices and procedures for any program, event, or digital activation that engages girls, particularly minors. All Girl Up staff, consultants, and trained volunteers are required to comply with this Policy and to raise questions about its content with Girl Up’s Co-Executive Directors. This Policy is designed to supplement the United Nations Foundation’s Youth Protection Policy and act as a guideline for Girl Up-specific programming and activities. Further, for Girl Up staff who are also United Nations Foundation Employees, this Policy supplements and does not replace all other applicable United Nations Foundation employment polices, including the Discrimination and Harassment-Free Workplace Policy.

Girl Up makes every effort to follow local and international laws and standards related to the protection of youth and all participants. Girl Up requires that all staff, consultants, trained volunteers, and program participants report potential violations promptly to UNF management at concerns@unfoundation.org for investigation and appropriate action.

This Policy is not intended to be comprehensive or to address all the possible applications of, or exceptions to, the general policies and procedures described. This Policy will be reassessed and amended as needed on an annual basis and will be shared with all Girl Up program and event participants during the program/event registration process and during annual program re-registration processes. Reservation of Rights This document outlines the general policies of Girl Up to ensure the safety and security of all program participants, particularly minors, and to mitigate risk to Girl Up’s brand or operations. No policy can anticipate every circumstance or question about policy. As the need arises, Girl Up reserves the right to revise, supplement, or rescind any policies from time to time as it deems appropriate, in its sole and absolute discretion.

Policy Objectives
This Policy is designed to accomplish the following key points:
  • Ensure the safety and security of all Girl Up program and event participants, especially minors;
  • Ensure all staff, consultants, and trained volunteers have a clear and consistent understanding of the standard operating policies and procedures for Girl Up programs and activities;
  • Provide the top level of support to all Girl Up leaders, program participants and event attendees, regardless of their history with Girl Up or their level of involvement;
  • Mitigate the risk to Girl Up’s brand and operations by anticipating and preventing situations that would affect the safety and security of any Girl Up participant or representative.

Authorization and Responsibility
All Girl Up staff, consultants, and trained volunteers are responsible for complying with this Policy and ensuring the Policy is implemented fully and equitably across all Girl Up programs and activities. All representatives of Girl Up who do not comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary actions or discontinuation of their employment, contract or volunteer position.

Girl Up commits to support all staff, consultants, and trained volunteers to have the information and resources needed to comply with this Policy.

Voluntary Participation
All participants join and participate voluntarily in Girl Up programming and can end their participation with Girl Up at any time. During the program registration process (such as registration via the online Girl Up Community), participants will be provided an overview of this Policy and must complete an electronic Program Participant Waiver (Appendix I) before completing their registration.

Letters of Invitation
All Girl Up supporters with a formal volunteer role with Girl Up will be required to sign a letter of invitation (Appendix II) for participating in the program, including but not limited to Teen Advisors, WiSci Girls STEAM Camp, Girl Up Regional Leaders, and event financial aid recipients, indicating they are participating voluntarily and without coercion. All formal volunteer participants under the age of 18 must have the letter of invitation signed by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. The letter of invitation will document both the expected commitments of the volunteer participant and the commitments made by Girl Up to support the program and its participants.

Other non-formal voluntary participants, such as Club Leaders, Club Members and individual Leaders, will agree to voluntary participation as noted above during the registration process in the Girl Up Community but are not required to sign a letter of invitation.

Zero Tolerance Policy
Girl Up has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, bullying or harassment of any kind, including online, physical, emotional or sexual harassment; hate speech; or rude behavior of any kind. All Girl Up programs are open and inclusive of any youth regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, political belief, socioeconomic status, sexuality, or physical ability. Respect, tolerance and understanding of others’ backgrounds and beliefs must be exemplified at all times.

Girl Up reserves the right to ban participants from in-person or online engagement if they disobey the zero-tolerance policy. Minor infractions, as deemed by Girl Up staff and consultants, such as inappropriate use of language, unintended bullying through activities such as pranks, or rude behavior, will result in a written/verbal warning to the participant. If a second incident occurs, the participant will be removed from programming and their account will be banned in the online Girl Up Community. Major infractions, as deemed by Girl Up staff and consultants, such as sexual harassment or assault, hate speech, intentional bullying, or intending physical harm on another participant, will be immediately reported and result in the participant’s immediate removal from the program and their account will be banned in the online Girl Up Community. The examples of minor and major infractions above are not exhaustive, and Girl Up reserves the right to determine what is a minor verses major infraction.

