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Our Fundamental Principles

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe stands up for poor and marginalized people worldwide so that they can effectively exercise their human rights. All of our actions are guided by the principles of transparency, accountability, and the assumption of responsibility in the handling of power and resources. In this way, we ensure that people are not negatively affected by our actions in their right to self-determination as well as physical and psychological integrity. One of our pillars of assuming responsibility is the definition of ethical standards.

Our code of conduct

Our code of conduct defines our fundamental principles guiding our actions and clearly states protection against discrimination, sexual exploitation/abuse, endangering of a child’s well-being, as well as corruption. The code of conduct is binding for all employees as an integral part of their employment contract. Furthermore, the ethical standards also apply to employees with local employment contracts, consultants, professionals and volunteers. These standards are the basis for our cooperation with our partners worldwide. The intention of the code of conduct is to establish a safe and open environment for all involved parties. It aims to provide an orientation for the prevention and proper handling of illegal and unethical situations.

Our Ombudsperson

Besides the definition of ethical standards, we endeavour to prevent inappropriate behaviour through an array of different measures. Nevertheless, in case of any infringements, intervention measures such as our case management take effect. Different communication channels aim to facilitate the disclosing of illegal or unethical behavior in an easily accessible manner (low-threshold).

One of these channels, which enables the complainants a special protection, is our ombudsperson. The ombudsperson is a freelance lawyer external to the organization and is independent from Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe. The main task of the external ombudsperson is to confidentially handle the information received from complainants and to protect those providing the information as well as those directly concerned. This is guaranteed through the lawyer’s professional obligation to maintain secrecy and his right to refuse to give evidence. In addition, Bread for the World has waived its rights to information in order to protect complainants.

If the ombudsperson receives a complaint, he will consult with the notifying party and agree upon further steps to be taken. Information will only be disclosed to the so-called Integrity Team, which, if desired, investigates the case, with the explicit consent of the informant, and anonymously, if that is desired. The ombudsperson regularly informs notifying parties about the status of the ongoing proceedings.

Wahrung der Anonymität. Die Ombudsperson informiert Hinweisgebende regelmäßig zum Stand der Bearbeitung.

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Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct aims to support the Executive Board, all executives and employees in making ethically and legally sound decisions.

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