At Upinion, we are committed to our mission of listening to, participating with and amplifying the voices of marginalized populations in crisis situations and situations of displacement.
In order to achieve this mission with the highest standards of ethical conduct, we have established this Code of Conduct to guide our actions and decisions.
This document can be found online on: https://upinion.com/resources/policies/code-of-conduct/.
Integrity and Ethical Behavior
- We are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of honesty and integrity in all our activities.
- We will act in a transparent and accountable manner, striving for the affected populations’ and public’s trust in our work.
- We do not tolerate our platform to be used for the promotion of illegal activities, gambling, adult content, and violence.
- We respect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals and communities we serve, as well as that of our staff.
- Information obtained during our work will be handled with the utmost care (see Security Statement) and will only be shared with authorized personnel on a need-to-know basis.
Avoiding Harmful Impact on Affected Populations
- We are committed to assessing the potential impact of our activities on affected populations and will take steps to mitigate any harm.
- We will be vigilant to avoid creating or exacerbating vulnerabilities among the communities we serve.
- We prioritize the safety of the communities we serve over anything else.
- We adhere to the principle of necessity and avoid burdening our communities with repetitive or sensitive questions that can evoke strong emotions that we can find answers to in other ways.
- Cultural sensitivity is key in all our activities, ensuring that local customs and practices will not be undermined.
- We do not engage with people below 18 and pay special attention to engaging with people between the ages of 18 and 25, as well as vulnerable communities.
- We are committed to a zero-tolerance policy towards bribery, corruption, and unethical practices.
- We will comply with all applicable laws and regulations related to anti-corruption efforts.
Respect for Human Rights
- We recognize and respect the fundamental human rights of all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances.
- We will work to ensure that our actions promote and protect the human rights of marginalized populations.
Fight Any Form of Sexual Misconduct
At our workplace, any form of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (SEAH) is unequivocally unwelcome and strictly prohibited. We are committed to fostering an environment that values respect, dignity, and equality for all employees. Any behavior that involves exploitation, abuse, or harassment undermines the foundation of a healthy and inclusive workplace. We believe in providing a safe space where everyone can thrive and contribute their best, free from any form of mistreatment. Our organizational policies are designed to prevent and address SEAH, and we encourage open communication and reporting mechanisms to ensure swift and appropriate action against any instances of misconduct. It is imperative that all team members adhere to these policies, and failure to do so will result in sanctions.
Sexual misconduct refers to any unwelcome behavior, action, or communication of a sexual nature that occurs in the workplace or is connected to the company’s activities. It encompasses a wide range of behaviors and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Sexual Harassment: Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile or intimidating work environment.
- Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Any form of non-consensual sexual activity or sexual coercion involving employees, clients, or any individuals connected to the company’s operations. This includes but is not limited to sexual assault and rape.
- Sexual Discrimination: Treating individuals unfairly or making employment decisions based on their gender or sexual orientation, including promotion, compensation, or job assignments.
- Retaliation: Taking adverse actions against an individual who has reported sexual misconduct or participated in an investigation or grievance process related to sexual misconduct.
We have a separate policy on the protection from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH), outlining our core principles and strategies for prevention, awareness, risk mitigation, and response.
All staff and volunteers of Upinion are asked to carefully read and approve this policy in addition to the Code of Conduct, as it forms an integral part of the Code of Conduct.
Inclusivity and Diversity
- We value diversity and inclusion, striving to create a workplace and collaborations that respect and represent the voices of all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds.
- Discrimination or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.
Conflicts of Interest
- We will avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts that could compromise our ability to serve marginalized populations impartially.
- We will promptly disclose any potential conflicts of interest and manage them transparently.
- We will establish clear procedures for reporting and addressing conflicts of interest.
- We will provide training and guidance to employees on identifying and managing conflicts of interest.
- We will take appropriate action to address conflicts of interest, such as recusal from decision-making processes or divestment of financial interests.
We have a separate conflict of Interest Policy.
- We will be transparent about our intentions, activities, and results with affected populations.
- We will explain the potential risks and benefits associated with our work in a clear and honest manner.
Accountability and Reporting
- We encourage all team members and stakeholders to report any violations of this Code of Conduct and provide a safe environment to do so. Anybody can report an issue through our publicly available Incident Report Form which includes an anonymous option if preferred.
Individuals and employees can also reach out through the following channels:
- Internal channels:
- External channels:
- Whistleblower Service
- You can contact the external Whistleblower Service, Het Huis voor Klokkenluiders via +31 (0)88 1331 030 or [email protected].
- External Confidential Counsellors
- If you require assistance or have doubts about filing a report, Upinion has arranged support and advice through Assist Verzuim. You can contact Jill van der Vegt at 0546-347 721 or [email protected], who is the designated contact for Upinion and can coordinate with an independent confidential counsellor that best fits.
- Whistleblower Service
Complaint Handling Procedures
- In case of an allegation of inappropriate behavior, the organization follows the Quality Incidents & Complaints Management Procedure:
- Complaints are received, recorded, and reviewed by the executive board, which assesses their seriousness and urgency.
- The alleged victim is contacted promptly to acknowledge receipt of the complaint and to gather any additional information if needed. If a complaint is submitted anonymously through the anonymous options or the Upinion platform, necessary information (like the submitted date) can be obtained in an anonymous way as well.
- A thorough and impartial investigation is conducted, involving appropriate personnel and, if necessary, external experts.
- Based on the findings of the investigation, a decision is made regarding the validity of the complaint and any necessary measures or sanctions.
- Closure, Including measures and sanctions: the complainant is informed of the outcome, and appropriate measures or sanctions are implemented, which may include disciplinary actions, mandatory training, or other interventions.
- The Executive Board documents all reported incidents and complaints. All reported incidents and complaints are shared with the supervisory board. A summary of these is included in the annual report, and, where relevant, information may also be communicated to clients and donors in accordance with our commitment to transparency and accountability.
By adhering to this Code of Conduct, Upinion and all its staff members reaffirm our commitment to the highest ethical standards, and we honor the trust placed in us by marginalized populations in crisis situations and situations of displacement.
This Code of Conduct, along with our Quality Incidents & Complaints Management Procedure, serves as a guiding framework for our actions and decisions in pursuit of our mission.