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Combating Harassment: Policy Innovations

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Presentation given by Ana Belén Amil (Central European University - CEU) during the conference Gender equality in CEE countries: Policies and practices 2020 / Institutional change through the implementation of GEPs at the RPOs and RFOs in the CEE countries, 13 November 2020

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Combating Harassment: Policy Innovations

  1. 1. Combating Harassment: Policy Innovations A n a B e l é n A m i l | G e n d e r E q u a l i t y O f f i c e r C e n t r a l E u r o p e a n U n i v e r s i t y | S U P E R A “This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 787829”.
  2. 2. • Central European University Harassment Policy (2013) • 2 types of complaints: formal informal • Dozens of people with no training responsible for receiving complaints and mediating a solution • Policy relied heavily on adversarial procedures BACKGROUND
  3. 3. THE ASSESSMENT Underreporting problem Less than 3% of incidents reported Lack of institutional trust; fear of retaliation Lack of record keeping Reports nowhere to be found Impossibility of monitoring Lack of accountability Insufficient training No training for people who take complaints No training for the wider community
  4. 4. WORKING GROUP: THE SET UP • Gender Equality Officer (GENS) • Chair of the Equal Opportunity Committee (SPP) • Two members of the EOC (LEGS/SPP) • Member of the Senate (POLS/PHIL) • Chair of the Disciplinary Committee (SPP) • Dean of Students • Two PhD students (HIST)
  5. 5. THE IDEAS Ombudspersons Network (ON) Highly specialized training Receive (1) and resolve (2) informal complaints Guide the complainant throughout the process 5 elected members of the community APP Centralized recording system Anonymous, informal and formal complaints Online, 24/7, safe platform to submit complaints
  6. 6. THE IDEAS (II) Anonymous complaints “Complaint collectives” Notification to ON after 3+ complaints No disciplinary sanction Detect patterns of behavior
  7. 7. THE INSTITUTIONAL PROCESS 1 Consultation with IT First draft with principles of new Policy finalized SLT, Academic Forum, Senate 2 Meeting with Legal Counsel (GDPR and other matters) Amendment of the Policy (working group) Policy checked by Austrian legal firm for compatibility MAIN CONCERNS/RESISTANCES: × Security of the server × GDPR compliance × Potential lawsuits coming from the alleged harasser as a result of the action of the ON × Financial / time investment (APP) × “Witch-hunt”, false accusations, explosion of complaints
  8. 8. THE INSTITUTIONAL PROCESS (II) Final version ready GDPR team comments on expiration of record-keeping Academic Forum and Senate 3 MAIN CONCERNS/RESISTANCES: × GDPR compliance × How to do fact-finding 3 years after the incident × Subjectivity in determining what constitutes harassment/ difference between improper conduct and harassment
  9. 9. IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES AHEAD • APP development • Careful alignment with GDPR (data flow!) • Election of the ON • Finding training providers • Financing training
  10. 10. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Q&C welcome A n a B e l é n A m i l | G e n d e r E q u a l i t y O f f i c e r C e n t r a l E u r o p e a n U n i v e r s i t y | S U P E R A “This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 787829”.

Presentation given by Ana Belén Amil (Central European University - CEU) during the conference Gender equality in CEE countries: Policies and practices 2020 / Institutional change through the implementation of GEPs at the RPOs and RFOs in the CEE countries, 13 November 2020

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