CBM highly commended at the 2016 Duty of Care Awards


CBM highly commended at the prestigious 2016 Duty of Care Awards in the ‘Innovation’ category.


CBM has been highly commended at the 2016 Duty of Care Awards in the field of Innovation at the ceremony held in Hong Kong on 16 June 2016. This award recognises new and novel approaches to identifying, managing and mitigating risk by shining a light on best practices to raise standards in Duty of Care. Out of ten shortlisted finalists, CBM received this prestigious recognition thanks to our innovative approach to disability inclusive safety and security

Innovative approaches in Disability Inclusive Safety and Security

CBM has been working relentlessly to not just implement a robust safety and security policy throughout the organisation, but also to ensure that it is disability inclusive. Some of the key elements of a disability inclusive safety and security approach at CBM are:

During safety and security training we take into consideration specific scenarios which trigger a dialogue and assessment to consider what situations our staff, especially people with disabilities, could encounter while traveling. Thinking and discussing about this in advance greatly enhances preparedness, reduces the risk to (avoidable) incidents and improves a response to a crisis situation should this be needed.

CBM provides in-house security trainings on a regular basis and draws on its staff and partners who have a disability to support the training and build disability inclusive scenarios into the training sessions and simulations. This gives practical experience and examples of the challenges that people with disabilities face in real life and travel situations. The training gives staff the opportunity to experience, learn and ask what a fellow traveller with a disability may need to stay safe in a chaotic and potentially dangerous situation such as a road block, a crime setting or a natural disaster. 

For example - 

  • Recommendation to use a “buddy system” for crisis situations
  • Personal risk analysis looking at specific angles (what to do if equipment is lost/broken/stolen which are needed for communication, mobility etc.)
  • Ensuring fellow-travellers are instructed what to do in critical situations (e.g. an aggressive situation at a vehicle checkpoint)
  • Consider evacuation routes & protocols (is your wheelchair suitable for the terrain you might encounter?)
  • Carry special supplies of batteries, tools & spare parts during travel
  • Consider the level of insurance (including that for a personal assistant)

CBM has an established an incident reporting (hotline) system. We are constantly learning in this regard as some challenges (for example communicating remotely with staff with a hearing impairment) are not easy to solve. The CBM Crisis Management Team is also trained to support staff remotely in various challenging accessibility scenarios. Travellers are urged to report back after their journey and share what went well and what didn’t, which helps us modify future briefings and travel preparations as well. 

Global Duty of Care Awards

The Duty of Care Awards recognise organisations and individuals who have made a significant contribution to protecting their staff as they travel and work overseas, and we are honoured to have been highly commended. This  makes our resolve for a disability inclusive safety and security approach even stronger and we hope to see it being implemented by other global organisations as well.

A disability inclusive safety and security approach is much needed to ensure people with disabilities are confidently part of mainstream development and enjoy every stage of life. The policy will encourage everyone including persons with disabilities to feel safe and enables the staff at all levels including the employer and employees to be aware of its purpose, responsibilities and guides them to achieve the expected outcomes.
Nagarathna S., senior programme officer, CBM India