A participant who experiences or witnesses conduct that violates this policy should immediately inform a Girl Up staff member, consultant or trained volunteer. Any Girl Up staff member, consultantsor trained volunteer who receives a report of a violation or who witnesses conduct that violates this policy must follow the guidelines set forth in the Zero Tolerance Policy Infraction Reporting Process (Appendix III). Minor infractions should be documented and handled as a written/veral warning and the incident should be reported to the appropriate Manager, Programs & Impact. Major infractions should be immediately reported to Girl Up leadership and to UNF People & Culture. Any Girl Up staff member or consultant who is an administrator in the Girl Up Community has the ability to delete any content and/or ban any participant’s user account immediately. In an instance that an account is banned for any reason, the Director, Programs & Impact should be immediately notified.

Parental Consent
Girl Up requires that all participants under 18 years old receive consent from their parents or legal guardians to participate in Girl Up programming. In select programs, the signature of a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18 is required to participate, as detailed in Letters of Invitation. All minors must receive the consent of a parent or legal guardian to attend Girl Up events, as detailed in Event Permission Slips. Minors should notify parents upon registering or joining a Girl Up Club and in advance of Club meetings and events.

Representing Girl Up
Youth ages 13-22 who register with Girl Up are the leaders of our movement, and all participants are expected to accurately and authentically represent Girl Up to the best of their abilities. That means all participants are expected to follow Girl Up’s brand guidelines when using Girl Up’s name or logo in print or digital materials. Clubs must ensure that their social media accounts, marketing materials, event materials, etc. clearly indicate that they are on behalf of a participant-led Club and not official Girl Up accounts, materials, or events.

Any adults over 22 years and without an official letter of invitation to participate as a trained volunteer are not recognized as representatives of Girl Up and cannot represent themselves on behalf of Girl Up to schools, program participants, or existing or potential partners/sponsors.

Official and Unofficial Girl Up Events
Official Girl Up events and trainings are those that are planned and coordinated directly by Girl Up, including by staff, consultants, and trained volunteers. Official Girl Up events and trainings are publicly listed on GirlUp.org/events and available for any youth to register. Supporter-led Girl Up Regional Summits that have been approved in advance by Girl Up and supported by Girl Up staff are also considered official events.

At official Girl Up events and activities, all Girl Up staff, consultants, and trained volunteers must ensure they are identifiable as representatives of Girl Up by either wearing a Girl Up shirt or nametag at all times, as described in the UN Foundation’s Youth Protection Policy.

All Girl Up events that are not considered overnight programming (see below for futher details) are day programs to which Girl Up staff, consultants, and trained volunteers will oversee participation to the extent reasonably possible. This means Girl Up will make the best effort to identify participants who show up for programming through an onsite registration process and contact registered participants who do not show up as well as, when needed, the parents and/or legal guardians of those participants. Day programming requires local transportation to and from the event location, which is the responsibility of the participant. Parents and/or legal guardians are able to pick up and drop off participants from the event location, however Girl Up cannot guarantee the departure time or pick up of participants from large-scale events, such as the Girl Up Leadership Summit.

All participant-led events are considered unofficial Girl Up events. Event coordinators cannot present themselves as official representatives of Girl Up unless they have a signed Letter of Invitation to serve as an official volunteer or program participant. For unofficial events, it is the responsibility of the event coordinators to secure necessary approvals, follow all local laws, and take into consideration any local factors that would impact the safety and security of the event.

Impermissible Girl Up Activities
Girl Up encourages its participants to plan and execute innovative activities that support the mission of Girl Up. While participants are able to determine their own events and activities, the below categories are impermissible activities under the Girl Up brand, and participants will be requested to remove any affiliation with Girl Up for the following: 
  • Any activity that discriminates based on sex, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, political belief, socioeconomic status, sexuality, physical ability or any other identity;
  • Any activity that objectifies or demeans girls/women, men/boys, or non-binary people in any way;
  • Any activity that supports a political party or candidate (see further information in Non-Partisan Activities below);
  • Any activity that is illegal or jeopardizes the credibility of the organization or political safety of our members;
  • Any activity that portrays a supporter-led event as an official Girl Up event without securing the necessary approval from Girl Up headquarters (see further information in Official and Unofficial Girl Up Events).

