Making ILC a safe space for all
ILC endorses a zero-tolerance for sexual harassment. Our approach is in line with the policy of our hosts, and international norms and standards.
Preventing, reporting and addressing sexual harassment is an individual and collective responsibility. All members are encouraged not to tolerate, disregard or dismiss sexual harassment when they witness it. Sexual harassment is never too minor to be dealt with. Every sexual harassment claim warrants investigation.
The first step is to encourage reporting of sexual harassment and listen to victims. Recent cases reported by members have illustrated that we need to define how we as ILC respond and foster an inclusive, non-discriminatory environment.
This policy specifically applies to all events convened or funded by ILC.
What is (sexual) harassment?
Any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Often harassment involves repeat behaviour, but it can also be a single incident and can occur between people of the opposite or the same sex.
Harassment can refer to gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, but also to physical appearance, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion or a combination of these. Often, sexual harassment is based on expectations on gender roles. Harassment is a human rights violation.
In a diverse global network like ILC, respect and cultural sensitivity for other participants is key to avoid misunderstandings. Sexual harassment is about how we make others feel - what one person considers an innocent joke or flirting can be deeply upsetting, offensive or harmful to another - and includes:
- Commenting on someone’s looks, dress, sexuality or gender in a derogatory or objectifying manner or a manner that makes them uncomfortable
- Making and/or encouraging comments, jokes or gestures with a gender/sexual connotation that humiliate or offend someone
- Invading someone’s personal space and any unwelcome form of physical contact
- Insinuating, proposing or demanding sexual favours of any kind
- Stalking, intimidating, coercing or threatening another person to get them to engage in sexual acts
- Sending or displaying sexually explicit objects or messages
- Spreading sexual rumours or gossip
- Pursuing or flirting persistently without the other person’s willing participation and/or at an inappropriate time (e.g. in a team meeting – important because such actions can harm a person’s professional reputation and expose them to further harassment).
The most extreme form of sexual harassment is sexual assault, i.e. any nonconsensual sexual act, such as rape, which is a crime. ILC encourages that sexual assault also be formally reported to the relevant authorities.
How to report harassment?
ILC encourages anyone who is harassed sexually or in any other way, or witnessed someone else being harassed, to report to ensure that ILC is a safe space for all members. You can report to your regional coordinator or gender focal point, or reach out to anyone in the ILC team. Please provide evidence and/or witnesses to help us assess the case.
Reports will be handled with confidentiality to protect the privacy of all involved. ILC will not tolerate any threats, intimidation or retaliation against anyone who makes a complaint or provides information supporting a complaint.
How does ILC take decisions on the matter?
Cases are jointly assessed by the regional coordinator, the chair of the regional committee and the director of ILC. They will follow these steps:
Step 1: Informal resolution (optional)
Assess with the complainant whether the case can be resolved informally. If so, an ILC representative and/or the complainant will notify the alleged offender of their grievance and ask him or her to stop. This is because in some instances, they may not be aware that his or her behaviour is offensive.
Step 2: Written complaint
If the complainant does not want to pursue an informal resolution or this approach proves to be unsuccessful, he/she will be asked to submit a written statement, describing the alleged incident(s) of harassment and providing any evidence and relevant information (location of the incident, witnesses, etc.). ILC will keep a record of all cases reported for future reference.
Step 3: Review of information/Interviews
The alleged offender will be contacted and requested to explain the complaint . The ILC representatives review the information to assess whether it has been made in good faith, and if further investigation, e.g. interviews with witnesses, is needed.
Step 4: Conclusion and consequences for offenders
The ILC representatives conclude based on the information and testimonies, and inform the complainant and the offender.
If there is a factual basis for the allegations, ILC asks offenders to apologise to the victim in writing. The offender will become ineligible to represent their organisation in any ILC-related activity. The member organisation is informed about the case and decision.
Should it emerge that the report was unfounded or that there was malicious intent, the ILC representatives shall decide what actions to take on a case-by-case basis.
Contacts for regional coordinators and gender focal points:
- AFRICA: Audace Kubwimana email@example.com; Eva Maria Okoth firstname.lastname@example.org
- ASIA: Anu Verma email@example.com; Andita Listyarini firstname.lastname@example.org
- LAC: Zulema Burneo email@example.com; Fiorella Puga firstname.lastname@example.org
- EMENA: Shahd Mustafa email@example.com
- Global gender justice advisor: Elisabetta Cangelosi firstname.lastname@example.org
or see here for all contacts: https://www.landcoalition.org/en/about-ilc/our-team/