Guidelines for safer spaces within the activities of Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland

Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland is a youth exchange organization that provides young people intercultural learning experiences via international volunteering. The organisation’s aim is to increase intercultural understanding, promote the equality of opportunity, equality and peace. Maailmanvaihto actively works toward providing safe and equal environments for everyone participating in its activities.

The purpose of the guidelines for safer spaces is to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome as their own selves. Our goal is that everyone taking part in Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland’s activities participates also in creating safer and more inclusive spaces.

People from all around the world with different kinds of backgrounds meet in the activities of Maailmanvaihto. Within the scope of the organization’s activities, nobody is to be discriminated against based on factors such as gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, range of abilities, or the like.

The following principles foster safer and more inclusive spaces:

  1. Treat others with respect.
  2. Be aware of your presumptions and prejudices. Rather than presuming, ask, and respect the answer you receive.
  3. Be aware of your own power positions, and work toward making power positions visible.
  4. Do not discriminate against or exclude others.
  5. Do not harass anyone – verbally or physically.
  6. Provide others the space and chance to be heard. Note that people have varying ways of self-expression and learning.
  7. Take into consideration different levels in language skills. Communicate in ways that provide everyone the chance to understand.
  8. If you believe someone needs help or someone’s behavior raises worry, offer your help and support.
  9. In cases of harassment and discrimination, take action.

Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland deals with all cases of harassment and discrimination according to the organization’s equality and non-discrimination plan. The organization warmly welcomes feedback on how its guidelines for safer spaces work in practice. We are especially interested in feedback on which practices have proven to be effective and whether any possible problematic situations have been dealt with appropriately. You can send your feedback via email to: maailmanvaihto@maailmanvaihto.fi.

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