From Iceland — 25 Reports Of Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour In Four Years At HÍ

25 Reports Of Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour In Four Years At HÍ

Published September 23, 2021

Desirai Thompson
Photo by
Julia Staples

The University of Iceland (HÍ) has received 25 complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence between 2017-2020. This was uncovered in response to an information request from Kjarninn. These incidents range from complaints between staff, between students or between staff and students, however most have been issues among students.

Procedures were put in place by the university in 2014 to lay out a framework for responding to incidences of gender-based harassment and violence. The stated purpose is to “ensure that remedies are available if a party considers […] themselves [to] have suffered such violations.” These procedures as well as provisions for the handling of complaints were again reviewed in 2018.

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These procedures require the University Council to appoint a professional council tasked with receiving and investigating complaints, make comments and proposals on the cases and provide advisement on potential preventative measures at the university level. Some cases were settled through this process, while others had been settled between parties.

The professional council is comprised of one representative from the human resources department, one from the study and career counselling centre, three deputies who are appointed by the same guidelines as well as a chairman who has “professional knowledge and experience of handling matters” and is not a permanent employee of the university. The council is appointed for three years.

In responding to Kjarninn, the University of Iceland states that they emphasise educating administrators, staff and students on sexual and gender-based harassment as well as ensuring they are aware of their access to the complaints procedure in the event they are abused.

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