Anti-Harassment Policy

Harassment handling at CERN:

At CERN, harassment means unwelcome behaviour that has the effect of violating a person's dignity and/or creating a hostile work environment. Harassment is detrimental to health and safety in the workplace and to the good functioning of the Organization in general. For these reasons, the Organization does not tolerate harassment, which can result in administrative and/or disciplinary action.

Harassment includes both sexual and moral harassment. The scope and criteria relating to harassment at CERN as well as the processes for its resolution, are described in Operational Circular N°9, “Principles and procedures governing complaints of harassment”.

Any person having knowledge of a potential case of harassment should inform the line management or the Head of the Human Resources department.

Informal resolution and support:

The Organization affirms equality of treatment between people as one of the basic principles of its personnel policy and strives for a working environment where respect for the individual is paramount and difference is considered an asset. It encourages the early communication and prompt resolution of complaints.

Early communication can prevent unwelcome behaviour from becoming harassment. All persons are therefore encouraged to address issues that could lead to harassment at the outset, through open communication and dialogue. The Ombud can assist in the informal resolution process and should be contacted for advice as soon as possible.

Formal resolution process:

Where persons who experience unwelcome behaviour find that direct communication and/or an informal resolution process is not possible or proves unsuccessful, or if they do not wish to pursue these options, they can commence a formal resolution process. The procedure to be followed is described step by step in Operational Circular No. 9. Any person wishing to file a formal harassment complaint should follow this procedure and submit it to the Chair of the Harassment Investigation Panel (HIP).  Pursuant to Operational Circular No. 9, the alleged victim should be a person working at CERN or on behalf of CERN.

Informal consultation of the HIP Chair: Persons considering filing a formal harassment complaint also have the possibility to consult the HIP Chair, under conditions of strict confidentiality, in order to obtain additional information about Operational Circular No. 9 and the formal resolution process.

The Harassment Investigation Panel (HIP) is established to conduct the formal investigation process defined in Operational Circular No. 9. The HIP is composed of nine staff members appointed jointly by the Director-General and the President of the Staff Association. The current Chair, appointed on 1 July 2022, is Marine Gourber-Pace.


Please be advised that Switzerland makes legal and other remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in the workplace if it occurs on Swiss territory. For further information, please contact the CERN Social Affairs Service (

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