University of Rijeka - a Safe Place (guidelines for the prevention and action against sexual harassment)

Submitted by: Daria Glavan Šćulac, Legal, Ethics, Diversity and Inclusivity, Head, University of Rijeka

- ongoing

University of Rijeka - a Safe Place (guidelines for the prevention and action against sexual harassment)

In response to the global #MeToo movement, the Senate of the University of Rijeka, accepting the Communication of the Council of Honor, adopted a statement condemning all forms of sexual harassment and striving to make the University of Rijeka a safe place to study and work. 
As a result, in May 2021 a working group was formed at UNIRI, whose task was to develop guidelines for the prevention and action against sexual harassment, in order to make the University of Rijeka a safe place to study and work for all persons. The aim of the document is to help everyone to recognize sexual harassment more easily and to act appropriately regardless of their position. 
A safe place is a responsible public space that does not tolerate sexual harassment, prevents it, and promptly initiates appropriate procedures to assist, support, and investigate reports of sexual harassment. Harassment, especially sexual harassment in any form, is contrary to the fundamental values of UNIRI and must not be tolerated or left unaddressed.

COMPASS PERSPECTIVE – in what way(s) was the measure C O M P A S S?

C - because the process of developing the document was inspired by the global MeeToo movement and UNIRI leadership's decision to promote open dialogue and introduce the concept of a university as a safe place for students and staff. The document is a first of its kind of publication at the university level and represents an example of good practise to preventively address the phenomenon of sexual harassment. 

O - because the development of the document involved an interdisciplinary group of students, researchers and experts (lawyers, psychologists, philosophers) to ensure different perspectives and needs. The document was presented and approved by the UNIRI Senate, is publicly available and is regularly distributed to staff and students. 

M - as in the development of the document the authors have taken care to convey a holistic approach and non-discriminatory principles for all persons addressed in the Guidelines.

P - because the document includes various procedures and/or actions to be taken regarding sexual harassment and other unacceptable behaviour. It also provides examples of addressing the problem and initiating positive change through open dialogue initiatives and artistic work.

A - because the document provides guidelines for staff designated and/or responsible for dealing with harassment or related cases, as well as for students and others who seek help and/or report harassment. 

S - the document will be revised in accordance with periodic institutional audits. The impact of the document will be measurable in terms of cases reported and individual counseling provided.


  • Working group to develop guidelines to prevent and combat sexual harassment 
  • UNIRI staff and students 
  • Persons appointed to handle harassment cases 
  • Management and administration in the faculties


What would you do the same/differently another time?
What have you learnt? 
Do you see relevance for this in other contexts?

The process of developing the document was creative, challenging and exciting. It was a wonderful opportunity to develop deeper professional relationships between researchers and experts who will spontaneously collaborate on future sexual harassment prevention initiatives. A spontaneous network of experts emerged that now serves as an informal support structure for related issues.