Collaboration with Amnesty International on approach to sexual intimidation

    Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences signs manifesto

    22 September 2021

    Research shows that one in ten female students, and one percent of men, experience sexual violence during their time as students. This week more than 200 Amnesty International activists are campaigning in 33 cities to draw attention to sexual violence in their higher education community.

    With the Let's Talk About YES campaign, Amnesty International and students are fighting for a culture in which sex with mutual consent is the norm. They are asking higher education institutions to work towards better prevention and supporting activities.

    Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences signs manifesto

    Amnesty is asking institutions to sign a manifesto in which they promise to accept their responsibility. Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences finds any form of undesirable behaviour unacceptable and is therefore supporting Amnesty International's prevention campaign and has agreed to sign the manifesto. The manifesto lists the steps higher education institutions must take to combat undesirable behaviour, including sexual violence. It contains specific points for improvement in the areas of prevention, support, and procedures. By signing the manifesto, the institutions commit themselves to creating a safe environment for their students and staff.

    Chairman of the Board, Ron Bormans, will be signing on behalf of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences: "With our 40,000 students and 4,000 staff members, we consider ourselves to be a small city that reflects society and thus social issues are relevant. Yes, unfortunately we are also confronted with sexual harassment and other undesirable behaviour. We firmly reject this and do not turn a blind eye to it. We are already working on an improved approach to undesirable behaviour, including targeted prevention, improved communication, and personal support. Especially for that woman or man sitting in our classroom keeping that terrible sorrow a secret, the situation must always be changed for the better. Our renewed protocol, Undesirable Behaviour, will be validated this autumn, so the signing of Amnesty International's manifesto fits in perfectly with that."

    Let’s Talk About YES campaign week

    In the campaign week from 20 to 25 September, students will not only take to the streets to urge their educational institutions to quickly sign the manifesto, but they also want to create awareness among their fellow students. In many cities there will be training sessions on how to react when you see or experience undesirable behaviour of a sexual nature.

    Reporting centre

    Have you yourself had experiences of undesirable behaviour or sexual harassment? Don't keep it to yourself and seek help. Confidential counsellors at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences are here to help you. Check Hint.

    RUAS attaches great value to a safe learning and working environment for students and staff. For this reason, we pay much attention to the subject of undesirable behaviour. This policy has recently been adapted to current issues within our school and society around us.