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Equality and diversity

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In Romanian law, by Ordinance No 137 from 31 August 2000 (revised) it is foreseen the prevention and sanctioning of all forms of discrimination. According to the first article, the human dignity, the rights and freedoms of citizens, the free development of human personality are supreme values and are guaranteed by law.

Discrimination means any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, social category, beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, chronic non-contagious disease, HIV infection, membership of a disadvantaged category, as well as any other criterion having as its purpose or effect the restriction, removal of recognition, use or exercise, on an equal basis, of human rights and fundamental freedoms or fundamental freedoms rights recognized by law, in the political, economic, social and cultural fields or in any other areas of public life.

There is also the National Anti-Discrimination Council in Romania, which, under parliamentary control, exercises its powers by preventing, mediation, investigating, monitoring and assisting in situations of discrimination. It is a guarantor of compliance and application of the principle of non-discrimination, in accordance with the national law in force and with the international documents to which Romania is a part of.

In this document we presents the Policy Sense International taken up and adapted to the specific situation in Romania, which guarantees the equality and diversity of all employees, those who receive the support provided by the organization, but also affiliates, which it happens through  measures designed to eliminate discrimination and maximize equal opportunities.


Each person is different and has something unique to offer. Sense International and Sense International Romania want to respect and understand these differences in order to harness everyone's talent, and this is reflected in the communities it supports.

Diversity represents understanding, recognition, respecting and capitalizing on differences.

Equality is to understand differences so that each individual have equal opportunity for a fair method of implementing rules, policies and procedures. We recognize that sometimes this will lead to different treatment of people.

By recognizing diversity and ensuring equal opportunities, Sense International and Sense International Romania aim to support inclusion and eliminate any form of discrimination or intolerance.


Sense International and Sense International Romania is committed to promoting equal opportunities and diversity of the employees, volunteers, our representatives and the people we work with. We value everyone's contribution and ensure that they are given the opportunity to be included and reach their potential. We will promote equality and diversity in everything we do as well as through our partnerships with our collaborators.


We are committed to work in such a way as to embrace diversity and promote equal opportunities. We recognize, appreciate and promote the positive contributions made by people with deafblindness and other disabilities in order to shape the support they receive, but also to fulfill our strategy and mission.

We value the diversity of our employees and their cultural differences, as well as representatives of the Board of Directors, and our volunteers who devote their time to the organization. We expect them to understand and accept their own responsibility to recognize and cherish the unique differences and contributions that people exhibit in line with how we offer services.

Our goal is to ensure that these commitments (supported by our detailed values and attitudes in the "I statements" section) are incorporated into our daily practices, policies and relationships with the people we support, colleagues, partners and communities we work with.

We will not tolerate discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender change, marriage or civil partnership, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or belief, age, disabilities, HIV infection, work schedule, pregnancy or maternity responsibilities, health care responsibilities, trade union activities or political guidelines, or any other criteria. We will also not tolerate direct or indirect behaviours aimed at intimidation, harassment, isolation or victimization based on individual differences. In line with the principles set out in the Child protection policy and the vulnerable adult, we do not tolerate sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse in any way.

No one will get less favorable treatment and all will have the opportunity to be included and grow.

Commitment to this policy is necessary for all those who work or who are associated in any way with our organization. By applying this policy, we will maintain the provisions laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the rightness of all rights and freedoms, without any distinction of any kind (Art. 2).


This policy is supported by Sense International and Sense International Romania values and the commitments made in the "About Us" section that can be found on our website by visiting the following link: https://surdocecitate.ro/en/about-us/ 

The principles we will follow in applying this policy are:

  • We will listen to the varied and different opinions of our colleagues and seek to understand their prospects.
  • We will intervene where we are signaled that concerns are raised about violations of equal opportunities, discrimination, harassment, victimization, abuse or sexual exploitation.
  • We will respect and be open in all interactions with colleagues, aware of the differences in the environment from which they come and their individual characteristics.
  • We will be honest and open about the cultural diversity of our employees, recording, monitoring and reporting regularly.
  • We will involve you directly in solving any difficulty presented; we encourage an informal resolution of the problems raised, where possible and appropriate, precisely in order to maintain positive working relationships and commitment to the organisation.
  • We will create a strong positive culture where equality, diversity, inclusion and respect are basic values that stand at the heart of all our activities.
  • We will work to eliminate discrimination (either directly or indirect, by victimization or harassment).
  • We will take allegations of abuse, sexual abuse or harassment very seriously and penalize them in accordance with the Child or Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and similar procedures.
  • We will ensure that the highest possible standards will be achieved in our service offering, employment practices and in promoting equality and diversity through our work.
  • In assessing partnerships, the offer of services and collaborators, we will take into account our Policy on Equality and Diversity as well as its objectives.


We will ensure that in the development and use of employment procedures and practices, no person or group of persons will suffer any harm in terms of the recruitment, promotion, development or departure process from the organisation, or access to training programmes and other benefits, nor will they be subject to discriminatory behavior in their daily work when they are beneficiaries of our projects or our partners.

We will work on creating an organizational culture where discriminatory behaviour is changed into a constructive and respectful way, so that those who have such behavior have the chance to correct it. If they do not wish to change their conduct, or if this is a serious problem, then we will follow our policy and disciplinary responsibility procedure in accordance with the internal rules and Romanian legislation.