Non-Partisan Activities
As a non-partisan organization, all activities and events under the brand of Girl Up cannot be affiliated with or in support of a political party or candidate, including branding or political attire. Any girl-led events, digital activities, or any other activities affiliated with a political party or candidate will be asked to remove all reference to Girl Up or the Girl Up Club, if applicable. Official representatives of Girl Up, such as Girl Up Teen Advisors, must maintain a positive image both in-person and on personal social media accounts regarding political activities, focusing on the issues and not engaging in negative commentary about political candidates or elected officials. Girl Up Leaders should not accept donations or assistance from politically-associated organizations or individuals.

Safe Club Environments
All Girl Up Clubs with members in the equivalent of middle school and high school (where majority of members are under the age of 18) are required to have an adult advisor to supervise and guide all Club activities. Clubs are required to identify their advisor’s name and email address in the annual Club Kick-Off Report, submitted within 30 days after a Club registers for new Clubs and at the beginning of each school year for returning Clubs.

While not a requirement, if Clubs are started in coordination with a particular school or College/University, the Club leaders should receive approval from school administration, when applicable and reasonably possible. Especially if Club meetings and events require the use of school or College/University classrooms and spaces, Club leaders are responsible for obtaining the support of adults in the community surrounding the Club.

Volunteers
Any adult volunteer 18 years or older who is involved in Girl Up programming must be approved by Girl Up staff and will be required to sign the UN Foundation’s Youth Protection Policy for volunteers. This policy is designed to protect youth and Girl Up staff and consultants all the time, ensuring a safe and caring environment and taking into account the physical and emotional integrity of youth.

Meetings & Activities
All supporter-led meetings and activities should be held in safe, open, and inclusive environments, such as schools, local community organizations, or homes with a supportive adult advisor/guardian. Participants are required to secure the necessary approval and support of their school or other relevant institution to host Girl Up meetings or activities on their premises.

Girl Up activities and events should always end before 10 pm. Participants are encouraged to attend all Girl Up events and activities in groups, and when possible with a trusted adult advisor if under 18 years old. Additionally, participants are discouraged from hosting any Girl Up-related activities in locations that would provide a potential risk to themselves or other participants.

Online Safety
By promoting online safety best practices and emphasizing prevention, Girl Up aims to promote a safe online environment for all participants. Girl Up staff, consultants, and trained volunteers strongly encourage all participants to follow best practices for staying safe on the internet, including never telling someone your location, never using personally-identifying information such as last name, and never meeting an online contact in person. Participants are encouraged to keep their privacy settings on, ensure their Wi-Fi connections are secure, and use strong password for all accounts.

All users of the Girl Up Community must be as least 13 years or older. For participants under the age of 13, an adult advisor should create and monitor the account. There is a zero-tolerance policy for bullying or online harassment of any kind in the Girl Up Community. Users can flag any content as inappropriate in the Girl Up Community to notify administrators or email Community@GirlUp.org to report inappropriate content or abuse. Girl Up reserves all rights to delete any inappropriate content posted in the Community and remove the user who posted such content.

If a personal or Club account experiences online harassment on social media, it should be reported to the social media platform so they are aware. Participants should “block” a person so that they do not see content and message their account. Under no circumstance should Club accounts respond to or engage in trolling or online harassment in any form.

If a Girl Up participant is worried about their safety or something that has happened to them online, they should urgently speak to a trusted adult. The Child Helpline International provides the names and details of local organizations who can provide help. Many countries have a special free helpline to talk to someone anonymously.

Financial Stewardship
Due to the nature of Girl Up activities, participants or Clubs may interact with cash, check, and credit card donations or revenue on a routine basis. Participants or Girl Up Clubs should not open bank accounts in the name of Girl Up unless a structure for doing so is provided by their school or university and should follow fundraising guidelines shared by Girl Up. Clubs should seek the advice of their Club Advisor on the management of their funds. For instance, all donations or revenue collected as cash or mobile transfers should be documented and given to your adult Club Advisor, or to a club member's adult family member, who can safely deposit those funds into their own personal account. From there, the adult may make a credit card donation or check donation to Girl Up for the same amount. The amount raised as documented from the event or activity should be recorded in a Girl Up Activity report, and the donation to Girl Up should then match that amount.

Event Sponsorships
Sponsorships can help take participant-led, unofficial events to the next level and can be a more fun and memorable occasion for all event attendees. Funds or in-kind donations from sponsors can cover the costs of items such as food, refreshments, merchandise, and an event venue. Event coordinators who are soliciting local sponsorships should do their due diligence and ensure the company or organization aligns with the mission of Girl Up.

Girl Up cannot receive direct funding from a local sponsor for an unofficial event and re-grant it to the event coordinators. If a local sponsor seeks to make a tax-deductible contribution to Girl Up, that will be considered a donation to support Girl Up’s work around the world.

