Dated: 6 March 2019
This code of conduct (hereafter “CoC”) is applicable to all members of the collective and of staff (hereafter “members”), contractors, interns, and volunteers of The Bachchao Project (hereafter “TBP”). It is also applicable to TBP’s partners and collaborators in spaces where TBP’s members, employees, interns, and volunteers interact with them.
This CoC covers online spaces (including but not limited to the TBP website, internal communication channels, emails and mailing lists) and physical spaces and in-person events (including but not limited to official meetings, workshops, consultations and training sessions).
Note: In the case of in-person events, this CoC would be applicable to all participants, speakers, organisers, and facilitators of the event. The person/ team at TBP handling Trust and Safety for the event is responsible for circulating a copy of the CoC in advance to all people who would need to abide by the CoC. The same person/ team may modify the CoC to better suit the event and the needs of its participants of the organisers.
All persons to whom this CoC is applicable are expected to read it in full, understand it and abide by it.
This CoC is inapplicable indefinitely within its scope. (See section on “Scope” above.) However, it may be subject to review and revision, in keeping with the needs and wishes of the members of the collective. In case of changes made to the CoC an edit long with the date and exact change in phrasing will be added at the bottom of the CoC document.
A violation of or non-compliance with any of the rules of the CoC or the resolutions obtained under the complaints resolution process, may have consequences ranging from warnings to expulsion from all TBP activities. TBP will arrive at an appropriate and proportionate response to violations/ non-compliance based on its complaints resolution processes and established Trust and Safety practices.
We encourage all members, contractors, and collaborators to participate in TBP activities to the best of their capacity. We are committed to building an equitable workplace. We seek to treat everyone as fairly and equally as possible. We expect all members and contractors to collaborate and support each other in creating and maintaining an environment that is welcoming, positive and harassment-free environment for everyone. Whenever one of us makes a mistake, we expect the person to take responsibility for it. If someone has been harmed or offended, it is our responsibility to listen carefully and respectfully, and do our best to right the wrong.
Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honor diversity in age, gender identity and expression, culture, race, ethnicity, language, national origin, place of origin, political beliefs, profession, caste, religion, sexual identity and orientation, physical appearance, body size, body type, socio-economic status, academic qualifications (or lack thereof), dietary preferences, dis/ability and technical ability.
Be respectful towards each other.
Disagreements, in general, are welcome in our organisation. Divergent perspectives in intellectual conversation are necessary in our field of work. Such disagreements also serve as a system of checks and balances. In the case of disagreements, do not make personal attacks. Treat all disagreement in good faith unless bad faith has been explicitly discovered.
Do not make direct insults at anyone in the presence of people you meet in your professional capacity.
Harassment and exclusionary behavior are not acceptable. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination or negative stereotypes related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, dis/ability, mental or physical illness, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, native language, national origin, place of origin, and caste.
- Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, dis/ability, mental or physical illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, ethnicity, religion, native language, national origin, place of origin, or caste.
- Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment
- Discriminatory jokes and other forms of ‘humor’
- Display of sexual imagery in public areas
- Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
- Posting someone’s personally identifiable information online without their explicit consent or threatening to post it
- Death threats and/ or threats of violence or physical harm
- Personal insults
- Unwelcome sexual attention
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
- Publication of non-harassing private communication.
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
Personal conversations are prohibited on official communication channels and on office time and during meetings.
- A personal conversation is defined as a conversation about our personal lives or of those immediately related to us, which is unrelated to and has no bearing on the outputs of the participants of such a conversation.
TBP prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We will not act on complaints regarding:
- “Reverse” -isms, including “reverse racism,” “reverse sexism,” and “cisphobia”.
- Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you”.
- Refusal to explain or debate social justice concepts.
- Communicating in a “tone” you don’t find congenial.
- Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions.
Resolution/ redressal process
This process is applicable to all TBP spaces as defined in the section entitled “Scope”, except for events where attendees meet in person. For such events, the names of the members of the Incident Response Team and their contact information for the purpose of raising a report/ complaint will be explicitly conveyed before and during the event to all persons expected to abide by the CoC.
A report/ complaint may be raised subject to the conditions that:
- It is about a current employee, member, collaborator or volunteer of TBP.
- The relevant incident(s) happened in online or on-ground spaces created, run or managed by TBP.
Anyone regardless of their association with TBP (or lack thereof) may raise a report/ complaint.
- The complaint, concern or report may be raised by the reporter/ complainant before any member (“the member”) of the TBP team in person or via phone, email or other electronic means of communication.
- The reporter/ complainant should preserve all evidence related to the complaint they file, including but not limited to copies of private and public communication, electronic logs, documents, photos and videos. They may produce these copies if and when requested to do so.
- The member will discuss the issue with the reporter/ complainant in a safe, quiet and private space and in a dignified manner.
- The member may take notes, with the reporter’s/ complainant’s permission, of what they say.
- If deemed necessary, the member may request the reporter/ complainant to formalise the complaint or concern by writing it on paper or emailing it to the member or to other relevant persons at TBP. Such a request will be accompanied by the reasons for requesting the formal complaint and the process that will follow.
- The member may separately speak with the person(s) against whom the complaint has been lodged or regarding whom the concern has been reported, irrespective of whether the complaint or concern have been formalised.
- This process will aim to conclude with a resolution or the attainment of closure for all parties, while ensuring safety, dignity and respect for everyone involved.
- The member of team has the responsibility to listen to the complaint with empathy and an open mind and suggest approaches to attain a resolution or closure.
- The member may make suitable and necessary changes to the above steps if he/ she/ they have reason to believe that there is a reasonable threat to personal safety of any of the parties involved.
- In instances where the member has reason to believe that the actions or incidents that have been reported may be in contravention with the local laws, the member may make changes to this process to the best of their judgement.
In case the complainant is uncomfortable speaking with any of the members of the TBP team OR
If no member of the team is in the position to handle the complaint, (on account of established rules about conflict of interest, recusal, or similar reasons), then the member may refer the matter to an external mediator appointed by TBP.
(TBP does not currently have an external mediator on board. We are searching for one. If you would like to serve pro bono, for now, as our external mediator, please contact Chinmayi S K or Rohini Lakshané. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We will update this section of the CoC once we have recruited an external mediator.)
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Chinmayi S K and Rohini Lakshane, The Bachchao Project
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