By-laws

AIEJI By-Laws, Zaragoza 2014

1. Name

1. The AIEJI association’s name is: INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL EDUCATORS

2. SOCIAL EDUCATORS are professionals with a formal education or training who work with children, youth and adults. The populations include persons and/or communities who are in need of socio-educational actions. Social educators practice in a variety of settings through individual actions, residential institutions and community based programs in the respect of professional ethics. They practice a broad range of roles including direct care, training, supervision and leadership positions, consultation and research in the socio-educational field.

3. The Association is a non-profit association established under the laws of Switzerland. Its headquarters can be transferred to any location by decision of the Executive Board.

4. Only members are authorized to use AIEJI’s logo in their publications.

2. Purposes and goals

Article 2.1. – Purposes
The purpose of the association is to emphasize and promote the philosophy of social education and its uniqueness in being actively involved in partnership with clients,
working with them, not only individually but in groups, families, communities, in the milieu, towards the development of their strengths and in resolving personal, social,
and community difficulties.

The purposes then are to :

1. Unite social educators from all countries and promote quality practice that seeks to ensure the best for people served by the profession.

2. Encourage the richness of diversity by promoting the working together of people of different backgrounds and cultures through the international membership of AIEJI.

3. Contribute to the development of professional education and training to increase the competence of all social educators.

4. Promote the organization of the social education profession and encourage networking among AIEJI members to increase international collaboration.

5. Emphasize professional practice and educational methods based on the United Nation’s declarations of human and children’s rights.

Article 2.2. : – Goals
The association will seek to carry out its stated purposes by means of :1. Encouraging the creation of social educator associations in countries in which there are no such organizations.

2. Organizing international congresses, colloquia, seminars of a general, interregional or regional nature.

3. Promoting international exchange of persons, ideas and contribute to the study of protection of persons nationally and internationally and to facilitate contacts for its members with educational experiences carried out around the world.

4. Promoting the development and utilization of knowledge through research, publication, exchange of documentation concerning social education, human welfare, and collaboration on practical and scientific publication in the field.

5. By working together with the United Nations and its specialized institutions as well as with other international or national organizations, whether intergovernmental, governmental or not.

6. Any other means appropriate to the purposes and goals of this international
association.

3. Membership and members

Article 3.1 – Members.
The following may be members of the Association:

1. Membership associations of social educators. These members are category A members.

2. Organizations, agencies, institutions, educational and training centers or foundations providing social educational services or in direct support to children, youth and adults. These members are category B members.

3. Individuals: Social educators with formal education as well as other professionals working as social educators – and others who are interested in the work of the association and in supporting the By-Laws. These members are category C members.

Article 3.2 – Associations and organizations as Members.

1. Associations and organizations as defined in Articles 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 – submitting a written request with documents (i.e. By-Laws, reports of current activities)supporting their application for membership may be accepted as members by the Board, which decides on the terms of approval.

2. If a request for membership has been denied, the applicant has the right of appeal to the General Assembly.

Article 3.3. – Honorary Status.

1. The General Assembly may give the title of honorary member to individuals ho have provided exemplary services to the Association, to the profession of social education, or to people in difficulties.

2. The title of Honorary President may be attributed by the General Assembly to former presidents of the Association, who have performed exemplary service.

3. Honorary members and Honorary Presidents are invited to participate in discussions of the General Assembly as non-voting members.

4. The title of Honorary member shall be lost by resignation or by decision of the General Assembly.

Article 3.4. – Loss of membership
Members shall lose their membership under the following conditions:

1. By written resignation sent to the General Secretary.

2. By removal for ethical reasons or noncompliance with the member’s obligations in the event of any action contrary to the AIEJI By-Laws. The member has the right to enter a plea before the Executive Committee, and to defend his/her position before the General Assembly. While this is not celebrated, his/her condition of member will be suspended, while keeping his/her obligations and the right to information, but not the right to vote.

3. By failure to pay dues, according to Article 4.1.2.

4. Dues and other financial matters.

Article 4.1. – Dues.

1. Members shall pay yearly dues as established by the General Assembly. Presidents Emeritus and Honorary members shall be exempted from payment of dues.

2. Members failing to pay their dues within 90 days after receiving the call for payment shall be notified by the Association. If payment is not received by the end of the current year, membership will be discontinued. The Board may exercise discretion and not suspend membership when special circumstances exist.

3. In the case of non-payment of dues, the condition of full rights member will be recovered when all dues pending are paid.”

Article 4.2. – Fiscal Year.
The financial year corresponds to that of the calendar year.

Article 4.3. – Financial Requirements.

1. Meetings of all types, whether organized by the International Association or by others on behalf of the Association, must be self-financed.

2. The Association’s financial commitments shall be ensured by its financial resources, excluding any of its members’ personal responsibility.

