CIVICUS Code of Conduct

At CIVICUS, we are committed to zero tolerance of sexual harassment, exploitation, abuse and discrimination in our Secretariat and within the Alliance. CIVICUS is a values and principles based alliance, united in our common purpose of working towards a more just, inclusive and sustainable world. This Code of Conduct is how we put our values and principles into practice.

Who does this Code of Conduct apply to?

This Code of Conduct applies to everyone associated with CIVICUS. This is inclusive of our members, staff, event participants (online and in-person), suppliers, partners, and other associated parties.

Whilst recognising that local laws and cultures differ considerably from one country to another, CIVICUS is an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO), and therefore the Code of Conduct is based on International and UN standards.

This code of conduct is designed to ensure a safe, conducive, and enabling environment in which we can work towards our shared vision of the world.

To align with CIVICUS' Code of Conduct I will:

Conduct myself in an ethical, responsible, and respectful manner, in all circumstances, and in alignment with CIVICUS’ vision, principles and values. Such conduct entails:

  1.  Promoting the protection of others’ physical and mental well-being
  2.  Upholding an atmosphere of civility, honesty, equity, and respect for others, thereby valuing the diversity in our community
  3.  Considering and respecting the perspectives, opinions, thoughts, and beliefs of others
  4.  Being inclusive in communications and opportunities
I will not engage in offensive behaviour or write offensive behaviour in any aspect of my work. 

  1. Making threats of harm, or engaging in actual harm, or promoting violence, either directly against others’ physical or mental wellbeing
  2. Promoting, threatening, or engaging in violence, discrimination, or harassment on the basis of, inter alia, race, ethnicity, nationality, religious affiliation, marital status, pregnancy status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or medical condition, etcetera.
  3. Inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Harassment is unwelcome and/or offensive conduct that may interfere with a person’s ability to perform their work. Harassment does not require intent to offend. Harassment, bullying, and discrimination may take many forms including:
  • Unwelcome and inappropriate remarks (both verbally and written, including chat windows), gestures, physical contact, and sexual attention.
  • The display or circulation of offensive, derogatory or sexually explicit pictures or other materials including by email and on the internet.
  • Offensive or derogatory jokes or comments (explicit or by innuendo) related to gender, gender identity and expression, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, looks, clothing.
  • Stalking, following, or harassing photography or recording.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Verbal or physical abuse or threats.
I acknowledge that I do not represent CIVICUS, even as a CIVICUS member.

Members will not act as official representatives, nor speak on behalf of or in the name of CIVICUS, unless otherwise stipulated in writing by the CIVICUS Secretariat. This protects our members by offering individuals protection from harassment and reprisals and keeps CIVICUS’ positions and messages consistent and effective.

About this Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct works to create an enabling environment that holds individuals and organisations accountable for conducting themselves with integrity and adhering to high ethical standards.

CIVICUS Code of Conduct is a dynamic document. This is an updated version of the Code of Conduct approved at our Annual General Meeting of Members in 2019 and aims to better reflect the values and principles of the alliance, and to be inclusive of the diverse global membership and their disparate laws and cultures. It also aims to provide a mechanism that promotes dynamic accountability among various stakeholders of the CIVICUS Alliance.

CIVICUS is responsible for maintaining this Code of Conduct.

Any contravention of this Code of Conduct will be taken very seriously. CIVICUS Membership may be terminated, and the individual/organisation no longer welcome to participate in CIVICUS programming, initiatives and events, or those of our members or partners.  Complaints will be investigated thoroughly in accordance with the CIVICUS Feedback Response Policy, CIVICUS Membership Policy, and the Code of Conduct Implementation Plan. CIVICUS’ internal Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy applies for CIVICUS Staff members.

How do I report someone who is in contravention with this Code of Conduct? 

There are a number of ways in which to do this.

  • Utilise CIVICUS’ Feedback Form at This feedback can be anonymous, or you attach your name and contact details
  • You can approach any CIVICUS Staff or Board member to express your concerns. They will handle this feedback according to the CIVICUS Feedback Response Policy
  • Email us at , or

What will happen then?

CIVICUS’ priority is to ensure that you are in a safe environment. We will work with you to understand what happened, and how we can best support you. In line with the survivor-centred approach CIVICUS commits to:

  • Prioritise the rights, needs, and wishes of the survivor – even if we are missing hard data or evidence
  • Treat you with dignity and respect
  • Choose a course of action with you to deal with what happened, guided by consent at each stage of the process, with regular check-ins
  • Respect your privacy and confidentiality
  • Non-discrimination
  • Provide you with comprehensive information in support of decision-making

CIVICUS will not be able to work with an individual who has a pending or ongoing investigation into their conduct, whether the investigation is being conducted internally or externally. Those individuals are moreover suspended from attending CIVICUS’ convenings. The CIVICUS Secretariat reserves the right to take swift unilateral action and suspend membership if we suspect that there has been a breach of the code of conduct. This will be pending a full advisory group led process.

What CIVICUS can and can’t do

CIVICUS is not in the position to provide legal, social, emotional, psychological, medical, or counselling services, but we can support you in how to access these. 

CIVICUS can’t undertake extensive external investigations into incidents that occur outside of CIVICUS. CIVICUS can ask for information from the organisations leading these investigations to inform our own support.

The CIVICUS Secretariat cannot make the decision to expel a member: according to our bylaws this is a board decision. The CIVICUS Secretariat can make recommendations to our Board of Directors and provide them with as much information as possible.

Useful Links

CIVICUS Feedback Response Policy
CIVICUS Feedback Form
CIVICUS Membership Policy

CIVICUS Code of Conduct Implementation Plan- to be published by end 2022