All complaints of discrimination, bullying, harassment, victimization, intolerance or disrespect to individuals will be investigated with tact and, where appropriate, a compliant decision will be made. Allegations of sexual abuse, harassment or abuse will be seriously treated and will be considered in accordance with the Child Protection Policy and the vulnerable adult.

When there are tensions between employees as a result of differences in values or beliefs, cultures or skepticism, then we will assess as the best way to solve the problem by examining the extent to which individuals are affected by the level of intolerance shown.

In the next paragraph there are some examples that illustrate how this policy impacts on all policies and practices. That list is not exhaustive, since each situation must be judged according to its gravity.


We expect each person to behave professionally and politely all the time. We will not tolerate behaviors such as:

  • Bullying, harassment, victimization
  • Physical violence
  • Vulgar language or high tone
  • Lack of politeness
  • Isolation, ignoring or refusing to work or communicating with certain persons, intentionally or not
  • Saying or making offensive or potentially offensive jokes, insulting
  • Displaying of offensive materials like pornography or sexist/racist anime
  • Obscene gestures or remarks
  • Distribution of offensive or potentially offensive material through any communication pathways, e.g. email, text messages

We are all responsible for the impact that our behaviour and actions have on others. The impact that personal behaviour has on a vulnerable person is more important than the intention itself. Due to the fact that all situations will be tried on a case-by-case basis, it is not acceptable to justify our actions by saying that others are too sensitive or that there was no intention to offend.


We believe it is the responsibility of every person involved in the organization to maintain appropriate working practices. Respecting and assuming this policy implies an environment based on equality and diversity.

Everyone involved in the organization has a duty to:

  • Promote equality and diversity in everyday work and in providing services
  • To ensure that anyone associated with us is included, treated with respect and appreciated for all its differences
  • Promote an environment that is welcoming, safe and open in which anyone can feel welcome, cherished and respected.
  • Support colleagues and people we provide services to by discussing concerns and fears by appropriate means.


Everyone has the responsibility to:

  • To always be respectful and tolerant of others all the time
  • To participate in training or development programs related to equal opportunities and diversity
  • To question in a professional and respectful manner any behavior that can be interpreted discriminatory
  • To discuss the issue with the direct manager or human resources department when we cannot question discriminatory behaviour
  • To understand what is expected of us in terms of our behavior and conduct towards others
  • To ask advice from managers if we are not sure how to act in certain circumstances
  • Not to discriminate against our interactions with the people we support, their families, employees, or any new affiliate partner.
  • To be a positive example in everything we do.
  • To listen and respect others and not disregard their fears on the grounds that they are trivial


Managers have additional responsibilities:

  • To ensure systems, procedures and services that respect equality and diversity and do not discriminate against
  • In any way, to tolerate discrimination against
  • To take steps to quickly combat inappropriate behavior
  • To support and implement the measures the organization takes to facilitate diversity and the opportunity for equal opportunities.
  • To encourage everyone to maximize their contribution by making the lives of those they support better
  • To implement the principles of diversity within their teams, the departments and partnerships they manage
  • To ensure that everyone has access to training and development sessions that provide the opportunity to implement our policy on equal opportunities and diversity.


Each volunteer has a duty:

  • To participate in appropriate training sessions on issues of equal opportunities and diversity offered by the organisation. As volunteers, they will not be paid.
  • To not discriminate, through their interactions, the people we support, their families, employees or anyone who join us.
  • To set a positive example in everything they do.
  • To listen to and respect others and not to disregard their fears on the grounds that they are trivial.
  • To question in a professional and respectful manner any behavior that can be interpreted as discriminatory, intolerant or disrespectful.


Complementary to what has been mentioned above, the human resources department is responsible for monitoring and evaluating how the policy of equality and diversity is implemented. It will be done like this:

  • By recording, retaining, reporting and analyzing statistical information related to the diversity of our workforce at the following levels: corporate, group, directorate, area and point of work.
  • This will include the analysis of recruitment and selection decisions, promotions, training sessions, development (including obtaining qualifications) and difficulties between employees, where possible.

Where reports result in uneven treatment indicators, the human resources department will work together with the Director responsible to find a strategy to improve the situation.


If you think you've been the target of bullying, harassment, discrimination or victimization of any kind, then you should discuss these things with your direct manager to solve the problem. If you tried this and the problem was not solved, or if you do not feel that you can discuss this with your manager, then you should try to talk to his superior to solve the problem.

If you tried to resolve these issues with your manager informally but it wasn't successful, you can pick up the issue by following the complaint policy.  When making a complaint you need to know this policy so that you make a decision about how to expose your displeasure. Your manager or human resources department can help you make the best decision about how to do this.

Once a reasonable conclusion is reached that a breach of this policy has taken place and acts of discrimination, harassment or victimization have been reported, the problems will most likely be resolved by applying the disciplinary procedure in agreement with the Romanian legislation and the rules of procedure.

If you have concerns about sexual exploitation or abuse, you should refer to the Child protection policy and vulnerable adult for more information. They may be reported confidentially by e-mail at report@senseinternational.org.uk or on the phone at the 0800 731 9008 (only in the UK).

In Romania, they will be reported by e-mail at rantonie@senseint.org.ro, phone number 021 413 90 40.

If a person we support, a member of his family, a volunteer or an outsider, our partner believes that he was the target of victimization, harassment, discrimination, sexual exploitation or abuse, he or she should visit the Complaints Policy, which can be found on our website.

Complaints can be made using the email or green number mentioned above.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/