COB Implements Policy on the Fight Against and Prevention of Moral and Sexual Harassment and Abuse in National Sport
On Monday, November 3, the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) launched its Policy on the Fight Against and Prevention of Moral and Sexual Harassment which will apply to all levels of national sport. Thereby, COB is reaffirming its commitment to a healthy environment in sport and makes available to athletes an open channel for reporting cases of moral and sexual abuse. The policy will also be enforceable by members of the Brazilian delegations to international competitions, all staff and members of COB management levels, service providers and volunteers. Breaches of the policy will be subject to penalties ranging from fines to ban from Olympic sport.
“The set of actions envisaged by this policy will make sure that not just the athletes, but also all the parties involved in Brazilian sport, will be offered a welcoming and guidance environment, additional protection and prevention of possible harassment and abuse practices. By adopting the Policy of on the Fight Against and Prevention of Moral and Sexual Harassment COB is taking a further important step towards enhancing ethics and integrity in sport”, COB president, Paulo Wanderley, says.
In drafting the policy COB counted on support by UN Women that provided orientation and information on the subject. Another reference was the document issued by the IOC, in November of 2017, to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport for the whole Olympic Movement, and which is part of IOC 2020 Agenda.
“The key objective is to establish a healthier work and training environment for the athletes. This policy is special and among the best in the world of sport and, because of it, Brazil now joins a select group of countries that have adopted policies against harassment, as the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada and Australia”, Paulo Wanderley added
The policy was presented to COB staff who attended an informative and educational lecture on the subject at COB auditorium, in Rio de Janeiro, delivered by Antonio Carlos Hencsey, from Protiviti, a company specialized in the subject.
How the policy works
Incidents will be reported through COB Reporting and Ethics Channel (https://www.helloethics.com/cob/pt/main.html and 0800-892-2295) or in person to William Evangelista da Silva, COB Compliance Officer, who will investigate and take the cases to COB Ethics Council for analysis. The Council will judge each case, and a penalty issued if grounds are evidenced. The accused will be entitled to full defense along the proceedings.
During sport competitions, besides the channels offered by COB, the Chef de Mission will also be fully empowered to receive complaints and enforce the applicable penalties.
The penalties enforced by the Ethics Council are established in COB’s Code of Conduct and Ethics. The Code provides that all and every unlawful civil or criminal action; all cases of misconduct; and all violations of the ethics rules established in COB and IOC regulations and statutes are deemed unethical and subject to the following penalties: private or public admonishment and suspension for a period of up to 5 years, with the guilty party prevented from taking up offices in COB and the Confederations.
Besides these penalties, the Ethics Council can recommend COB General Assembly to enforce the following penalties:
- Removal from office or exclusion, to be imposed to individuals;
- Loss of affiliation or membership, to be imposed to legal entities;
- Fine ranging from R$ 10 thousand to R$ 100 thousand, adjusted annually for inflation by the IPCA (National Consumer Price Index) up to the date of effective settlement;
- Restriction of access competition venues restricted for period of up to 10 years;
- Restriction to take part in any activity related to Olympic sport for a period of up to 10 years;
- Ban from Olympic sport.
The Policy on the Fight Against and Prevention of Moral and Sexual Harassment also produced a guide on the subject that will be delivered to the participants of the meetings of the Athletes Commission, Board of Directors and presidents of the Confederations.
All the 35 Brazilian Confederations affiliated to COB will be invited to voluntarily sign the Statement of Acquiescence to the Actions Propose by COB towards Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Harassment in the Sport Environment. The Confederations that already have adopted their own policies will not be required to sign the statement.
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