Event Permission Slips
Girl Up is committed to providing a safe environment for minors and to continued vigilance over all official events, especially those engaging minors. Girl Up requires all event attendees at the time of registration to complete an event waiver and release forms. Attendees who travel for a Girl Up event must also complete a travel permission slip, waiver, disclose information of medical condition(s), and provide information about their primary doctor and insurance carrier. All event attendees under the age of 18 must have the documents completed by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Event speakers under the age of 18 (as of the travel date) who travel without a parent, a legal guardian or someone who is at least 18 years old are considered unaccompanied minors.

Picture and Video Rights Release
Girl Up is committed to elevating the voices and stories of participants of our movement in digital and printed media. In all instances of capturing still photographs, video, and/or recording of a voice and/or inclusion of a participant’s actual or fictitious name, Girl Up provides the United Nations Foundation Standard Picture and Video Appearance Form (Appendix IV) to be signed by parents of minors or by participants who are 18 years of age or older. For large-scale events, Girl Up includes the image and video release as part of the registration process with visible reminders at the events of the photography and videography taking place. When using participants’ likenesses and stories on digital platforms or in printed media, Girl Up uses only the first name of each participant for their safety. When working in coordination with United Nations partners, Girl Up follows the protocol of each UN agency as their policies differ slightly. When required by partners like UNHCR, names of girls are changed when presented in digital or printed media to ensure their safety as per the partner protocol. In addition, when required by organizational, corporate, or United Nations partners Girl Up will provide additional releases as necessary.

Certificates of Insurance
Girl Up can provide certificates of insurance for official Girl Up events coordinated by staff, consultants, or trained volunteers in the U.S. and for girl-led events in the U.S. on a case-by-caes basis. Certificates of insurance must be requested at least four weeks before the date of the event. If a certificate of insurance is required to host an unofficial, girl-led event as a venue, then the participant should work with their adult advisor or school administration to secure the necessary insurance.

Food
Food provided at official and unofficial Girl Up events should be provided by a third-party entity with appropriate food licenses and should not be cooked by students, to ensure the health of all participants. Exception can be made for small bake sales led by participants or Clubs, and it is the responsibility of the participant or Club to ensure that all items sold at a bake sale are prepared according to appropriate standards.

Alcohol Policy
Girl Up staff, consultants, and trained volunteers are not permitted to consume alcohol at any Girl Up official or unofficial event for youth participants. Alcohol must not be distributed or consumed at official or unofficial Girl Up events where the majority of participants are under the legal drinking age. Alcohol can be permitted at Girl Up official and unofficial events where the majority of participants are of legal drinking age, and all event coordinators and participants must follow the local alcohol consumption laws.

Any unofficial, participant-led event that involves alcohol must receive explicit approval from Girl Up and the alcohol must be distributed by an entity with a liquor liability license or policy. Girl Up will never support or approve program participants distributing alcohol at an event.

Travel
Participants may be required to travel domestically or internationally to participate in Girl Up events or programming, and Girl Up is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all participants during that travel, especially minors. All participants who travel for a Girl Up event or programming must complete a Travevl and Event Permission Slip & Waiver (Appendix X) that includes a solo travel release, information of medical condition(s), and information about their primary doctor and insurance carrier. All participants under the age of 18 must have the documents completed by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18.

Girl Up may elect to support the travel of participants and of adult chaperones of minor participants under the age of 18 are requested and needed. All participants and chaperones whose travel is supported by Girl Up are required to read and adhere to Girl Up’s Travel Policy for Event Speakers and Attendees.

Overnight Programming
Certain Girl Up programs (i.e. Teen Advisor Meetings, WiSci Girls STEAM Camp, etc.) may include overnight programming with 24-hour participant oversight from Girl Up staff, consultants and trained volunteers and require underage participants to sleep in pre-arranged lodging (hotel, dormitories etc.), paid for by Girl Up, separate from their legal guardians. Overnight programming where Girl Up provides 24-hour participant oversight is separate and distinct from multi-day day programming where Girl Up explicitly states in event materials and communications that it does not provide chaperoning of program participants, such as the Girl Up Leadership Summit.

