Safeguarding Policy in
As dharma practitioners, Pemako Buddhism (PB) staff always aim to act in accordance with the common ethics of the natural state itself. However, we do acknowledge the relative human condition and recognize the need for written guidelines in regards to general conduct of staff and for the safeguarding of individuals.
This policy applies to all PB staff, including teachers and organizers and anyone working on behalf of PB. This document includes (1) a general code of conduct for staff members, (2) a brief description of abuse and (3) guidelines for reporting and processing complaints of abuse.
Purpose of this document
The purpose of this document is:
Code of conduct
The main ethical prinicples of Pemako Buddhism are honesty, non-violence, kindness and generosity. Thus,
What is considered abuse?
What we mean by abuse is any kind of mistreatment that violates a person's human and civil rights. Abuse can vary from treating someone with disrespect in a way which significantly affects the person's quality of life, to causing actual physical suffering.
In any organization abuse is usually carried out by someone who is in a position of power, authority or trust over the victim. In PB this would translate to teachers, sangha leaders and group leaders etc., however, other people in the organization can also be in a position that might enable abusive behaviour.
Since abuse can take many forms it is important for both staff and members to familiarize themselves with the phenomena in order to be able to better detect abuse or more effectively respond to complaints.
Forms of abuse:
If you are experiencing abuse yourself, or if you suspect that someone in the sangha are being abused, this should immediately be reported to one or more of the sangha leaders and the head teacher:
Kim Katami, firstname.lastname@example.org
Finland Sangha Leader:
Helena Ahlbäck, email@example.com
Ireland Sangha Leader:
Jonathan O'Donovan, firstname.lastname@example.org
United Kingdom Sangha leader:
Karl Eikrem, email@example.com
If for some reason you don't wish to contact the head teacher, or sangha leader of your country, you can notify another sangha leader who will then be take your complaint.
The staff member receiving the complaint will then:
No information will be shared with other people without permission of the person who is being abused, except in cases where (1) others may be at risk of abuse, or (2) if the person is not able to make decisions for themselves because of mental disability.
If the abuse is also considered a crime by law, you should contact the police as well. If the police are involved, PB will work with them and with you in order to support the process in the best possible manner.
We hope this document contributes to the safety of our members, our staff and our affiliates. With the continous surfacing of horrific scandals in the buddhist community, we find it important to make a firm stance against such atrocities.
This article was written by Pemako Buddhism Teaching Staff and the head teacher in May 2018.
Pemako Buddhism head teacher and founder, Kim Katami, has been a member of Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers since 2018.
Pemako Buddhist Sangha has been a member of Network of Buddhist Organisations since 2018.