5. General Assembly.

Article 5.1. – General Assembly.

1. In the Association, the sovereign power is exercised by the General Assembly. The President presides over the General Assembly and the General Secretary prepares the papers for the meeting.

2. The General Assembly shall convene at least every four years, by notice from the Board to the membership two months prior to the meeting date. This notice must present the Assembly’s agenda. The agenda shall contain as a minimum the following points :
• Acceptance of proper formalities about the General Assembly.
• Approval Minutes of previous General Assembly.
• Report of the Board.
• Report of the Treasurer.
• Report of the audit committee.
• Proposals for new business.
• Decision of regions in which AIEJI is currently active and that should be represented in the board                                                                                                                                                                           *Elections                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      *Member dues.
• Next General Assembly.

3. The General Assembly shall decide on auditors’ reports, the Board’s proposals aiming to reach the Associations’ goals as well as on proposals submitted to the Board three months prior to the General Assembly.

4. The General Assembly shall elect members of the Board, by the majority of members present or represented by proxy. The election of the president, the General Secretary, the treasuerer and the regional officers is directly (see appendix concerning election procedure)

5. The General Assembly shall elect, in addition to the Board, two members at large who shall verify the Association’s financial accounts.

6. The General Assembly shall establish member dues for the different member categories (ABC) for  the coming period.

7. The General Assembly’s decisions shall be decided by a majority vote, except for those provided for in Articles 7.1 and 7.2 in these By-Laws.

8. Special meetings of the General Assembly shall be called by a written request of a majority of the Board or by a written request by 20 % of the membership. Special meeting notice shall be sent to the members of the Association two months prior to the date of such a meeting. The business transacted at such a meeting shall be confined to the topic or topics sent out and stated in the meeting call.

Article 5.2. – Voting (see appendix concerning election procedure)

1. The associations cited in Article 3.1.1 (category A members) shall be represented at the General Assembly. The group of associations of each state has 80 votes. 20 additional votes are given to associations reaching the maximum yearly payment of dues.

2. The organizations cited in Article 3.1.2 (category B members) shall be represented at the General Assembly. Organizations have 10 votes each. 5 additional votes are given to agencies reaching the maximum yearly payment of dues.

3. Individual members cited in article 3.1.3 (category C members) each have 1 vote.

4. Voting by correspondence is possible, when necessary, during the period between regular General Assembly meetings. A period of one month shall be
granted to members so that they may announce their decision.

5. Voting by proxy is allowed. A member, not being able to attend the General Assembly, may designate another member to cast a vote. A member may
represent only two other members by proxy.

6.The Board

Article 6.1. – The Board – Responsibilities

1. The Board shall conduct the Association’s business in its political and technical aspects. It shall be responsible to apply the directives and decisions of the General assembly. It shall be responsible as a college for all the activities it implements.

2. The Board may delegate defined assignments to specific members of the Board or to the members of the Association at large. the board may also set up a reference group to deal with tasks on ad hoc basis. The persons in the referencegroup shall have a minimum of 5 years experience in a national board or in the AIEJI board.

3. The Board may adopt Rules and Procedures for the conduct of its business as shall be deemed advisable and may in the execution of the powers granted appoint technical advisors as it considers necessary.

4. The Executive Committee must do a yearly working plan, and will provide it with the corresponding budget.

5. Technical Advisors, Project Leaders can be invited for consultation with the General Assembly if not invited in another capacity.

Article 6.2. – The Board – Composition

1. The Executive board will be made up from nine ti thirteen members elected by the General Assembly. It is a decleration of intent that at least nine members of the bord shall be category A members. One seat is reserved for a category B member and one seat for a category C member. Only if there are not sufficient candidates from category A the seats can be taken by candidate/s from category B according to the vote result. Member associations and organizations may present candidates if they are 3.1.1 (A) or 3.1.2 (B) members of the Association. Individual members, category 3.1.3 (C), submit their own proposals for candidature to the Board and the General Assembly.

A minimum time of one years’ membership of AIEJI is a condition to nominate for board members as A or B member – with regard to the member association and not the representatives.

2. No more than one member on the Board may represent a country. An acceptance is if not all seats are occupied on the Board. In this situation no more than two members on the Board may represent a country. At elections nominates who run for a regions officer position that is not occupied are in advance. A and B members can run for a regions officer position (see appendix for election procedure for a close description). Each a and B member can nominate a deputy. The deputy can participate in board meetings on behalf of the A or B member, when she or he is prevented in participating. The deputy has observation status and cannot vote. The deputy can contribute to decision making by speaking at the board meetings. If the member leaves the board the deputy can replace her or him in the board. The new board member has to be accepted by a majority of the Board.

