Network of African Youths for Development - 'Together is better'
Actiontoolkit - Take Action! - Legal issues

This, again, is another serious and stressful part of the project manager’s responsibility. It is impossible to review every legal aspect that you may run into, but it is essential you take it seriously. Research, plan, talk to the relevant authorities, and be sure to initiate all the necessary procedures to keep well within the law.

Risk Assessment: If someone gets injured due to your negligence, you are liable. Hopefully, your project will not carry many risks with it. However, you should always conduct a full Risk Assessment by quantifying and writing down exactly what risks young people may be facing by working on your project. If you are doing practical work, have a first aid kit handy. Make sure all participants have the correct safety equipment. Take precautions and plan ahead to minimise unpleasant surprises. A risk assessment is only worthwhile if you then use it to plan and implement ways to mitigate or manage those risks acceptably. You may for example ask volunteers to sign a document acknowledging that they have been trained on how to use tools safely or the hazards associated with a specific location or environment.
Permissions: Does your project affect or use property? If so, you need to get the necessary permissions from the owners. If you are holding a big open-air event, you must get the necessary licences or letters of permission from the owners to use the venue. If you want to dig a garden in school or municipal grounds, you need a letter of permission from the owner of the property. Your permissions need to be formal - not just a nod or informal verbal agreement. Go over each part of your project in your mind and ask yourself: do I have to get permission from someone to do this? If the answer is “Yes!” or a suspicion of a “Yes!” don’t go ahead and do anything until you have that permission in writing!

Minors: Another legal issue you may have to deal with is the issue of over18s working with under 18s or those defined as ‘minors.’ In many countries, local authorities require that everyone working with minors have to undergo a background check by the police to make sure they do not have a record of inappropriate behaviour. In the UK, for example, you would not be able to work unsupervised with under-18s without a police check on every single member of your team. This rule will vary among countries, so make sure you are aware of local regulations concerning minors. Back

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