Code of Conduct
The Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) is an annual gathering of stakeholders from the Internet governance and online rights arenas in Africa and beyond. Inaugurated in 2014, the Forum is a platform for stakeholders to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing privacy, access to information, free expression, non-discrimination and the free flow of information online. Key to the event is the engagement on strategies to push back against surveillance, censorship, shutdowns and inequality in access and use of the internet.
Interactions at FIFAfrica include many different opinions and experiences hence it is essential to uphold respect and ensure comfortable participation for all attendees, staff and support personnel. Accordingly, harassment and disruption of any kind is not tolerated. We will take action in response to harassment related, but not limited, to national origin, gender, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, disability, religion, and age.
This Code of Conduct applies to Forum events and all Forum-related social events such as parties, gatherings at restaurants, bars and hotels. It also covers the conduct of participants on online platforms during the Forum. The Code of Conduct is aimed at building a community that is free from intimidation, discrimination, or hostility by upholding dignity, decency, and respect among participants.
Participation at FIFAfrica and all related events and online platforms implies agreement to this Code of Conduct. All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at the Forum are required to adhere to this Code of Conduct. Failure to respect the Code of Conduct could result in expulsion from the event, law enforcement intervention and/or legal action in some circumstances. Further, the FIFAfrica organising team reserves the right to sanction offending individuals from attendance of all future Forums.
- Guide to Communication
FIFAfrica is an international, multidisciplinary forum with complex and contested topics. The Forum draws participants that speak multiple languages and use terms from various fields of study. While English (with sign language interpretation and French translation) will often be the medium of communication, differences in dialect, accent, and pronunciation will be common. Multilingualism will be encouraged at the Forum.
We encourage all participants to approach the Forum with open and positive attitudes and to engage constructively and exercise empathy at all times. The following are the proposed communication guidelines:
- Speak clearly and at a moderate pace.
- Be an active listener, and be patient with participants who are speaking English as a second language.
- Avoid jargon and recognise that participants will not use the same terms and may not be familiar with some acronyms.
- Address ideas. Do not attack the contributor’s person.
- Disagreements will occur, it’s okay to walk away from a conversation that isn’t fruitful or is becoming tense.
- If you are not convinced by or hold a strong position against a solution and/or intervention by someone else, explain why, and propose an alternative.
- Remember that any group identity is complex and members are not homogenous.
- We recognise that insights by participants are shared on online platforms. However, some participants may not want their pictures and/or names shared on social media platforms. Upon commencement of an intervention, speakers should indicate their attribution requests.
- Unacceptable Behaviour
Words and actions that constitute unacceptable behaviour may occur online or in person. Examples of unacceptable behaviours include but are not limited to:
- Verbal comments that reinforce oppression and stereotypes related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age or religion (or lack thereof);
- Imitating or mocking of accents, or giving unsolicited corrections to grammatical errors;
- Verbal threats or demands;
- Sexualised images in public spaces;
- Intimidation and victimisation;
- Unsolicited photography or recording;
- Sustained disruption of sessions or events;
- Unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention;
- Drugging food or drink;
- Enlisting the help of others, whether in person or online, in order to target a participant;
- Threats of violence or incitement of violence;
- Advocating for or encouraging any of the above behaviour.
- Reporting Violations
Should a participant feel harassed, notice the harassment of another participant or have suspicions or concerns around the same, they can reach out to organisers in confidence through the following means:
- Locate a member of the FIFAfrica organising team on-site. The FIFAfrica organising team can be identified by red lanyards that they will wear throughout the Forum. There will be at least one member of the team at the information desk by the front entrance throughout the Forum.
- By sending an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
- By sending a Twitter Direct Message to: @cipesaug – if we are not connected on Twitter, please send a follow request before the Direct Message.
- By calling, texting or sending a Whatsapp/Signal message to any member of the incident response team below. PGP can also be utilised
All reports will be treated with utmost confidentiality. Participants will not be requested to take action that may compromise their safety. Where necessary, the FIFAfrica organising team will swiftly engage venue security or local law enforcement, or otherwise assist in maintaining order and guarantee safety of the participants for the duration of the Forum.
- Incident Response Team
The following individuals form the FIFAfrica 2023 edition Code of Conduct Incident Response Committee:
- Ashnah Kalemera (+256 773 325 435)
- Asimwe Ishabairu (+256 772 544 332)
- Juliet Nanfuka (+256 77 394 9345)
- Brian Byaruhanga: OpenPGP key: 0D74638C2EB43B4F71687257B0D2A6E9B772472D
- Asha D. Abinallah (+255767137137)
- Nancy Angulo (+255 789 288 730)
- Darius Luhaga (+255 719 076104)
Should any of the response team members be directly or indirectly involved in an incident of misconduct, they will immediately be withdrawn from the team handling the report/query.
In recognising the need to promote and protect participants’ rights to privacy and freedom of expression, the following rules must be followed:
- Participants must wear their name tags inside the Forum venue at all times.
- Do not tweet, post, or publish information about participants in a way that suggests stalking, offensive communication or bullying.
- Pictures, audio and/or video recordings of the Forum will not be used for commercial purposes.