ACICIS Commitment to Responding to and Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH)

1.   Introduction

ACICIS does not tolerate sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment (SEAH) of any kind. This applies to ACICIS’ operations in both Australia and Indonesia, including programs delivered in-person and online, and extends to our member universities (located in Australia and other countries) and Indonesian-based partner universities, host organisations and other partners. Preventing SEAH (PSEAH) is a shared responsibility and ACICIS is committed to working with our diverse stakeholders, including those in Australia, Indonesia and other countries, to strengthen our approach to PSEAH.

ACICIS is legally hosted by The University of Western Australia (UWA), as per the ACICIS Joint Venture Agreement and the ACICIS – UWA Host Agreement, and is subject to UWA policies and procedures. In addition to this, ACICIS is a funding partner of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is also subject to DFAT policies and procedures. Both UWA and DFAT have their own SEAH prevention policies:

ACICIS is committed to complying with both of these policies which apply to our operations in Australia, in Indonesia and online. In doing so, ACICIS will strengthen our organisational approach to PSEAH and grow our capabilities to:

  • Enhance accountability and transparency;
  • Prioritise victim/survivor needs and improve support for those affected by SEAH; and
  • Drive cultural change, both internally and with ACICIS’ stakeholders, through strong leadership on all matters pertaining to SEAH and its prevention.

ACICIS recognises that in some jurisdictions in which it operates, or in which its staff, participants, member universities and other partners are located, concepts of SEAH may have different legal or cultural meanings, or no legal or cultural meaning. ACICIS remains committed to a zero-tolerance approach to all SEAH incidents, regardless of the jurisdiction in which they occur. Definitions of ‘sexual exploitation’, ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘sexual harassment’, as detailed in the UWA and DFAT policies described above, will prevail.

2.   Scope of this Policy

There are five groups to which compliance obligations apply within UWA and DFAT’s PSEAH Policies:

2.1     ACICIS staff, representatives and delegates including:

  • Australian-based ACICIS staff, who are employed by UWA;
  • Indonesian-based ACICIS staff, who are employed by the ACICIS Foundation (Yayasan ACICIS Study Indonesia or YASI);
  • Members of ACICIS’ National Reference Group; and
  • Other ACICIS representatives and delegates, including consultants engaged by ACICIS and student ambassadors who have been formally engaged by ACICIS, for example, to promote ACICIS or to act as a ‘student buddy’.

2.2     ACICIS student participants

These are student participants of any ACICIS program, regardless of their nationality. Most ACICIS student participants are also university students and will also have compliance requirements with their home university’s PSEAH policy. Additionally, ACICIS student participants who receive DFAT funding are required to comply with DFAT’s PSEAH Policy. Although this can appear complex, the intention is to strengthen participants’ commitment to PSEAH, to enhance accountability and to drive cultural change.

2.3     Representatives of Member universities

These are universities and higher education institutions which are formal participants of ACICIS. ACICIS’ member universities are primarily in Australia but also include institutions based overseas. Staff of member universities, particularly those which are Australian-based, must also comply with their institution’s own PSEAH policies. The intention is not to create overlapping PSEAH policies for ACICIS’ operations, but rather to strengthen institutional commitment to PSEAH by enhancing accountability and driving cultural change.

2.4     Indonesian-based partners, including:

  • Indonesian-based host universities
  • Indonesian-based host organisations in which ACICIS participants complete internships that are components of ACICIS programs.
  • Other Indonesian-based organisations which ACICIS may engage for program delivery or other operational purposes.

There may be instances where one of these partners does not have a PSEAH policy in place, which highlights the importance of this Commitment and of ACICIS policies and procedures related to PSEAH.

2.5     Other non-Indonesian-based partners

These are other organisations which ACICIS partners with in Australia and other countries (other than Indonesia) for program delivery or other operational purposes, including patrons and sponsors. Staff of these organisations may also be required to comply with their organisation’s PSEAH policies. As stated above, the existence of multiple policies serves to strengthen institutional commitment to PSEAH by enhancing accountability and driving cultural change.

3.   Reporting

Reporting assists to monitor and manage SEAH incident management. Reporting can appear complex because of ACICIS’ diverse network of stakeholders and the existence of multiple reporting requirements. However, ACICIS is committed to complying with the reporting requirements of both UWA’s and DFAT’s PSEAH policies. In addition to this, internal reporting of SEAH incidences to ACICIS’ National Reference Group also occurs to drive cultural change through strong leadership.

Where a person is unsure on the reporting requirements which apply to a particular SEAH incident, they should contact ACICIS’ Consortium Director in the first instance. The ACICIS Consortium Director will then provide advice.

ACICIS’ SEAH reporting processes are outlined in a separate procedure document: ‘Procedure for Breach of ACICIS’ Commitment to Responding to and Preventing SEAH’.

4.   Compliance and Assurance

Compliance is monitored through the ACICIS Consortium Director and ACICIS’ National Reference Group.

5.   Date of Effect

This policy is effective as of 1 January 2021 and will be reviewed every three years.