The Principles for a Safer Space

The Lappeenranta Year of Culture promotes equality. By participating in the Year of Culture as a cultural event organiser, event producer or audience member, you commit to the principles of Safer Space.

The Safer Space principles and practices aim to create a space where everyone works to build an equal, respectful and open atmosphere and debate.

Everyone has the right to participate in the events of the Lappeenranta Year of Culture 2024 without distinction of any kind based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Everyone also has the right to feel safe at events without fear of discrimination, harassment, sexual, physical or verbal harassment of any kind.

The guidelines have been adapted from the UNFPA's Principles for a Safer Space.

The principles of a safer space

  • Respect the other person's personal physical and mental space. Respect self-determination. Do not touch another person without asking permission. Remember that you cannot know someone's limits without asking. Ask for space for yourself, if necessary.
  • Do not mock, ridicule, belittle, push aside or embarrass anyone by your words, behaviour or actions. Refrain from criticising appearance, gossiping and perpetuating stereotypes.
  • Don't make assumptions based on appearance or behaviour. Do not make assumptions about anyone's sexuality, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, values, socio-economic background, health or ability to function.
  • Give a room. Make sure that everyone has a chance to participate in the discussion. Don't crowd other people's opinions and give them a chance to speak. Also respect the privacy of others and deal with sensitive issues in a respectful way.
  • Listen and learn. Embrace new topics, people and perspectives with an open mind. Treat every issue and situation you encounter as an opportunity to learn and develop.
  • Apologise if you have intentionally or unintentionally hurt others.
  • Address inappropriate behaviour: for example, discrimination and problematic language. Don't stand by and watch, but say out loud that it's not OK. If the event has a designated harassment officer, you can also report the incident directly to him or her on the spot. If necessary, the person committing the harassment or harassment can be immediately removed from the venue.
  • Relax. It's OK to make mistakes and ask questions.