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Equal Rights Policy

Equal Rights Policy - Available at University of Iceland

University of Iceland Equality Action Plan 2018-2020

Introduction

Equality is one of the three central tenets of University of Iceland policy, a guiding principle in the University’s work and the basis of diversity and respect in the University community (HÍ21, the Strategy of the University of Iceland 2016-2021). 

The University of Iceland Equality Action Plan 2018-2020 is based on the Strategy of the University of Iceland 2016-2021, the equality principle of Article 65 of the Constitution of Iceland no. 33/1944, cf. the Constitutional Act no. 97/1995 (in Icelandic), and the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men no. 10/2008, taking into account the provisions of the Act on the Affairs of Disabled People no. 59/1992, with subsequent amendments. 

The action plan sets out goals and defines measures intended to guarantee that staff are afforded their statutory rights in accordance with Articles 19-22 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men no. 10/2008. The action plan also identifies the ways in which the University of Iceland as an educational institution complies with Articles 22 and 23 regarding students and Articles 15 and 17 as a public service institute. Finally, the Equality Action Plan is also based on the results of the report The Status and Development of Equal Opportunities at the University of Iceland 2012-2016, which evaluated the status of equality matters at the University of Iceland and current knowledge in the field of equality. 

The first University of Iceland Equality Action Plan was approved by the University Council in 2000, with the current action plan being the fifth of its kind.

Discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, origin, skin colour, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, health, religion, views, residence status, financial means or culture is forbidden at the University of Iceland. 
The action plan is founded on the integration of gender and equality dimensions. Gender mainstreaming must be ensured in all policy-making and strategic planning (Article 17) and considerations of equality must be incorporated into all University operations. All members of the University of Iceland community are jointly responsible for ensuring equality, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the highest authorities at the University, i.e. the rector and the University Council.

Emphasis is placed on gender equality, but efforts are also made to incorporate other dimensions of equality as far as possible.

Each of the five schools, as well as central administration, shall establish an equality action plan, based on this Equality Action Plan. School deans and the managing director and division heads of central administration are responsible for ensuring that individual provisions of the Equality Action Plan are implemented within the relevant organisational unit.

Particular attention is drawn to the University Professional Council on responding to gender-related and sexual harassment and gender-related and sexual violence and the procedure on the response to gender-related and sexual harassment and gender-related and sexual violence, which can be found on equality.hi.is. This includes people’s obligation to report offences of which they have reasoned suspicion or knowledge. Anyone receiving a complaint or report of such an offence shall immediately refer the matter to the Professional Council for processing. 

The Equality Action Plan is valid for three years and shall be reviewed at the end of this period, or before 1 January 2021. A report on the status and development of equal opportunities shall be written every four years; the last report was written in the autumn of 2017. The Equal Rights Committee shall administer matters of equality under the authority of the rector and the University Council. The Council for the Affairs of Disabled People shall oversee the affairs of students at the University of Iceland with disabilities or learning difficulties, under the authority of the rector and the University Council. The equality officer shall, under the auspices of University of Iceland administration, ultimately supervise matters of equality in collaboration with the Equal Rights Committee and the Council for the Affairs of Disabled People. The equality officer shall follow up the University of Iceland Equality Action Plan, encourage the natural integration of equality into all University operations and provide advice to anyone feeling that they have experienced inequality or discrimination.

The action plan applies to all students and staff, who are jointly responsible for preventing discrimination and striving to create a University community characterised by respect, understanding and tolerance.

The following goals and measures are intended to encourage successful implementation of the Equality Action Plan over the next three years. 

The Equality Action Plan was written by the Equal Rights Committee under the leadership of the Committee chair and in collaboration with the equality officer and other experts at the University of Iceland.