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Sexual and gender-based misconduct is harmful to an individual’s well-being, can be disruptive to students’ educational experiences, and can damage an institution’s reputation. While laws and regulations governing educational institutions’ and programs’ responsibility in such matters vary from country to country, the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad (5.1.6) tell us that having policies and procedures in place to prevent such misconduct wherever possible and to respond to it when it arises is not only best practice in our field but also mandated by the Standards.
An effective approach to the evolving expectations around sexual and gender-based misconduct prevention, reporting, and response requires constructive dialogue among all responsible parties that is guided by professionals with expertise in this area.
These guidelines follow the style of the Standards by offering specific advice and prompts for education abroad professionals to prevent, respond to, and report sexual and gender-based misconduct abroad. They are intended to be used by colleagues operating in countries around the world to create infrastructures that help to protect and support students facing sexual and gender-based misconduct and to guide conversations between partners operating in countries with different regulatory environments related to sexual and gender-based misconduct.
The key components of best practice in responding to allegations of sexual and gender-based misconduct are:
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