WAZA Code of Conduct for Events

Posted: 27 September 2022


The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is an association with members all over the world. Different cultures, languages, and experiences, come together at our annual conference and other WAZA in-person or virtual meetings.

The WAZA Code of Conduct for Events is available to avoid unintentional and/or intentional harassment in our community. WAZA is committed to providing a harassment-free and inclusive conference experience for all participants. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.


Respect for each person and common courtesy rules for personal interaction apply. Be mindful of others around you to ensure a great experience for your fellow participants. Each of us has the right to enjoy WAZA events without fear of harassment, discrimination, or condescension, whether blatant or via micro-aggressions. Be aware that there are cultural differences, while it is not possible to know all of them in advance please observe and try to avoid making assumptions on what is appropriate.

Forms of Unacceptable Conduct

Harassment or discrimination in any form because of gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, functional diversity, physical appearance, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images, threatening, stalking any Conference participant or any other reasons are prohibited. Refrain from displaying any demeaning, harassing, aggressive, intimidating materials or behaviour, disruption of any presentation, photography or recording without permission, and abuse of alcohol, among others.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unacceptable conduct of a sexual nature that makes a person feel uncomfortable, anxious, offended, humiliated and/or intimidated. Sexual harassment creates a stressful and hostile environment.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical violence, including sexual assault
  • The use of threats or rewards to solicit sexual favours
  • Making derogatory or demeaning comments about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Making sexual remarks about appearance, clothing, body parts
  • Comments, stories, or jokes referring to sexual acts or sexual orientation
  • Repeated and unwanted social invitations for dates or physical intimacy
  • Condescending or sexist remarks
  • Sending sexually explicit communications in any format
  • Sharing or displaying of sexually inappropriate images or videos in any format
  • Sexually suggestive gestures
  • Whistling, shouting harassing and sexually suggestive, threatening, or derisive comments at someone publicly

Report inappropriate behaviour                  

Report if you see or hear something that creates concerns or doubts. Harassment is not tolerated, and you are empowered to politely disengage when you or others are disrespected. Promptly report any behaviour that makes you or others feel uncomfortable to the designated authority, either the local law enforcement or the WAZA Staff.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing or uncomfortable behaviour, the event organisers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning or expelling the offender from the event with no refund. If you are being harassed or feel uncomfortable, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the WAZA staff immediately.

If you have questions regarding the WAZA Code of Conduct for Events or its implementation, please contact us at secretariat@waza.org

Reporting Unacceptable Conduct 

If you or anyone else is the subject of unacceptable conduct, please contact WAZA staff

Martín Zordan


Janet Ho


Paula Cerdán



We thank our participants for sharing our commitment. The framework of The WAZA Code of Conduct for Events used the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Code of Conduct as the main reference and was inspired by the Open Source Bridge Code of Conduct, released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license, and the Google Antiharassment Policy, licensed under the Creative Commons Zero License. The United Nations System Code of Conducts was also used as a reference.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

WAZA is a member of the following organisations:
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