Youth Protection

Statement of Conduct for Working with Youth

Rotary International strives to create and maintain a safe environment for all youth who participate in Rotary activities. To the best of their ability, Rotarians, Rotarians’ partners, and other volunteers must safeguard the children and young people with whom they come in contact and protect them from physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.

Rotary International Policy for Youth Protection

To uphold the Statement of Conduct for Working with Youth all clubs and districts must ensure the abuse and harassment prevention and reporting requirements are followed as established by the general secretary. Rotary International (“RI”) has a zero-tolerance policy against abuse and harassment. Consistent with RI’s policy, our staff is required to:

  • report allegations of abuse immediately to the appropriate law enforcement agency
  • report all allegations of abuse or harassment shall be reported to RI within 72 hours of learning of the incident.
  • remove any person against whom an allegation of sexual abuse or harassment is made from all contact with youth until the matter is resolved.

More information about RI Youth Protection policies can be found online. Rotary members, youth program participants, and the general public can report youth protection concerns online.

A club must terminate the membership of any individual who admits to, is convicted of or is otherwise known to have engaged in sexual abuse or harassment of youth or youth program participants. A Rotarian or non-Rotary volunteer who admits to, is convicted of, or is otherwise known to have engaged in sexual abuse or sexual harassment or other act of moral turpitude must be prohibited from working with youth in a Rotary context. A club may not grant membership to a person who is known to have engaged in sexual abuse or harassment. (Upon obtaining information that a club has knowingly failed to terminate the membership of such an individual, the RI Board may terminate the club for failure to comply).

Youth Protection and RYLA Northwest

The RYLA Northwest program is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of all participants, minor or adult, and will not tolerate their abuse or harassment.  All allegations of abuse or harassment will be taken seriously and must be handled within the Rotary International guidelines.  The safety and well-being of individuals should always be the first priority. Volunteer staff receive training on youth protection, and are subject to discipline (including permanent removal from the program) for violations of policy.

To Report Child Abuse or Neglect in Washington

Call Toll-Free: (866) END-HARM (866-363-4276) TTY: (800) 624-6186 or visit the Department of Children, Youth, Families website for more information.