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Code of Conduct and Complaints Mechanism

Behavioural 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 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 organisation is to improve the lives of people in the countries where they can work.

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

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

Graphic: Code of Conduct of Welthungerhilfe
The Welthungerhilfe 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 behaviour or contact us at complaints@welthungerhilfe.de

Upon entering the organisation, all employees sign the Welthungerhilfe Code of Conduct. Every single person commits to observing the rules of conduct. All partners as well as other involved groups with which Welthungerhilfe 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, anonymised feedback mechanism.

In Brief: Welthungerhilfe Rules of Conduct

The Highest Standards of Personal and Professional Conduct

Employees and Contributors of Welthungerhilfe must act in accordance with the common understanding and objectives set out in Welthungerhilfe's Guiding Principles and Strategy. Welthungerhilfe expects them to actively strengthen the organisation through their work and their conduct. Employees and Contributors must ensure that their conduct, both during and after working hours, contributes to Welthungerhilfe’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 Welthungerhilfe publications portray people respectfully. While at work, they must dress in accordance with their position and situation, giving a professional and positive impression of Welthungerhilfe. 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

Welthungerhilfe 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 Welthungerhilfe unless permission to do so is granted by Welthungerhilfe’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

Welthungerhilfe 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 Welthungerhilfe are obligated to observe Welthungerhilfe'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, Welthungerhilfe 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 favours. In addition, Welthungerhilfe is against any exchange of money, goods, services or favours 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 Welthungerhilfe’s utmost priority in all projects and programmes. 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 Welthungerhilfe's work (in line with the principle of data minimisation). Processing must also be conducted with the greatest care and with maximum possible protection from unauthorised 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 Welthungerhilfe’s work may therefore not be disseminated outside of the organisation, neither verbally nor in writing, unless Welthungerhilfe 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

Welthungerhilfe expects its Employees and Contributors to deploy the organisation’s resources in a responsible manner, taking into consideration such criteria as relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. The private use of resources that Welthungerhilfe provides to its Employees and Contributors (e.g. laptops and work phones) is only permitted if the express consent of Welthungerhilfe has been obtained. Work equipment provided by Welthungerhilfe 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 Welthungerhilfe. Misappropriation of or grossly negligent damage to the property of Welthungerhilfe 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 Welthungerhilfe’s common understanding. Employees and Contributors of Welthungerhilfe are therefore prohibited from engaging in corruption of any kind. Welthungerhilfe 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 Welthungerhilfe. The appearance of such an influence is particularly stark if expenditures exceed the boundaries of what is appropriate and justifiable. For Employees of Welthungerhilfe, 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 Welthungerhilfe 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 Welthungerhilfe’s interests and ensure the unsolicited disclosing of potential personal conflicts of interest.

Prohibition of Alcohol and Drugs

Employees and Contributors of Welthungerhilfe 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 Welthungerhilfe. 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 Welthungerhilfe as well as properties, buildings and facilities used by Welthungerhilfe.

No Carrying of Weapons

Welthungerhilfe 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 Welthungerhilfe. Armed civilians or military personnel are categorically not allowed in Welthungerhilfe’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 Welthungerhilfe’s Security Policy.

Last Update 03.02.2020