Statement on creating a safe and open working environment

The European Society for the Study of Human Evolution (ESHE) is committed to providing a safe space to all of our members regardless of age, ethnicity, race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion, or marital status.

Due to their centrality in professional training and networking in our discipline, we view conferences and fieldwork as extensions of the workplace environment. As such, all institutional rules regarding appropriate behaviour apply in these contexts, as does this ESHE statement. The society will not tolerate harassment in any form.

Our goal is to foster a culture that creates safe and open working environments at scientific meetings for all. ESHE is not an adjudicating body; however, ESHE has two Ombudspersons who can be consulted in anonymity. The Ombudspersons will help to seek out appropriate authorities with which to file claims of any form of harassment and assault. Typically, the line of formal complaint is through the home institution of the accused. All members should make themselves aware of the appropriate processes at their home institutions as well as the areas (i.e., legal jurisdictions) where fieldwork, meetings, and other business are conducted.


The role of the Ombudspersons is to act on behalf of the participants of the ESHE annual meetings in matters relating to misconduct in the framework of the conference. The Ombudspersons can be contacted at any time or approached during the meetings to give advice on certain issues of academic and personal misconduct or to approach the board with grievances on behalf of the participant if they so wish.  In all cases, any consultation with an Ombudsperson comes with an assurance of anonymity unless or until consent is expressly given.

Paul OHiggins

Paul O'Higgins

Sabine Gaudzinski

Sabine Gaudzinski