Safe Space Policy

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Comment This policy was updated with input from staff, trustees and the Wikimedia UK volunteer community and approved by the board in March 2017.

Purpose and Principles

Wikimedia UK is required by our grant agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation to have a Safe Space Policy, and to enforce the Foundation’s Event Ban Policy.

The purpose of this Safe Space Policy is to ensure that all events and programmes delivered by Wikimedia UK are free of harassment, abuse, discrimination and other forms of unwelcome behaviour, and to facilitate inclusion. This policy applies to all events, programmes and online activities where Wikimedia UK has the authority and means to implement the terms of the policy.

Wikimedia UK is involved with a wide range of events and online activities in order to create, promote and share open knowledge, and is committed to providing a welcoming experience for everyone, regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, appearance, race or religion. The key principles of our safe space policy are as follow:

All our public events are open to anyone who can help us achieve our charitable objectives, regardless of background or prior involvement. We expect all participants to show friendliness and civility, and for volunteers and staff to be treated with courtesy. Event organisers, lead trainers and other staff and volunteers at events are expected to take particular care that their behaviour is welcoming and inclusive. Disruptive or discriminatory behaviour which prevents others participating in Wikimedia UK's activities is not acceptable and will be dealt with promptly and firmly. Participants asked to stop any harassing or other unwelcome behaviour are expected to comply immediately, or further corrective action will be applied. Harassment will be treated equally whether it takes place online or in person.

Prohibited Behaviour

Harassment, discrimination or abusive behaviour could include, but is not limited to:

  • Discriminatory speech including offensive verbal comments related to age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, or religion.
  • Threatening behaviour including deliberate intimidation, stalking, unwelcome following, inappropriate photography/filming, unwelcome or violent physical contact, sustained disruption of talks or other events; or any other verbal or physical conduct intended to threaten, coerce or intimidate.
  • Conduct of a sexual nature such as unwelcome sexual attention or advances, suggestive comments or gestures, inappropriate requests for sexual favours or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
  • Graphic content such as the display of inappropriate sexual content and imagery, or content that is otherwise offensive or distressing without adequate prior notice.
  • Disruption of talks, programmes, or events.
  • Persistent intrusion into the private lives of those who choose to participate in Wikimedia UK activities.

Corrective Action

If anyone involved with running a Wikimedia UK event are concerned about the conduct of an individual, or receive a complaint, they should take action appropriate to the situation. In some cases this might be a private warning to the person concerned asking them to change their behaviour. In more serious cases it may be necessary to ask someone to leave. In cases of stalking, event staff may be able to provide escorts.

If necessary, event organisers should involve the staff of the premises where the event is being held, or the police. Any action taken should be promptly reported to the Chief Executive with as much detail as possible.

Activity organisers are responsible for ensuring this policy is followed, regardless of whether they are a member of staff or a volunteer; however potential organisers with less experience of handling this kind of issue are encouraged to escalate issues to a staff or trustee of the UK chapter, either on-site or remotely.

As Wikimedia UK events are often led by volunteers, we depend on all participants for help in maintaining the Safe Space Policy. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the lead event organiser immediately, whether that’s a member of Wikimedia UK staff, a trustee or a volunteer.

Where an individual exhibits a pattern of unacceptable behaviour, or if they seek to participate for reasons other than the advancement of our charitable objectives, then the Chief Executive may recommend to the Board that that individual be excluded from all Wikimedia UK activities for a period of time to be determined. Such exclusion will take effect pending a resolution of the Board. The Chief Executive will be responsible for holding the list of excluded individuals and this information will be shared with event organisers to ensure they can comply with this policy.

Implementation and Review

Any concerns with the implementation of this policy should be raised with the Chief Executive in the first instance. Where concerns relate to the conduct of the Chief Executive, they should be relayed to the Chair.

This policy shall be reviewed by the Board, in consultation with the Chief Executive and the community, every three years as per our policy review schedule.