While the fight against all forms of discrimination, harassment and sexual and gender-based violence has always been a priority for all Cité internationale stakeholders, a protocol was implemented in 2021. It was born out of the desire to formalise the procedures, by setting up a common system for reporting and dealing with such violence and by reinforcing the disciplinary system, in conjunction with the admission and residence regulations and the specific regulations of the houses. A system for reporting, supporting and dealing with situations of discrimination, harassment or sexual or gender-based violence was implemented in 2022.
In February 2022, a Charter of values was drawn up and signed by all the houses of the Cité internationale. These values constitute a basis for residents to live together in a spirit of shared humanity while contributing to peace and respecting diversity. These values are present in the reception, organisation and development of intellectual, artistic, cultural and sporting activities by the houses and the residents.
In order to assist victims, a system for reporting and dealing with any discrimination, harassment, sexual or gender-based violence has been developed and implemented. Applicable only to incidents involving residents, it ensures a consistent approach and treatment of these issues across the whole campus throughout the campus and reinforces the disciplinary system, in line with the admissions regulations and the specific regulations of the houses. This system is based on a single e-mail address, created to collect reports from victims or witnesses. This address email@example.com is managed by the Equality Officer, appointed in 2021.
Following a report, a listening unit, made up of specially trained directors, is activated. It takes statements, assesses the seriousness of the facts and the victim’s needs (material, social, legal, psychological and medical assistance). If the facts are complex or if witnesses need to be heard, the listening unit can activate an investigation unit to assess the materiality of the facts and their seriousness.
In the case of serious events and in particular in the presence of potential witnesses, a disciplinary investigation is carried out, in complete confidentiality and impartiality.
The internal investigation is carried out by trained and impartial members, including :
1/ one or two house managers (not involved in the incident). They are drawn from a group of volunteer house managers. They receive specific training;
2/ the national foundation’s Equality Officer;
3/ a specialised professional from an organisation working to combat violence and discrimination.
The investigation unit then submits its report to the management of the Cité internationale and the houses concerned. Depending on the situation, several types of sanctions are possible, from a reminder of the rules to exclusion.
The challenge is to meet the expectations of our residents and to inform them about the assistance available to them. It is also important for everyone to be able to act in this type of situation.
To accompany the implementation of this reporting protocol, the Cité internationale has designed a bilingual awareness campaign for students and researchers on campus. It is deployed at the beginning of each academic year in all the houses in French and English. Several communication tools have been produced:
All reports of discrimination, harassment, sexual or gender-based violence should be sent by e-mail directly by the victims or direct witnesses, by the directors of the houses or by the employees to the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The victim or direct witness may contact the director of his/her house, who will be able to give him/her useful information regarding material or psychological support (relais social international). During this preliminary interview, the director may be assisted by a member of his/her staff. Depending on the case, the director of the house may also refer the matter to the listening and reporting unit if the victim wishes to be accompanied in the process of gathering information. The director of the house may also take the first steps without delay if the victim or the direct witness needs to be protected.
Victims or witnesses can call national support platforms, such as:
Victims can also contact the relais social international to request social support, psychological assistance and medical assistance without any advance payment.
The listening unit is composed of at least two people:
These people have been trained to deal with allegations of discrimination or violence and are subject to an obligation of confidentiality.
The internal investigation is carried out by trained and impartial members, including
The anonymity of the victim or direct witness can be guaranteed by the Unit as long as an internal investigation is not opened. It should be noted that even in the latter case, anonymity can be maintained if the victim or direct witness is in serious and imminent danger.
Possible sanctions, in ascending order of seriousness
The Relais social international (RSI) welcomes, guides and supports residents of the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris who encounter difficulties during their stay. It provides 3 types of assistance to residents : social support, psychological assistance and medical assistance.
Conceived after the First World War, the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris brings together young talents from all over the world in one place. By promoting shared life, exchanges and understanding of a rich and complex world, it contributes to raising awareness and making sense of the world. The Cité internationale’s commitments are based on 3 pillars: encouraging mobility of the world’s youth and access to knowledge, promoting solidarity and humanist values and acting for a sustainable world.