Commitment to Provide a Safe Environment

The organizers of Cytokines 2023: 11th Annual Meeting of the International Cytokine & Interferon Society, are committed to preventing and eliminating discrimination and harassment based on race, color, national origin, pregnancy, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy. To this end, we aim to maintain a safe and respectful environment that is free from harassment and discrimination for all attendees of the meeting as well as support staff, in accordance with federal, state and local laws. 

The purpose of this safety plan is to describe the expectations for the professional conduct of all meeting attendees, including organizers, session chairs, invited speakers, presenters, attendees, sponsors and staff. By registering for and attending the meeting, participants agree to abide by the following expectations of behavior.

Expectations of Behavior

By registering for the conference, attendees agree to treat fellow participants with respect, civility and fairness, without bias based on race, color, national origin, pregnancy, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, and political affiliation, and political philosophy. Harassment or discrimination against other attendees are prohibited. Examples of harassment include:

Discriminatory Harassment, including:

  • Racial or ethnic slurs, insults, or jokes
  • Degrading comments
  • Intolerance

Physical Harassment, including:

  • Direct threats
  • Physical attacks
  • Threatening behavior

Sexual Harassment, including:

  • Inappropriate sexual comments, jokes, and questions
  • Unwanted and inappropriate sexual touching or gestures
  • Pressure for dates or sexual favors

Reporting Alleged Violations

Conference participants should contact the Conference Safety Plan Coordinator (Ms. Joan Oefner [email protected]g) for assistance or to address any concerns. The Safety Plan Coordinator, along with the conference organizers, as appropriate, will take action as needed to resolve the concerns, up to and including immediate expulsion of the offending participant(s) from the conference. The organizers will maintain confidentiality of a reporter of possible violations of this policy, except where doing so would compromise another person’s rights. In such cases, the organizers will limit disclosure only to that information necessary to ensure proper investigation and compliance with procedures.

Individuals who have questions, concerns or complaints related to harassment are also encouraged to contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR): (see OCR’s webpage, Filing a Civil Rights Complaint).

Filing a complaint with the conference organizer is not required before filing a complaint of discrimination with HHS OCR, seeking assistance from the conference organizer in no way prohibits filing complaints with HHS OCR.

Individuals can notify NIH about concerns of harassment, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct at NIH-supported conferences (see NIH’s Find Help webpage).

Communicating the Safety Plan to Conference Participants

The Safety Plan is communicated on the conference website, and will also be in the final program and during Registration at the conference. A copy will be provided with the conference materials, which includes the contact information for the Safety Plan Coordinator and Conference Organizers.   

Ensuring a Safe and Respectful Environment for All Attendees

The International Cytokine & Interferon Society is committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all conference participants. The Conference Safety Plan  Coordinator will be present throughout the conference and will be responsible for providing assistance to conference attendees, addressing concerns related to this safety plan, and ensuring attendees adhere to policy.