Hi5 Safe Spaces Ethics Framework
Code of Conduct & Ethics
HumanImpact5–Hi5 is a Swiss-based Limited Liability Company (LLC). HumanImpact5–Hi5 (hereafter referred to as Hi5 Safe Spaces) offers bespoke services, tailored to the unique needs of our clients and partners. Whether public, private, or non-profit sector work, we commit to ensuring that the highest standards of ethical behaviours, are upheld by our staff, consultants, interns, volunteers, clients, and service providers. As we are, at times, in contact with people in vulnerable situations, we are adamant about protecting physical and psychological safety. Because we work as ombudspersons, safeguarding focal points, investigators, and trainers, this policy serves to ensure that we uphold and model the principles, policies, and practices that we serve to promote and protect.
This Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy is the backbone of how the Hi5 Safe Spaces staff, consultants, interns, and volunteers – our most valuable resource – interact with one another, with our clients and partners, and with our service providers. It also lays out the expected ethical behaviours from those with whom we work.
This Code of Conduct and Ethics aims to build ethical reflexes rather than prescribe or proscribe an exhaustive list of specific behaviours. We believe this is part of building the trust and accountability that we stand for. It also shows what we expect and offers a channel for reporting misconduct and for whistleblowing, free from retaliation. It is in our best interest to ensure a psychologically safe environment in which to work and thrive.
What we value
We value trust, courage, safety, and rigour. We care for the people for whom and with whom we work. We build and maintain psychological safety and trust in the ways that we work, listen, and communicate, including during moments of crisis or in the face of any difficult issues.
Learning as we do
This Code of Conduct and Ethics may evolve over time, and learnings from our own experience, and that of others, will continuously feed into our ethics framework (including our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Fraud and Corruption, and Safeguarding policies).
Aim of this policy
As consultants, ombudspersons, trainers, safeguarding reference persons, and investigators, Hi5 Safe Spaces holds itself to the highest ethical standards, including independence, confidentiality, and integrity. With this in mind, we aim to merit and maintain the trust of those who engage with us. This policy is one tool by which the trust of those we serve is safeguarded.
We act and interact with integrity
We expect our staff, consultants, interns, volunteers, partners, and service providers to adhere to the following integrity principles and behaviours:
- Safeguarding measures are respected: moral and sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse, and discrimination are not tolerated (for definitions, examples, and repercussions, see our Safeguarding Policy and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Policy).
- Legal compliance to all national laws (including labour laws, criminal laws such as bribery and corruption, child protection laws) in countries where we work is required – including the effort to become informed of these and inform our clients.
- Respect of the human rights1 of all people, including those of children2 and vulnerable people and groups.
- Report and process any real, potential, or possibly perceived conflict of interest.
We practise respect, every day
As much of our work will depend on fruitful interactions, whether bilateral or in groups, we practise active listening, thoughtful questioning, introspection, humility, and challenging of perspectives.
Hi5 Safe Spaces people:
- avoid unnecessary interruptions when others speak
- give and take constructive feedback – even painful feedback
- use our minds and hearts when dealing with others, knowing that sometimes we don’t know everything about a person or their circumstances. We look at facts and undertones alike
- always take a positive philosophical approach
- are empathetic
- set safe boundariess
- apply state-of-the-art best practices in the conduct of inclusive meetings and interactions.
At times, in our work, we have to address and facilitate tough decisions – we do not shy away from these situations as they help us and our partners to grow.
Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest, simply said, is a professional situation whereby a person – in this case Hi5 Safe Spaces staff, consultants, interns, and volunteers – has an interest that is not related to Hi5 Safe Spaces work but that influences or compromises that work in some way. The primary interest being the work conducted for Hi5 Safe Spaces, the secondary or conflicting interst can be another job or client, a relationship be that family or other personal relationships, personal gain due to work or knowledge gained from work with Hi5 Safe Spaces, etc. When a secondary interest can, does, or could be perceived to compete and affect the integrity, impartiality, and independence of the Hi5 Safe Spaces work, such a conflict of interest should be declared and discussed with Hi5 Safe Spaces.
In some cases, conflicts of interests simply need to be declared and in others avoided or resolved so as not to impede professional integrity. Hi5 Safe Spaces itself may also need to declare conflicts of interest to its clients and in any case safeguards the integrity and confidentiality of its work for clients at all times.
As Hi5 Safe Spaces focuses on handling of misconduct in our work, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of professional behaviour. Certain forms of misconduct are considered ‘minor’ and are thus to be handled by the parties involved, while others are proscribed and thus not tolerated. Below is a general list, although not exhaustive of minor and serious misconduct.
Examples of minor misconduct or issues that may arise and are not to be reported through the mechanism at the end of this document: a disagreement or even a conflict over a work related issue but that gets resolved, an operational complaint e.g.:
- Office arguments (e.g. complaining about speaking too loud)
- Workplace disagreements (e.g. not in agreement over a mandate or approach)
- Operational complaints (e.g. lateness)
- Anything unrelated to Hi5 Safe Spaces but that is not a criminal offence.
Serious misconduct can and should be reported and pertains to any behaviours listed in the Safeguarding Policy (sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment of children or adults); Diversity Equity and Inclusion Policy (discrimination); Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy and in this policy, including, e.g.:
- Conflict of Interest
- Disclosure or any misuse of confidential information
- Any form of harassment
- Sexual exploitation or abuse
- Verbal or physical violence
- Fraud of any kind
- Breach of loyalty
- Any breach of policy within the Hi5 Safe Spaces Ethics Framework
We encourage prevention and reporting
Hi5 Safe Spaces offers annual ethics framework training sessions to staff, consultants, interns, and volunteers, including for diversity, equity and inclusion, ethics, and safeguarding. Our service providers are invited to participate, and collaborating organizations are asked to participate should they not have an equivalent framework within their own respective organization.
We conduct reference checks on our staff and associate consultants with targeted questions related to safeguarding. Safeguarding consultants and staff undergo criminal background checks.
Any safeguarding issues by Hi5 Safe Spaces staff, consultants, interns, or volunteers can and should be reported safely to: ethics(at)humanimpact5.ch
At the time of this policy writing, the above email is solely managed by the company administrator, Gabrielle Landry Chappuis, who is trained in safeguarding, person of trust, and safeguarding investigations. Should reporting to the company administrator not be possible
for any reason, the following email can be used: eric.maeder(at)ethico.ch, which will be sent
to Eric Maeder, ethics specialist. Should an investigation be warranted, Hi5 Safe Spaces will mandate an external, independent investigator.
While not all of the behaviours covered by this policy are considered serious misconduct, those that are will not tolerated by Hi5 Safe Spaces, and once verified will lead to sanctions, including contract termination, or when necessary will be referred to the relevant authorities.
This policy is part of the Hi5 Safe Spaces Ethics Framework and is signed by all Hi5 Safe Spaces staff, consultants, interns, and volunteers.
Approved by HumanImpact5 – HI5 LLC Administrator
18 January 2023