The Coalition’s Code of Conduct aims to provide an open and secure space to discuss issues relating to the right to freedom of opinion and expression in Lebanon. To ensure the safety and privacy of all parties interacting with the Coalition, including staff, members, and participants in the activities held by the Coalition, all parties must adhere to the standards set out in the present Code of Conduct when using the Coalition’s digital and physical spaces. All members of the Coalition must agree to this Code of Conduct. As for participants in the Coalition’s activities, the very fact that they took part in the activities shall mean that they agree to this Code of Conduct.
The Coalition must display the present Code of Conduct in a clearly visible manner when organizing any activity so that participants may review it.
When organizing activities, whether physically or digitally, the Coalition shall seek to provide a secure space where all participants can interact in a constructive manner without prejudice to other’s needs and the right to freedom of expression and access to information. The Coalition’s team shall make the necessary efforts and practice due diligence to ensure the abovementioned conditions, taking into account the Coalition’s limited control over digital spaces and emphasizing that participants’ commitment to the present Code of Conduct is an essential factor to successfully ensure a safe digital space for all.
The Coalition does not tolerate any form of discrimination including, but not limited to, discrimination based on race, gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, sex, religion, age, class, nationality, disability, health, physical characteristics, or language. Accordingly, none of the Coalition members or participants in its activities shall have the right to act in any way that favors or discriminates against other individuals.
The Coalition is committed to ensure a safe and healthy environment where no individual is excluded from participating in any of its activities. Therefore, the Code of Conduct Committee takes any word or act of harassment seriously and stands ready to punish harassment. Harassment includes various forms of unwanted behavior that may occur physically or online, including but not limited to physical, verbal, sexual, and intellectual behaviors which may create an unacceptable and hostile environment.
Unacceptable practices include:
• Harassment by filming or recording;
• Constant interference with meetings or events;
• Unwelcome physical contact or sexual harassment online or in person;
• Soliciting the help of others, either in person or online, to target a certain participant;
• Offensive or sarcastic comments about safe spaces, harassment, Code of Conduct, and relevant processes and mechanisms;
• Searching for private information and publishing details about individuals;
• Advocating or supporting any of the actions mentioned above.
Examples on such practices:
• Verbal comments that reinforce persecution on the basis of gender, gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, health, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or lack of religious belief;
• Deliberate exclusion of any participant because of their gender identity, sexual orientation, or gender expression in any way whatsoever;
• Mimicking or mocking any accent or typographical errors or intentionally correcting grammatical errors in an unfavorable manner (it is, however, permissible to ask questions for clarification);
• Verbal and written threats or requests;
• Publicly sharing sexual images or posting images of individuals without their consent;
• Threats and intimidation.
Privacy and Confidentiality
All Coalition members and participants in its activities must respect the privacy of others. Such respect shall also be manifested at a higher level by the members of the Coalition because of the nature of their work. Participants may use pseudonyms in activities, turn off their cameras during sessions, or take any other reasonable measures to protect their privacy, all of which apply to Coalition members, except for the use of pseudonyms.
Information displayed during activities may also be shared, but the identity or other personal information pertaining to any members and participants may not be shared without their prior express written consent. To preserve their privacy, it is prohibited to post quotes by certain individuals or mention them on social media without their express consent. At the beginning of each session, whether a meeting or activity, the moderator shall remind members and participants of privacy requirements to be respected. The Code of Conduct shall also be displayed in a visible manner when organizing any meeting or activity so that the participants may review it.
Audio and video recordings of sessions and activities are prohibited, and any identifying information about members and participants in activities, as well as written notes of all forms, must be deleted unless prior approval to do so is obtained.
Compliance with and Enforcement of the Code of Conduct
The Coalition shall seek to ensure the effective enforcement of the Code of Conduct in a quick, serious, and confidential manner.
If you fall victim to or become the target of such behavior, or if you are aware of actions by others that violate the present Code of Conduct, please contact the Code of Conduct Committee immediately at the following addresses:
• via Signal application, using this number: _______________
• Email: _______________
Any complaint submitted shall remain confidential unless the complainant expressly states otherwise. If the complaint concerns a member of the Code of Conduct Committee, the said member of the Committee may not interfere in order to ensure the Committee’s independence and objectivity in addressing this complaint. In addition, the contents of the complaint will not be disclosed to the said member, including the identity of the complainant. In the event that the complainant feels uncomfortable or finds this process difficult for any other reason, they may contact a Coalition member they trust to file the complaint to concerned authorities.
The Code of Conduct Committee endeavors to answer and resolve all complaints, taking into account the nature and severity of the violation as well as the details provided. Potential actions the Committee may take include, but are not limited to:
• Warn the person concerned;
• If the complaint is filed against a Coalition member, require the member to delegate another person to represent them in the Coalition;
• If the complaint is filed against a participant in any activity, expel the said participant from the activity and ban them from participating in other activities organized by the Coalition.
In the cases permitted by applicable laws and regulations in Lebanon, and as required in each particular case, the Coalition may resort to Lebanese criminal courts by filing a lawsuit against the person who violated the provisions of the said laws and regulations and the Coalition’s Code of Conduct.
*The Code of Conduct Committee shall be established by virtue of a decision issued by the Freedom of Opinion and Expression Coalition for a renewable period of one year. This Committee shall comprise three external individuals specialized in defending human rights, in line with the International Human Rights Law, provided that the first Committee formed specify the mechanism that must be adopted regarding complaints filed before the Committee. It shall also facilitate access to and development of the Code of Conduct.*