Ethics & policies - Caritas Danmark

Ethics & policies

The Ethical Code is in line with Caritas Denmark’s Values, Vision and Mission. As a Catholic organization, it is our fundamental view that every human being is unique and created in God’s image. Thereby all human beings are of equal value, no matter who they are, what they believe in or under which circumstances they live.

1. Ethical code

The Ethical Code is in line with Caritas Denmark’s Values, Vision and Mission. As a Catholic organization, it is our fundamental view that every human being is unique and created in God’s image. Thereby all human beings are of equal value, no matter who they are, what they believe in or under which circumstances they live.

The personal conduct of anyone representing Caritas Denmark is expected to demonstrate respect for human dignity and universal rights.

Caritas’ Ethical Code includes a series of principles within the following three main areas:

  • Values, professional ethics and behaviour
  • Conflict of interest, coersion, gifts and benefits
  • Personal conduct

Read the entire Ethical Code.

The Ethical Code is an integrated part of any employment and contract with consultants, signed with Caritas.

Every member of staff has a duty immediately to report any suspicion of concerns regarding breaches of this code. Concerns shall be raised with the Head of Administration.

Reporting from external stakeholders, partners, consultants or persons in program countries who receive help from Caritas Denmark happens through the complaint form on our website. 

2. International standards

Caritas worldwide promote sustainable integral human development, which we see as essential to achieving human dignity. A key aspect of this is collective actions for the poor and vulnerable people and their communities to ensure protection and livelihoods, to empower them to influence their own lives and the systems that affect them.

We see the enhancement of organizational expertise and alignment to standards as a way to ensure aid efficiency and quality support to the poor, marginalized and vulnerable. We thus commit ourselves to uphold the following international conventions, principles, and standards:

  • 1948 UN Declaration on Human Rights
  • 1949 Geneva Conventions + protocols
  • UN 1951 Refugee Convention + its protocols
  • UN Guidelines on Internally Displaced People
  • International Red Cross Code of Conduct
  • Sphere Standards
  • Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS)
  • Caritas Internationalis Management Standards (CIMS), incl. code of conduct
  • Caritas Partnership – Guiding principles on Caritas partnership
  • Caritas Internationalis Child Protection Policy
  • In emergencies: align our work to the Emergency appeal system of the CI and coordinate within the UN Cluster system for humanitarian response
  • The Pope Francis encyclical, Laudato Si – calling to combat environmental degradation and climate change
  • Danish Civil Society Policy
  • Charter for Change (C4C)
  • International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)

3. Complaints

Caritas Denmark is a transparent and responsible organization. We wish to be responsible for our activities and decisions and to counteract corruption and assaults. We have thus developed a complaint policy and created a complaint mechanism as described in the following.

What kind of complaints?

We encourage comments and feedback in relation to our work to be shared and discussed with the responsible Caritas staff who knows best the activities. If the problems cannot be solved or if they are of serious nature, the complaint mechanism on our website can be used, or any of our staff can be contacted.

A complaint could involve e.g.:

  • Caritas Denmark’s work in Denmark or in our programme countries
  • The behaviour of staff, volunteers or others representing Caritas Denmark
  • The behaviour of staff in Caritas Denmark’s partner organizations, e.g. violation of the Ethical Code
  • Suspicion of corruption, bribery, sexual assault or violation of international protection policies

All staff members of Caritas Denmark pledge to adhere to the Caritas Denmark Ethical Code and Anti-Corruption Policy.

Complaints will always be processed in confidentiality and the complainant will be protected, as long as the complaint is filed in good faith. On the other hand, a deliberate false accusation could have consequences for the complainant.

All information of confidential character will be stored safely, and only the complaint committee will have access.

Read our  Complaints Record Report 2020

Processing of complaints

Filing of complaints is done by filling out the complaint form. The complaint should be as adequate as possible and, wherever possible, include evidence, e.g. by submitting attached files.

The complaint will automatically be sent to Caritas Denmark’s internal complaint committee, which is formed by three members appointed by the Board of Caritas Denmark, currently comprising the Secretary General, the Head of Administration, and the International Team Leader. If the complaint involves any of these individuals, they will be disqualified from processing the complaint.

Immediately thereafter, the complainant will receive a confirmation of receipt and a copy of our Complaints Handling Policy and Procedures that can also be found below. After receipt, the complaint will be addressed as soon as possible by the complaint committee, The complaint committee will decide on how to process the complaint and will inform the complainant of the outcome no later than one month from reception. If needed, the complaint committee can request further information or documentation from the complainant.


More information can be found in  Complaints Handling Policy and Procedures.

4. Anti-Corruption Policy

Caritas Denmark wishes to send a clear signal, internally and externally, about its zero tolerance towards corruption. Caritas Denmark has a strategic partnership with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and actively supports Danida’s fight against corruption in the administration of Danish development funds.

Corruption in its various forms is in breach with Caritas’ mission: to promote the will, ability and opportunity of poor and marginalized persons to permanently break the poverty cycle through self-help and attain a better life.

Caritas Denmark works in countries that often have weak institutional structures and are susceptible to corruption in various degrees. The solution is not to withdraw from these countries but to strengthen local structures that strive to fight corruption and to promote development.

The anti-corruption policy targets Caritas Danmark’s employees, volunteers and others who represent Caritas Danmark as well as staff members of partner organisations in programme countries.

Read our Anti-Corruption Policy here

5. Information Disclosure Policy

Caritas Denmark is a transparent and responsible organisation concerning our decisions and activities. We are committed to upholding high professional and ethical standards of accountability in accordance with Caritas Internationalis Management Standards (CI MS) and Core Humanitarian Standards.

We comply with National laws and guidelines on information disclosure for Non-Governmental Organisations, and our information disclosure policy is published on our website. In terms of transparency and accountability, Caritas Denmark believes that information should be accessible and disclosed, subject to the limitations outlined in this policy. Subsequently, this policy applies to all information held by Caritas Denmark.

The policy does not apply to information held by Caritas Denmark’s individual partners, although our partners are encouraged to have similar policies that meet the legal requirements of their own country and the requirements of their stakeholders.

Read our Information Disclosure Policy here