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Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment

 

If you wish to report an incident or a concern, please follow the Procedure Report an indicent.

The University of Luxembourg is committed to non-discrimination in campus life. We are dedicated to creating and maintaining an educational, working and living environment that is safe, welcoming and positive for all members of our campus community. We wish for all members to thrive in an environment free from bullying, discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct. 

The role of the Inclusion Office (see also: “How we will support you”)

On behalf of the University, the Inclusion Office responds to all allegations of discrimination and harassment and takes steps to ensure each report is handled with care and attention, in accordance with the University’s policies, regulations and values.

When the University becomes aware that a member of the campus community may have been subjected to or affected by discriminatory and/or unwanted behaviour, the University will take prompt action, including a review of the matter and, if necessary, an investigation and appropriate action to stop the discrimination and/or harassment.  The course of action taken by the University, including any disciplinary procedure (Section VI University Law), will depend on the particular facts and circumstances involved.

Definition of Discrimination and harassment

What are protected characteristics?

Protected characteristics are those personal traits, characteristics and/or beliefs that are defined by the Luxembourg law as protected from discrimination and/or harassment.

Examples of Protected Characteristics

  • religion, conviction or belief
  • disability
  • age
  • sexual orientation
  • health issues
  • disability
  • nationality
  • real or assumed ethnic background or origin
  • political or philosophical belief

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is adverse treatment of an individual based on a protected characteristic, rather than individual merit. Examples of conduct that can constitute discrimination if based on an individual’s protected characteristic include but are not limited to:

  • Singling out or targeting an individual for different or less favorable treatment because of their protected characteristic
  • Failing or refusing to admit an individual because of their protected characteristic
  • Terminating an individual from employment or an educational program based on their protected characteristic

What is bullying?

Bullying can be defined as unacceptable, offensive and repetitive behaviour, which is intimidating or insulting and is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically. Bullying takes many forms including cyberbullying, social and emotional, verbal, sexual or physical.

What is harassment?

Harassment is unwanted verbal or physical behaviour by individuals or groups, which is directed at a person based on a protected characteristic. This behaviour violates a person’s dignity and creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive educational, work or living environment. Harassment can be motivated by hostility towards age, disability, gender reassignment, ethnicity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership or pregnancy and maternity.

Examples of behaviour that can be defined as harassment include but are not limited to:

  • Unwelcome jokes or comments about a legally protected characteristic
  • Disparaging remarks to a person about a legally protected characteristic
  • Displaying negative or offensive posters or pictures about a legally protected characteristic
  • Communications, including those conveyed electronically, such as by e-mail, telephone or voicemail, text messaging, or social media or other internet use 

What is mobbing?

Mobbing is the repeated and regular  psychological abuse and humiliation of a person by an individual or group, usually in the form of hostile communication or social exclusion. The individual is usually pushed into a helpless and defenceless position and usually drives the person to quit their study programme or job.   

What is sexual misconduct?

Sexual misconduct is any sexual act or behaviour that a person does not consent to. It can take many forms, including sexual assault (rape), unwanted oral sex, and kissing or touching a person’s body in a sexual manner, without their consent. It can also include an unwanted sexual act towards another person, or making a person perform a sexual act that they don’t want to do. 

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature which would make the recipient feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. Sexual harassment can be verbal, non-verbal, written, graphic or physical. Sexual harassment can also occur through email, text, messaging, social media posts and other forms of electronic communication. Examples of behaviour that can be defined as sexual harassment include but are not limited to:

  • sexually suggestive comments or jokes
  • unwelcome touching, hugging or kissing
  • making or distributing a sexually explicit audio recording or photo-shopped image of another person
  • displaying, sending or requesting sexually explicit pictures or posters
  • repeated or inappropriate invitations to go out or hook up
  • intrusive questions about a person’s private life or physical appearance

Many people are reluctant to report discrimination and harassment because they are worried about retaliation.

Retaliation

The University prohibits any form of retaliatory action against an individual as a result of a complaint of discrimination or harassment or who may participate in an investigation of discrimination or harassment. Retaliatory acts may include, but are not limited to:

  • Detrimental action related to participation in a study programme
  • Unreasonably interfering with the academic or professional career of a student or staff member
  • Engaging in conduct which constitutes stalking, harassment, or assault
  • Engaging in efforts to have others engage in retaliatory behavior on one's behalf

How we will support you

If you are a student or staff member who has been affected by bullying, discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct there are a number of support options available at the University of Luxembourg.

Are you at immediate risk?

Immediate help

Are you in immediate danger or injured?
Dial 112 for emergency services or (+352) 46 66 44 5555 for Campus Security and Safety. This is the quickest way to get help in an emergency

If an incident has just happened
Try and find somewhere you feel safe and call the emergency services or campus security

Accessing Support

It is important to seek help and support if you are experiencing any form of bullying, discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct. You can speak to your family and friends and get their help and support in getting the bullying to stop. 

You may want to speak to someone at the university informally first, this could be a member of the student services team, teaching staff or a member of staff you feel comfortable with.

Both students and staff can access counselling/psychological support, this is a free and confidential service offered by the university.

Reporting an Incident

It is important to seek help and support if you are experiencing any form of bullying and harassment. The University wishes for all members of the campus community to learn, work and live in a safe, respectful environment.

  1. If you would like to talk to someone or report an incident you can reach out to the Student Services Team, or email us at inclusion@uni.lu for advice, guidance and support. This service is free and all discussions are confidential
  2. You can also contact the University Ombudsman for advice, guidance and support. This service is free and all discussions are confidential 
  3. The University has a Gender Equality Representative to advise, guide and support you. The service is free and all discussions are confidential

The procedure

Investigation

Following an appropriate investigation, the faculty, student, or staff member may be subject to a University sanctionary or disciplinary proceeding.

A person who is bullied or harassed can feel humiliated, scared and threatened and can suffer from a loss in confidence or self-esteem. Experiencing bullying or harassment can cause many emotions, some of which can stay with a person for the rest of their life. If you have or you are experiencing any of the above, we encourage you to contact us immediately.