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International Ornithological Congress 2018
code of conduct

The International Ornithological Congress, open to IOU members and those interested in ornithology, is one of the oldest and most prestigious meetings for ornithologists. IOCongress2018 values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among all attendees, and is committed to providing a respectful and productive environment for all attending this event regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or disabilities. The IOCongress2018 is intended to advance our understanding of birds and their conservation through communication of original research and the broad exchange of ideas. We acknowledge that effective communication requires that we treat each other with respect and courtesy during face-to-face, written and electronic interactions and that we respect the intellectual property of our colleagues. We also represent the field of ornithology and should be respectful and considerate in interactions with all IOCongress2018 representatives and volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors and meeting venue staff. All participants – including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, IOCongress2018 representatives members of the media, and service providers – are expected to abide by this IOCongress2018 Code of Conduct. This Code applies in all venues, including all ancillary events and social gatherings, for the duration of the Congress.

Expected Behavior

  • Treat all participants, attendees, IOCongress2018 representatives, and vendors with kindness, respect and consideration, in ways that value a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Communicate openly with respect for other participants: critique ideas rather than individuals.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and your fellow participants. Alert an IOCongress2018 representative or IOU Council Member if you notice attendees contravening this Code of Conduct or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the Vancouver Convention Centre, hotels, and other venues.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • Harassment, intimidation or discrimination will not be tolerated in any form. Harassment includes speech or behavior that is not welcome or is personally offensive. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion to be sure all actions are respectful. If the recipient feels like something is harassment, it is harassment, regardless of intent. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
    • Offensive gestures or verbal comments related to ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender, or sexual orientation
    • Unwelcome attention, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, photography or recording, or inappropriate physical contact.
    • Physical, verbal, or emotional abuse.
  • Recording or taking photographs of another individual’s oral presentation or poster without the explicit permission of that individual and an IOCongress2018 representative.
  • Disruption of scientific talks, poster sessions or other activities within the Vancouver Convention Centre or other IOCongress2018-contracted facilities.
  • Any form of retaliation against individuals who file a complaint or assist in an investigation. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy and, like any breach of the Code itself, may be subject to disciplinary action.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that consititutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety at any time should contact local law enforcement (by calling 911) and immediately notify facility security (Vancouver Convention Centre Security 604-647-7500 (7500 from any VCC house phone).

Any individual covered by this policy who feels that they have been subjected to harassment, notices that someone else is being harassed, or has concerns that an individual’s behavior is in breach of this Code should immediately report the incident to:

  • the person in charge of the activity where the incident occurred (e.g. the Chair of the session, the coordinator of the workshop, the senior IOCongress representative on site) and/or contact
  • fill out this form to file a complaint;
  • the IOCongress ombudsperson (Email:

The person reporting, who may be a complainant or witness, is not required or expected to discuss the concern with the alleged offender. All complaints will be treated anonymously (if requested), seriously, and reviewed promptly by IOCongress2018.

Unacceptable behavior should be reported as soon as possible, before September 9 2018, so IOCongress2018 has the opportunity to review any complaints made.\

To facilitate a rapid response all reports should be submitted using this form. 

Once a report has been made the IOCongress2018 ombudsperson will discuss the details first with the individual filing the complaint, then any witnesses who have been identified, and then the alleged offender before determining an appropriate course of action. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted as long as the rights of others are not compromised.


  • Individuals found to have engaged in behavior prohibited by this policy as well as those making allegations of a breach of Code in bad faith will be subject to disciplinary action.
  • The IOCongress2018 may take any action they deem appropriate up to and including removal from the Congress (without warning or refund) and reporting their behavior to their employer and appropriate law enforcement.
  • The Offices of the IOU also reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future congress.

Questions & Appeal

  • Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to IOCongress2018 (Prof. David Green; email:
  • Requests to appeal consequences may be made after the Congress to the Offices of the IOU who will start the formal appeal process.