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Code of Conduct and Complaints Mechanism

Behavioral code for Welthungerhilfe employees and coworker

Mahmoud El-Hadj Salih, employee of Welthungerhilfe in Sudan.
Mahmoud El-Hadj Salih is an employee of Welthungerhilfe in Sudan. © Welthungerhilfe
Cover: Code of Conduct - Prevention of Interest and Corruption Code of Conduct

You can download the document in English, German and French.

Every action, every Welthungerhilfe (WHH) project is guided by the common belief in the equality of all people, the inviolability of their rights and the right of each individual to self-determination. In the spirit of solidarity and humanity, the goal of the organization is to improve the lives of people in the countries where they can work.

The pillars of WHH's work are quality control, transparency and the obligation to account.

To the extent that WHH expects transparency and accountability from other state and international actors (such as institutional donors, national governments, etc.), WHH as an organization must be made transparent and accountable in all its actions.

Graphic: Code of Conduct of Welthungerhilfe
The WHH Code of Conduct ensures that the ethical standards of its project work are respected © Welthungerhilfe
File a complaint

Use our anonymous online form to report unethical behavior or contact us at complaints@welthungerhilfe.de

Upon entering the organization, all employees sign the WHH Code of Conduct. Every single person commits to observing the rules of conduct. All partners as well as other involved groups with which WHH works have to be committed to it.

The primary goal of Welthungerhilfe is to be able to guarantee adherence to the rules of conduct at all times and at every level of work. Infringements or indications are received and immediately investigated via an easily accessible, anonymized feedback mechanism.

In Brief: WHH Rules of Conduct

The Highest Standards of Personal and Professional Conduct

Employees and Contributors of WHH must act in accordance with the common understanding and objectives set out in WHH's Guiding Principles and Strategy. WHH expects them to actively strengthen the organization through their work and their conduct. Employees and Contributors must ensure that their conduct, both during and after working hours, contributes to WHH's good name and does not damage its reputation. They must treat all people as equals, with respect and dignity. They must conduct themselves in an appropriate, and culturally sensitive manner, as well as ensure that WHH publications portray people respectfully. While at work, they must dress in accordance with their position and situation, giving a professional and positive impression of WHH. The above rules of conduct apply in equal measure to online activities, e.g., on social media.

 

No Religious or Political Activities when Representing Welthungerhilfe

WHH is politically independent and non-denominational. Employees and Contributors must conduct themselves accordingly while at work. This means that they are not permitted to participate in political or religious activities in their capacity as Employees or Contributors of WHH unless permission to do so is granted by WHH's Executive Board. This does not affect private participation in such activities. If participating privately, Employees and Contributors are responsible for ensuring that third parties also perceive their participation to be in a private capacity.

No Discrimination

WHH does not tolerate any discrimination by its Employees and Contributors, be it on the basis of age, physical disability, nationality, ethnicity, gender, political views, union activity, religion, culture, language, sexual orientation or other distinguishing characteristics. Employees and Contributors must therefore abstain from any and all kinds of discrimination as well as mobbing and bullying. Directing inappropriate, violent or insulting language at others, whether spoken or written, is prohibited. This also applies on social media.

Responsibility for Health and Safety

Employees and Contributors of WHH are obligated to observe WHH's local security policy at their place of work and to conduct themselves in accordance with it. They may not take any unnecessary risks with either their own health, safety and security or that of Employees, Contributors, WHH project participants or third parties.

No Sexual Violence

Employees and Contributors commit themselves to an environment where the abuse of power is effectively prevented. Employees and Contributors are therefore prohibited from engaging in any form of sexual violence. This includes sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. Employees and Contributors are forbidden from abusing their power or working relationships for the purpose of soliciting sexual favors. In addition, WHH is against any exchange of money, goods, services or favors for sexual services. Actions or statements with sexual undertones or connotations that make someone feel attacked or ashamed are also forbidden. This includes suggestive remarks, unwelcome physical contact or proximity, the display or sharing of suggestive material (e.g., via email or social media) and sexist conversations or jokes, whether in verbal, written or non-verbal form.

