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Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages

Trócaire is an active member of Dóchas (the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations) and a signatory to the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messaging.

Dochas logo

Dóchas members adopted a Code of Conduct on Images and Messages in 2007 for organisations working on overseas development and humanitarian issues.

The Code is based on a system of three core values and seven guiding principles (see below) which provide a good practice framework for organisations when choosing which images and messages to use in their communications. 

Three core values of the Dóchas Code:

  1. Respect for the dignity of the people concerned;
  2. Belief in the equality of all people;
  3. Acceptance of the need to promote fairness, solidarity and justice.

Seven guiding principles

In all our communications, we strive to:

  1. Choose images and related messages based on values of respect equality, solidarity and justice;
  2. Truthfully represent any image or depicted situation both in its immediate and in its wider context so as to improve public understanding of the realities and complexities of development;
  3. Avoid images and messages that potentially stereotype, sensationalise or discriminate against people, situations or places;
  4. Use images, messages and case studies with the full understanding, participation and permission of the subjects (or subjects’ parents/guardian);
  5. Ensure those whose situation is being represented have the opportunity to communicate their stories themselves;
  6. Establish and record whether the subjects wish to be named or identifiable and always act accordingly;
  7. Conform to the highest standards in relation to human rights and protection of the vulnerable people.

Eight adherence criteria

As part of that commitment, and in order to ensure the Code can be implemented on a practical level within organisations, Signatories to the Code are asked to comply with eight internal adherence criteria.

  1. Make reference to the Code on your main website by displaying the Code logo either on your “Homepage” or in your “About us” section;
  2. Make reference to the Code in your annual report
  3. Your Board sends an adherence confirmation letter  to Dóchas on an annual basis
  4. Appoint a Code Champion 
  5. Put in place a training plan for staff, management and volunteers 
  6. Provide explicit information on feedback mechanisms on website 
  7. Your Board discusses Code compliance at least once in the past 12 months 
  8. Develop a Code implementation plan

Watch Dóchas Code of Conduct short explanatory video:

Feedback and complaints on Trócaire’s compliance with the Code

If you would like further information about Trócaire’s adherence to the Code, or have any feedback or concerns please email Trócaire's Communications Team commsteam (at)

If you do not feel that Trócaire is not adequately addressing your concerns, you can follow the Dóchas Complaints Mechanism.

The imagery and video Trócaire uses in its fundraising and other communications work is publicly available for your review on the following channels:

Additional visual material is used across our communications platforms including our website and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+). 

Visit the Dóchas website for further information on the Code.