Duke of Edinburgh Commonwealth Study Conferences Canada is committed to building and preserving for all Conference participants a safe, productive, and healthy working environment based on mutual respect. In pursuit of this goal, the Conference does not tolerate acts of violence, harassment, or bullying against or by any Conference member.

Our Anti-Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policy is not meant to stop free speech or to interfere with everyday interactions. However, what one person finds inoffensive, others may not. Usually, harassment can be easily distinguished from normal, mutually acceptable socializing. It is important to remember that it is the perception of the receiver that determines whether the potentially offensive message is acceptable or not, be it spoken, gestural, pictorial, or some other form of communication which may be deemed objectionable or unwelcome.


Personal harassment: any unsolicited, unwelcome, disrespectful, or offensive behaviour that has an underlying sexual, bigoted, ethnic, or racial connotation and can be typified as:

  • Behaviour that is hostile in nature, or intends to degrade an individual based on personal attributes, including age, race, nationality, disability, family status, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other protected ground under human rights legislation.
  • Sexual solicitation or advance made by a person where the person making the solicitation or advance knows or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome;
  • Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendos, propositions, or taunting about a person’s body, attire, sex or sexual orientation, or religion;
  • Bragging about sexual prowess;
  • Offensive jokes or comments of a sexual nature about an employee;
  • Unwelcome language related to gender;
  • Displaying of pornographic or sexist pictures or materials;
  • Leering (suggestive persistent staring);
  • Physical contact such as touching, patting, or pinching, with an underlying sexual connotation;
  • Sexual assault:
  • For the most part, victims of sexual harassment are female; however, conduct directed by female employees towards males or between persons of the same sex can also be held to constitute sexual harassment;
  • Any actions that create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive environment for Conference members, which may include physical, verbal, written, graphic, or electronic means; and
  • Any threats of physical violence that endanger the health and safety of the employee.

Racial/ethnic harassment: any conduct or comment which causes humiliation to a Conference member because of their racial or ethnic background, their colour, place of birth, citizenship, or ancestry. Examples of conduct which may be racial or ethnic harassment include:

  • Unwelcome remarks, jokes, or innuendos about a person’s racial or ethnic origin;
  • Colour, place of birth, citizenship, or ancestry;
  • Displaying racist or derogatory pictures or other offensive material;
  • Insulting gestures or practical jokes based on racial or ethnic grounds which create awkwardness or embarrassment; and
  • Refusing to speak to or work with someone or treating someone differently because of their ethnic or racial background.


The Conference is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment, free from violence, threats of violence, discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation, and any other misconduct.

This policy applies to all Conference members, staff and suppliers.

Reporting Discrimination or Harassment

If you believe you have been personally harassed you may:

  • Confront the harasser personally or in writing pointing out the unwelcome behaviour and requesting that it stop; or
  • Discuss the situation in confidence with the Conference Lead Director, Ian.Anderson@CSCCanada.org,

The Conference will ensure that all information obtained during the course of an investigation will not be disclosed, unless the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of investigating or taking corrective action, or is otherwise required by law.

The investigation will include:

  • Informing the respondent of the complaint;
  • Interviewing the complainant, any person involved in the incident, and any identified witnesses; and
  • Interviewing any other person who may have knowledge of the incidents related to the complaint or any other similar incidents.
  • The respondent is invited to reply in writing to the complainant’s allegations, and the reply will be made known to the complainant before the investigation proceeds further.
  • The conference will protect from unnecessary disclosure the details of the incident being investigated and the identities of the complainant and the respondent.
  • During the investigation, the complainant and the respondent will be interviewed, as will any possible witnesses. Statements from all parties involved will be taken and documented, and a decision will be made.
  • Upon completion of the investigation, the Conference will inform both the complainant and respondent in writing of the findings of the investigation and any corrective action that has been or will be taken as a result of the investigation.
  • Such correction as determined by the Conference will be final and not subject to appeal.