Child Protection

Children need special care and protection. Their well-being is WHH's utmost priority in all projects and programs. It forbids any conduct that could harm children. Employees and Contributors must condemn any and all forms of child abuse and act accordingly and advocate for child protection.

Responsible Handling of Data and Information

Information, data and photographs must be collected, used and processed only as permitted by law and as required for WHH's work (in line with the principle of data minimization). Processing must also be conducted with the greatest care and with maximum possible protection from unauthorized access. When collecting data, Employees and Contributors must inform the individuals in question about their data protection rights. This also applies when collecting data from project participants. Personal data is strictly confidential and must be handled in accordance with applicable data protection laws. Personal or confidential data related to WHH's work may therefore not be disseminated outside of the organization, neither verbally nor in writing, unless WHH has given its written consent. Legal regulations mandating the disclosure of information may provide grounds for exceptions to this rule. 

Every person is entitled to information on the personal data stored about themselves. This information must be provided upon request at any time. Information and data that are no longer needed must be promptly deleted in accordance with the right to be forgotten.

Responsible Use of Resources

WHH expects its Employees and Contributors to deploy the organization’s resources in a responsible manner, taking into consideration such criteria as relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. The private use of resources that WHH provides to its Employees and Contributors (e.g. laptops and work phones) is only permitted if the express consent of WHH has been obtained. Work equipment provided by WHH may not be used for activities that contravene the law or the Code of Conduct. This includes any and all types of harassment, intimidation, and degradation as well as viewing, storing, processing, transmitting, and duplicating obscene, pornographic or discriminatory files. Employees and Contributors are obligated to take special care of the resources provided to them by WHH. Misappropriation of or grossly negligent damage to the property of WHH or to any property directly connected to Welthungerhilfe’s activities will not be tolerated.

No Supporting of Terrorism or Money Laundering

All Employees and Contributors must ensure that no resources are used for money laundering or to support terrorist activities directly or indirectly at any time. All Employees and Contributors are obligated to comply with the Anti-Terrorism Policy.

No Corruption

Corruption pursues personal interests, breaks the rules of fair competition, and abets decisions that are inconsistent with the common good and that do not effectively address the issues at hand. Corruption is contrary to WHH's common understanding. Employees and Contributors of WHH are therefore prohibited from engaging in corruption of any kind. WHH does not allow gifts, hospitality or the remuneration of expenses to be offered or accepted if doing so appears to inappropriately influence the recipient's freedom of choice in matters concerning WHH. The appearance of such an influence is particularly stark if expenditures exceed the boundaries of what is appropriate and justifiable. For Employees of WHH, the boundary of what is appropriate and justifiable is set at a total value of up to EUR 40 per year. Stricter customary local value boundaries must also be observed.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

Employees and Contributors of WHH may not exploit their professional position and any concomitant privileges for personal gain or to benefit related parties. They must avoid any situation in which personal interests could be contrary to WHH's interests and ensure the unsolicited disclosing of potential personal conflicts of interest.

Prohibition of Alcohol and Drugs

Employees and Contributors of WHH are not permitted to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including the operating of vehicles or machines. This also applies to other narcotics that impair the ability of Employees or Contributors to perform their responsibilities for or on behalf of WHH. The possession, distribution and consumption of illegal substances at the workplace or on the job is prohibited. The workplace includes any vehicles owned or rented by WHH as well as properties, buildings and facilities used by WHH.

No Carrying of Weapons

WHH pursues its objectives without violence. For this reason, it categorically prohibits the carrying of weapons by Employees and Contributors on all properties and in all vehicles, buildings and other facilities used by WHH. Armed civilians or military personnel are categorically not allowed in WHH’s vehicles, buildings or facilities nor on its properties. Consent for the employment of armed guards must be given by the Executive Board in accordance with WHH's Security Policy.

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