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National + International Codes

In addition to our own principles, ChildFund Ireland is guided by a number of national and international codes which outline best practice in their respective areas.


Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages

Dochas Code of Conduct on images and messages

ChildFund Ireland is a signatory of the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages (“the Code”) and commits to applying the Code’s principles for all our communications.

A framework for communications

This Code of Conduct was developed by the members of Dóchas, the Irish association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations and adopted in 2007. It supplies a framework for sound and fair communications across the NGO sector in Ireland and beyond. The Code is designed to support NGOs when communicating development issues and to assist with the day-to-day work of the variety of Irish organisations and their partners, working in long-term development, development education and humanitarian relief.

Implementation of the Code

ChildFund Ireland strives to support the Code’s implementation and to promote it across all members of staff, as well as partners, contractors and the wider NGO sector.

By signing the Code, ChildFund Ireland commits to a set of principles, ensuring that we will avoid stereotypical or sensational images, respect the dignity and equality of all people portrayed and promote fairness, solidarity and justice through all our communications. ChildFund Ireland also agrees a number of commitments to ensure the Code’s principles are implemented throughout all activities of our organisation.


The Code is an attempt by Irish NGOs to regulate themselves and to lead by positive example. It strives to encourage an accurate representation of development issues and the people with whom Irish NGOs work in many different countries and contexts, and to facilitate a critical engagement of the Irish public with development issues.


Below you can find a number of documents, websites and resources related to the Code of Conduct on Images and Messages.

Feedback and Complaints procedure for ChildFund’s adherence to the Dochas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages

If you would like further information about ChildFund’s adherence to the Code, or have any feedback or concerns, please email info@childfund.ie or telephone us on 01 6762128

If you feel that ChildFund has not adequately addressed your concerns,  Dóchas has introduced a cross-sector feedback mechanism that you can avail of HERE

Some guiding principles on the Code 

Choices of images and messages will be made based on the paramount principles of:

  • Respect for the dignity of the people concerned
  • Belief in the equality of all people
  • Acceptance of the need to promote fairness, solidarity and justice

Accordingly, in all our communications and where practical and reasonable within the need to reflect reality, we strive to:

  •  Choose images and related messages based on values of respect equality, solidarity and justice;
  •  Truthfully represent any image or depicted situation both in its immediate and in its wider context so as to improve public understanding of the realities and complexities of development;
  •  Avoid images and messages that potentially stereotype, sensationalise or discriminate against people, situations or places;
  •  Use images, messages and case studies with the full understanding, participation and permission of the subjects (or subjects’ parents/guardian);
  •  Ensure those whose situation is being represented have the opportunity to communicate their stories themselves;
  •  Establish and record whether the subjects wish to be named or identifiable and always act accordingly;
  •  Conform to the highest standards in relation to human rights and protection of vulnerable people.


For information on other codes we are signatories to please see:

Irish Development NGOs Code of Corporate Governance

NGDO Charter

Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief

Code of Good Practice for NGOs Responding to HIV/AIDS (Code of Good Practice)