In these instances and different from voluntary day-time programming, Girl Up will take reasonable precautions to ensure the minors’ safety and well-being for the duration of overnight programming. Girl Up will ensure that the location for overnight lodging stays guarded at all times (e.g., hotel staff, dormitory security guards, etc.). In international settings, Girl Up will complete a scoping assessment mission to approve the location for overnight programming. Daily participant attendance checks and bed checks will be conducted by Girl Up staff, consultants or trained volunteers, including participant checks at every new location (ie, bus, excursion, new venue, etc.).

For supervisory purposes, Girl Up will ensure the ratio of no less than 1 adult to 10 minors located within close physical proximity to the participants (i.e. same hotel building or dorm). Two or more minors may share a bedroom; however, no adults will share a bedroom with a minor (i.e. staff may stay at the same hotel but in separate hotel rooms than minors) as detailed in the UNF Youth Protection Policy.

Prior to programming start, Girl Up will require a number of additional documents to be signed by the adult guardians of the minors, including by not limited to:
  • Participation and travel permission slips and waivers with contact information for participants’ legal guardian and emergency contacts
  • Health & medical information (including allergies, medical provider contact information, etc.)
  • Proof of health insurance (Girl Up may purchase insurance for participants during international programs – i.e. WiSci)
  • Copy of passport or other legal identification for participant
  • Code of Conduct signed by participant and legal guardian

At least one week prior to overnight programming, participants and their legal guardians will indicate their consent by signing a Code of Conduct that outlines rules and boundaries for programming. The Code of Conduct (Appendix VI) will stipulate provisions for all minors such as that they:
  • Adhere to Girl Up’s Zero Tolerance Policy and refrain from impermissible activities (ie, use of alcohol, drugs, firearms, or other dangerous weapons);
  • Share their whereabouts with Girl Up staff, consultants or trained volunteers at all times, which is different from voluntary daytime programming;
  • Remain within the established physical boundaries for the event and/or obtain permission from Girl Up staff to leave the boundaries (i.e. to buy a band aid at a local store during programming);
  • Adhere to an agreed upon “bed check/curfew” time, at which time the participants must be in their assigned bedrooms and must remain until the morning.

Prior to the start of overnight programming, Girl Up will prepare an Event Emergency Response Protocol (Appendix VII) document and share with all onsite Girl Up staff, consultants, and trained volunteers that includes:
  • The location of the closest hospital and/or medical services center;
  • Photocopies of all participant medical insurance and government issued IDs;
  • Evacuation route for overnight facilities;
  • Protocol in the event of a missing program participant;
  • Contact information for a 24-hour transportation service (i.e. Uber and/or private transportation company)

As detailed in the UNF Youth Protection Policy, Girl Up staff, consultants, and trained volunteers will ensure that all interactions with participants are in an “open and observable environment” and, as such, avoid any situation where you would be alone with an individual participant and not able to be observed by others. If it is not possible to be in an “open and observable environment”, then the “Rule of Three” will be observed, whereby there is one adult with at least two participants or two adults with only one participant at all times. Girl Up will communicate to parents and legal guardians when minors traveling alone have arrived onsite for overnight programming, as well as keep them periodically informed throughout the duration of extended overnight programming (i.e. a weekly newsletter or closed Facebook group for regular updates). Girl Up will also provide access to Skype, e-mail, and/or a telephone to minors to ensure that participants of overnight programming do communicate with their legal guardians at least once per week for programming that lasts longer than one week.

Appendix - You can contact Girl Up at community@girlup.org to receive copies of appendix items. 
I. Program Participation Waiver
II. Sample Letter of Invitation
III. Zero Tolerance Policy Infraction Reporting Process
IV. Standard Picture and Video Appearance Form
V. Travel and Event Permission Slip and Waiver
VI. Sample Code of Conduct VII. Event Emergency Response Protocol

 

Internet Safety Pledge

  1. I will not give out personal information such as my last name, address, telephone number(s), and the name and location of my school without the permission of my parents or guardian.
  2. I will flag any inappropriate content I come across for Girl Up staff to handle. I will tell an adult right way if I receive any information that makes me feel threatened or uncomfortable.
  3. I will not share or upload personal photos of myself without the consent of a parent/guardian. I will not post photos of my friends and club members without their permission.
  4. I will talk with my parents or guardian so that we can set up rules for going online. I will NEVER agree to get together with someone I “meet” online without first checking with my parents or guardian.  If my parents/guardians agree to a meeting, I will arrange it in a public place and bring a parent or guardian along.
  5. I will not engage in bullying, hurtful or offensive remarks to others, using bad language or spamming.
  6. I will not send or forward images or information that might embarrass, hurt or harass someone.  Nor will I take anyone’s information and use it to damage their reputation.