Guidelines to keeping Roihu a safe event for everyone

In order to make sure that Roihu is a safe environment for everyone, the leaders should know what kind of situations endanger this safety and be ready to intervene as soon as possible if they see any unwanted circumstances. With this page we hope to help all the leaders prepare themselves for these situations.

Although providing a safe growth environment is a primary goal in Scouting and Guiding, children and youth can still experience harassment, bullying, mistreatment, or violence during Scouting and Guiding activities or outside of them.

We must prepare ourselves for these unfortunate circumstances, be able to intervene as soon as possible and above all prevent these unwanted situation especially during Scouting activities. We also wish to make sure that young people and adults know what to do if they notice any of the aforementioned situations.

From the perspective of safety and wellbeing this means, for example, that:

  • Children are treated respectfully
  • The personal integrity of a child is respected
  • The safe growth and development, and the wellbeing of children is supported
  • Children are protected from bullying, violence, sexual abuse, the use of drugs and alcohol, and other things threatening the safe development of a child

Principles of Respectful Conduct for Every Leader

  • Think of every child and youth you meet as an individual
  • Respect and appreciate the diversity of children and youth
  • Take into account the individual characteristics of every participating child youth as much as possible
  • Every child and youth should feel like they are recognised in Guiding and Scouting
  • Listen to children and youth
  • Take the things children and youth tell you seriously
  • Speak respectfully to children and youth (not by shouting or demeaning)
  • Speak respectfully about children and youth
  • Treat children and youth fairly
  • Be honest with children and youth
  • Children and youth have to be able to trust adults in Scouting and Guiding
  • Help children and youth when needed
  • Share the responsibility of taking care of children and youth
  • Respect the personal integrity of children and youth
  • Be truly present, both physically and mentally, when you interact with children and youth

Recognising abuse

Abuse in Guiding and Scouting can be, for example:

  • An adult begins a relationship with a minor considerably younger than themself
  • A Scout assaults another Scout at a Guiding and Scouting event
  • A Guide threatens another Guide with violence
  • An adult promises a minor alcohol in exchange for sex

Types of abuse

  • Physical abuse - an activity that causes or might cause physical pain, impediment, or damage to a child
    • Examples: beating, pulling hair
  • Psychological abuse - an activity that harms or might harm a child’s physical mental, moral, or social development, but does not cause bodily damage
    • Examples: threats, discrimination, exclusion, mocking
  • Neglect - a guardian or another adult responsible for a child neglects to offer the care required by the child, which harms or might harm a child’s physical mental, moral, or social development
    • Care includes health, education, cognitive development, nutrition, shelter, and healthy surroundings
  • Sexual abuse - an adult or an elder adolescent presses or forces an underage child into sexual activities such as showing them pornographic materials or touching them in a sexual manner
    • According to Finnish criminal legislation, any children or youth under the age of 16 are considered underaged (also known as the age of consent)
  • Commercial exploitation - exploiting a child for compensation and gain of others, an activity that harms or might harm a child’s physical mental, moral, or social development
  • Spiritual abuse - a person in a position of spiritual authority abuses their power and gained trust with the purpose of controlling or manipulating a child