Rīcības kodekss, lai novērstu uzmākšanos, tostarp seksuālu uzmākšanos, seksuālu izmantošanu un seksuālu vardarbību
The Latvian Centre for Human Rights (LCHR) is committed to enable an inclusive, respectful and safe environment to everyone who participates LCHR activities. LCHR work is guided by the highest ethical and professional standards, and all LCHR staff members are expected to behave with integrity and respect towards each other, clients, and partners.
The Code of Conduct applies to any LCHR activity, which shall include provision of legal aid to clients, implementation of project activities, cooperation with partner organisations and institutions, meetings, conferences and receptions, scientific and technical events, expert meetings, workshops etc.
The Code of Conduct applies to all LCHR staff and volunteers, including all persons attending or involved in any capacity in LCHR activities. The Code of Conduct is not legal or prescriptive in nature. It supplements, and does not affect, the application of other relevant policies, regulations, rules and laws, especially Latvian Labour Law, Criminal Law, International human rights treaties and standards.
LCHR in cooperation with partners includes standard clause regarding prohibition of sexual exploitation and abuse in contracts and partnership agreements.
Harassmentis any improper or unwelcome conduct that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation to another person. Harassment in any form because of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, physical ability, physical appearance, ethnicity, race, national origin, political aliation, age, religion or any other reason is prohibited in LCHR work.
Sexual harassmentis a specific type of prohibited conduct. Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offense or humiliation. Sexual harassment may involve any conduct of a verbal, nonverbal or physical nature, including written and electronic communications, and may occur between persons of the same or different genders.
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Making derogatory or demeaning comments about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity;
- Name-calling or using slurs with a gender/sexual connotation;
- Making sexual comments about appearance, clothing or body parts;
- Rating a person’s sexuality;
- Repeatedly asking a person for dates or asking for sex;
- Staring in a sexually suggestive manner;
- Unwelcome touching, including pinching, patting, rubbing or purposefully brushing up against a person;
- Making inappropriate sexual gestures, such as pelvic thrusts;
- Sharing sexual or lewd anecdotes or jokes;
- Sending sexually suggestive communications in any format;
- Sharing or displaying sexually inappropriate images or videos in any format;
- Attempted or actual sexual assault, including rape.
Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse constitute acts of serious misconduct and are therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including summary dismissal.
LCHR strictly prohibits the following illegal conduct:
- Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defence;
- Exchange of money, employment, goods or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour, is prohibited. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance;
- Sexual relationships between LCHR staff and beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics, undermine the credibility and integrity of the work of the LCHR and are strongly discouraged.
The standards set out above are not intended to be an exhaustive list. Other types of sexually exploitive or sexually abusive behavior may be grounds for administrative action or disciplinary measures, including summary dismissal.
LCHR staff are obliged to create and maintain an environment that prevents harassment, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Managers at all levels have a particular responsibility to support and develop systems that maintain this environment.
LCHR staff member or LCHR client or any other person who feels that he/she has been harassed at any LCHR event may report the matter to the LCHR director and/or Board, and a staff member who witnesses such harassment should make such a report.
Where a LCHR staff member develops concerns or suspicions regarding sexual exploitation or sexual abuse by other staff member, he or she must report such concerns to the LCHR director and/or the Board.
Examples of appropriate action may include, but are not limited to:
- undertaking a fact-finding exercise;
- requesting the perpetrator to immediately stop the offending behavior;
- suspending or terminating the perpetrator’s access to the LCHR activities;
- reporting the misconduct to relevant authorities, such as the police, bearing in mind the applicable legal framework.
No one should never knowingly make a false or misleading claim about prohibited conduct.
LCHR is entitled to oblige a person against whom there is reasonable doubt in connection with a case of sexual harassment to attend educational events in the field of prevention of discrimination and sexual harassment, but in cases of significant harm - to suspend the person until the end of the investigation, immediately reporting the relevant national authority.
LCHR conducts an annual review of cases of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, making the necessary adjustments to prevent further violations.
Prohibition of retaliation
Threats, intimidation or any other form of retaliation against a LCHR staff member who has made a complaint or provided information in support of a complaint are prohibited. The LCHR director and/or Board will take any reasonable appropriate action needed to prevent and respond to retaliation.
Latvian Centre for Human Rights, director