ISDC – International Security and Development Center gGmbH (ISDC) is committed to honesty and compliance in everything we do and to creating a work environment that promotes integrity, respect and fairness. A corporate policy that best serves the fundamental interests of ISDC is one which follows the law and guidelines in all respects.
This Code of Conduct describes the values, principles and procedures that guide ISDC. The rules described in this Code of Conduct form the core of our institutional culture, that stems primarily from the principle of individual responsibility as a shared value. Full compliance with these regulations is essential.
All staff (employees, students, doctoral students, interns and others) as well as the management of ISDC are bound by the provisions of this Code of Conduct.
The high standards are binding not only for all ISDC staff but also for its partners. ISDC expects its partners to adhere to its values and principles.
Exceptions to the provisions of the Code of Conduct are only permitted in special cases and with the prior consent of the management. In any event, it must be ensured that the legal requirements are observed.
Violation of the rules, in particular violations of legal provisions or of the Code of Conduct will not be tolerated. They will be sanctioned appropriately.
3. Compliance with Guidelines
All decisions and actions must comply with applicable laws, statutory orders and internal ISDC standards.
4. Respect for Human Dignity
ISDC respects human dignity and is committed to protecting and promoting human rights.
5. Fair Working Conditions, Equal Opportunities and Prohibition of Discrimination
ISDC is responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for its staff and management. The applicable occupational regulations on health and safety as well as accident prevention must be strictly followed.
ISDC ensures that all applicants and staff are treated equally and are given the same opportunities to realise their full potential regardless of their race, ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity.
Staff and the management are encouraged to create an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence and decisively oppose any form of discrimination.
Discrimination, offences and harassment will not be tolerated and will be sanctioned appropriately.
6. Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice
Research activities must comply with ISDC’s Guideline for Ensuring Good Scientific Practice.
In addition, the collection of primary data by ISDC and fieldwork conducted by ISDC staff must also comply with ISDC’s ‘Ethical Principles for Collecting Primary Data and Conducting Fieldwork’.
7. Rejection of Child Labour
ISDC will not tolerate child labour or any exploitation of children and adolescents. The statutory requirements must be observed. Notwithstanding the above, the minimum age for employment must not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, must not be less than 15 years.
8. Rejection of Forced Labour
ISDC rejects any form of forced labour. Staff or research participants must not be forced, either directly or indirectly, through violence and / or intimidation, to work or co-operate.
9. Anti-terrorism Measures
ISDC, its management and its staff must not support terrorism in any way and must ensure that funds and resources of ISDC are neither directly nor indirectly used for terrorist purposes. All instances of alleged or confirmed support for terrorist activities must bereported to the management without delay.
10. Protection of the Environment
ISDC is committed to protecting soil, water, air, biodiversity and cultural assets. Staff and the management must avoid and minimize detrimental impact on the environment caused while performing their duties in line with sustainable economic activity.
Existing or possible environmental damages must be reported immediately to the management.
11. Prohibition of Corruption
ISDC opposes any form of corruption. ISDC, its management and its staff must not offer, demand, or accept any kind of personal gain, especially personal gifts and invitations from third parties that compromise or appear to compromise the ability to make fair and objective decisions. Lunch invitations must be work related and remain within the limits of customary business practice.
Particular restraint is required towards public officials and public employees. In case of doubt, the management’s approval must always be obtained in advance.
These provisions must be observed whenever third parties are involved (e.g. consultants, officials or other intermediaries).
ISDC refrains from concluding any transaction that is or appears to be linked to corrupt behaviour.
12. Conflict of Interest
Staff and the management must avoid situations where their personal interests conflict with those of ISDC. This applies in particular to participation or engaging in a relationship with companies or other organizations. Staff must inform the management beforehand if they plan to pursue outside commercial activities in related sectors in order to agree on further action.
Contractual obligations apply in the case of pursuit of an outside activity.
13. Confidentiality and Data Protection
Any trade secrets and sensitive information obtained in the course of employment must be treated confidentially and must not be passed on to third parties. This includes all information that should be treated with confidentiality in the interest of ISDC or its contractual partners. This obligation continues after termination of the contractual relationship with ISDC.
All personal data about employees, management, contracting authorities, business partners and other third parties must be handled with care and in full compliance with German data protection regulations.
ISDC does not grant any donations to political organizations, parties or individual politicians. Donations to other, non-political recipients should not lead to any circumvention of the Code of Conduct.
The granting of donations is the sole responsibility of the management.
15. Information Sharing
ISDC, its management and its staff are required to ensure fast and smooth information exchange within ISDC. Pertinent information must be communicated correctly and completely to the relevant employees, the management and other bodies, as far as there are no priority interests, in particular due to the obligation of secrecy. Relevant knowledge must not be unrightfully withheld, falsified or selectively communicated.
16. Proper Accounting
The financial statements and accounts of ISDC must accurately represent transactions in accordance with legal requirements.
17. Use of ISDC Property
The property of ISDC must be handled with care. It is to be protected against loss, damage, misuse, theft, embezzlement or destruction.
Employees are obliged to inform the management immediately about a conflicting use.
18. Reports on Violations of the Code of Conduct
Staff may report specified violations of the Code of Conduct to the competent authorities. The report must be made in good faith.
Whistleblowers are protected. Discrimination or hostility by whistleblowers and retaliation against whistleblowers will not be tolerated. No staff member may be disadvantaged at ISDC by making a bona fide statement of suspicion (particularly with regard to working conditions or contract renewals).
Whistleblowers should disclose their identity to allow further inquiries. Irrespective of this, anonymous reports are also possible. In the case of anonymous reports, the circumstances might remain unclarified, since further queries are not possible.
Reports must be treated as confidential by all parties involved. The name of the whistleblower must be treated confidentially. Confidentiality serves to protect the whistleblower and the person concerned. In principle, an investigation requires the naming of the whistleblower. Disclosure of the name to the person concerned may be necessary in individual cases if the person concerned cannot otherwise defend themselves properly.
19. Guidelines and Other Requirements
The Code of Conduct shall be governed by German law. It can be updated.
The currently valid Code of Conduct is the basis for guidelines and other internal regulations of ISDC.
The management is responsible for informing staff about all policies and other internal regulations.
In case of discrepancies between the German and English versions, the German version shall prevail.
20. Entry into Force
This Code of Conduct is effective from 30 September 2019.