3. The term for members of the Board shall be four years. Incumbent members can be re-elected.

4. If a board member wants to stop/or is forced to stop before new election at General Assembly the board can accept another person from the organization (concerning A and B members). If the member stopping is a category c member the board shall fill the position by inviting the candidate who recieved the most of the votes of those not elected at the last General Assembly. 

Membership of the Board will be terminated if the member fails to attend meetings less often than once per year – or fails to pay dues. The Board may excuse absence under special circumstances. In the event a member is excluded, the Board shall fill the position by inviting the candidate receiving the most votes of those not elected at the last General Assembly to join the Board.

5. The Board shall have one Standing Committee:
• An Audit Committee according to Article 5.1.5.

And Ad hoc Committees:
The Board may designate ad hoc Committees from time to time as deemed necessary.
There will be Regional Bureaux at the continents, with a responsible manager chosen among the members of the Board.
The President may temporarily create working groups when necessary.

6. The Board shall convene as often as necessary, however at least twice a
year.

Article 6.3. – Voting and Quorum

      1. Each member of the Board shall have one vote.

2. The Members of the Board cannot be represented. There must be at least 51% of the members of the Board present to comprise a quorum for taking action. In the event of a tie vote, the President shall have the deciding vote.

Article 6.4. – Civil and Legal Representation
The President and General Secretary shall jointly represent the Association in all civil and legal action.

7. Amendments and dissolution

Article 7.1. – Amendments
Proposals aiming to bring about any amendment to the By-Laws shall be submitted to the membership two months prior to the date of the General Assembly. Any amendment to the By-Laws shall require a majority of 2/3 of the votes present or represented.

Article 7.2. – Dissolution

1. A proposal aiming to dissolve the Association shall only be able to be examined in a General Assembly announced with this specific aim at least two months prior to the date of the meeting. This proposal shall only be accepted by the majority vote of 2/3 of the members present or represented.

2. If dissolution is decided, the General Assembly shall then appoint a commission of three members in charge of liquidating the Association’s assets and debts. The Association shall decide on the distribution of the amounts resulting from the Association’s dissolution. These sums shall be assigned, free of charge, to an International Association working in the field of social education.

 Appendix: Procedure for election

 

Written candidacy

 –      Candidacy is written and shall be received at the secretary at least four weeks before the General Assembly.

 –      Rules for the written candidacy: Short presentation of the organization or the institution the candidate represents (concerning A and B member candidacies) and person (concerning A, B and C member candidacies), and professional focus areas, one page.

Board positions and membership

 –      The President position, the General Secretary position and the Treasurer position can be occupied by A members. The three are elected directly. In the written candidacy there is an opportunity to tick a secundary box: Ordinary member. This means that the person is running for an ordinary member position – if he or she isn´t elected to one of the mentioned positions, and he or she is from a country that is not represented in the group of the three.

 –      The Region Officers’ positions can be occupied by A or B members. If a person candidates to a Region Officers’ position this shall be announced in the written candidature.

Remark: Candidates running for an eventual free Region Officer position (at the moment Africa, Oceanien and North Amerika) are in advance in proportion to candidates not running for a Region Officer position and who are having an A or a B membership.

 –      If candidates are running for the same Region Officer position the candidate/s with the lowest amount of votes and a B membership will automatically run for the seat in the board reserved for a B member, if the country of the candidate is not already represented by a member in the board. If, by this, all the seats are not occupied the opportunity for having a maximum of 2 members from the same country in the board is a reality (the board will by this constellation still have only one c member).

 –      If candidates are running for the same Region Officer position the candidate/s with the lowest amount of votes and an A membership will automatically run for the seat in the board reserved for an A member, if the country of the candidate is not already represented by a member in the board. If, by this, all the seats are not occupied the opportunity for having a maximum of 2 members from the same country in the board is a reality (the board will by this constellation still have only one c member).

 –      By vacant A seats in the board – B members (from countries not being represented already) can be represented  – for instance there can be a constellation of 8 A members, 1 B member and one C member, and in that case  3 B members (from countries not being represented already) can be reprsented. If, by this, all the seats are not occupied the opportunity for having a maximum of 2 members from the same country in the board is a reality (the board will by this constellation still have only one c member).

 –      By a vacant B seat in the board – an A member (from a country not being represented already), can be represented. If, by this, the seat is not occupied the opportunity for having a maximum of 2 members from the same country in the board is a reality.

 –      By a vacant C seat in the board – the A member or the B member, whose country is not already represented and who got most votes without being directly elected to the board, can occupy the seat in the board.

 Order of vote processing

 

–      First votes to President, General Secretary and Treasurer positions are counted, and positions are filled.

 

–      Next votes to Region Officers positions are counted, and positions are filled.

 

–      At last votes to the other positions are counted, and positions are filled.

 

 

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