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. Such behaviour is contrary to the principles of equal opportunity, non-discrimination and mutual respect. Moreover, it is detrimental to health and safety at the workplace and 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 qualifying harassment at CERN as well as its resolution processes are described in the Operational Circular N°9 “Principles and procedures governing complaints of harassment”.

Any person having knowledge of potential cases of harassment should inform the hierarchy 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 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 they do not wish to pursue same, they can commence a formal resolution process. The procedure is defined step by step in Operational Circular 9. Any person wishing to file a formal harassment complaint should follow this procedure and submit it to the Harassment Investigation Panel (HIP) Chair. The OC9 applicability criteria is that 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 strict confidentiality in order to get additional information about the Operational Circular 9 and the formal resolution process.

The Harassment Investigation Panel (HIP) is established to conduct the formal investigation process defined in Operational Circular 9. The HIP is composed of nine staff members nominated jointly by the Director-General and the President of the Staff Association. The current Chair, appointed on 1st of July 2022, is Marine Gourber-Pace


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