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Hot Docs is a forum to share stories and perspectives on the people, issues and events that shape our world, and we encourage respectful discussion and debate to foster greater understanding and empathy.

For this important exchange of ideas, the Festival is committed to providing a friendly and safe environment in which all can comfortably participate. We welcome diversity and do not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or abusive or threatening behaviour of any kind.

Hot Docs reserves the right to rescind the credentials of those who engage in harassment, discrimination, or abusive or threatening behaviour, and to prohibit access to venues and events, without warning or refund.

If you feel you have been the target of, or have observed, such behaviour, please notify a Hot Docs staff manager at the venue, or contact [email protected].

All violations of the law should be reported to local law enforcement. For emergencies, immediately dial 9-1-1.

Delegate Code of Conduct

Hot Docs is committed to providing a friendly, safe, respectful and welcoming environment for all, regardless of age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status (including single status), gender identity, gender expression, record of offences, sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding), and sexual orientation.

The Hot Docs Code of Conduct will ensure that all attendees including:

  • Guests
  • Partners
  • Sponsors
  • Media
  • Staff
  • Volunteers
  • Vendors

have positive experiences at our events where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

By entering our events, you accept our General Policies and agree to abide by our Code of Conduct.

Hot Docs will not tolerate harassment and violence against or by any person at any Hot Docs events.

Harassment is defined as:

  • engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against an individual that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or
  • sexual harassment.

Some examples of harassment include:

  • any verbal or electronic comments related to any or all protected grounds as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code;
  • deliberate intimidation, stalking or following;
  • photography or recording of an individual that is non-consensual and unwelcome;
  • sustained disruption of sessions, talks or other events;
  • inappropriate physical contact; and
  • any touching or attention that is unwelcome or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

Sexual Harassment is defined as:

  • engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against an individual because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or
  • making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the individual and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

Some examples of sexual harassment include:

  • asking for sex in exchange for a benefit or a favour;
  • repeatedly asking for dates, and not taking “no” for an answer;
  • demanding hugs;
  • making unnecessary physical contact, including unwanted touching;
  • using rude or insulting language or making comments toward other individuals;
  • calling people gender-specific derogatory names;
  • making sex-related comments about a person’s physical characteristics or actions;
  • saying or doing something because you think a person does not conform to gender-role stereotypes;
  • posting or sharing pornography, sexual pictures or cartoons, sexually explicit graffiti, or other sexual images (including online);
  • making sexual jokes; or
  • bragging about sexual prowess.

Violence means, but is not limited to:

  • The exercise of physical force by a person against an individual that causes or could cause physical injury to the individual;
  • An attempt to exercise physical force against an individual that causes or could cause physical injury to the individual;
  • A statement or behavior that is reasonable for an individual to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against an individual that causes or could cause physical injury to the individual;
  • Physical acts (e.g., hitting, shoving, pushing, kicking, sexual assault); or
  • Any threat, behaviour or action which is interpreted to carry the potential to harm or endanger the safety of others, result in an act of aggression, or destroy or damage property.

In addition, Hot Docs will not tolerate the use of derogatory or discriminatory language, gestures or actions, including any form of racial, religious, sexist or ethnic slurs, or any other targeted comments which are intended or ought reasonably to be known to cause personal offense to another Hot Docs participant either in-person or online.


Consequences of Violations of the Code of Conduct

Violations of this Code of Conduct will not be tolerated whether by an attendees, guests, staff, volunteers, vendors, media, sponsors and partners. Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in unacceptable behavior, Hot Docs may, at its sole discretion, expel the participant from the event and/or future events, without warning or refund, and, if appropriate, solicit the involvement of local law enforcement.

Persons finding themselves in a situation where they feel their safety is at risk or who become aware of an attendee acting in violation of this Code of Conduct should immediately report the attendee to a senior staff member or manager of Hot Docs.

Please contact [email protected] if you believe that you’ve observed or experienced a violation of this Code of Conduct. Hot Docs will take all reasonable and practical measures to investigate and address all instances of harassment, sexual harassment, and violence.

All violations of the law should be reported to local law enforcement. For emergencies, immediately dial 9-1-1.

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