Litteraturhuset is committed to being a safe space for everyone – for visitors, authors, and other guests and affiliates, as well as for our staff.
A Safe Space for Everyone
Guidelines and Reporting
The House of Literature (Litteraturhuset) aims to be a safe place for our visitors, authors, other guests and affiliates, as well as for our staff. Therefore, we have developed ethical guidelines to prevent discrimination and harassment, along with clear procedures for addressing any unacceptable situations.
Have you experienced discrimination or harassment while visiting us? You can safely report it to:
- Your contact person at The House of Literature
- The leader of the Norwegian Authors' Center (Norsk Forfattersentrum)
- The organization Balansekunst
- The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud (LDO)
All reports will be treated confidentially.
The House of Literature Foundation is a small organization with few employees but many affiliates in various roles. Everyone associated with the institution should be able to trust in decent working conditions, proper treatment, and the fact that any reports are taken seriously and addressed. This also entails a requirement that all affiliates adhere to The House of Literature's values as described in these guidelines.
The following guidelines apply in addition to existing legal regulations in Norway and other countries where the organization operates. The House of Literature continuously strives to develop and strengthen ethical competence and awareness within the organization.
The House of Literature practices zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and harassment.
The House of Literature operates with the following vision: "Litteraturhuset is a non-profit foundation that promotes literature in a broad sense, upholds freedom of expression, and contributes to a knowledge-based public discourse. We are a national literature house that educates a new generation of readers regardless of ethnic background or economic means." We aim to promote literature, knowledge, and freedom of expression with integrity and generosity.
This inherently includes a value of respect for other people, which is fundamental to the work we do. Everyone associated with The House of Literature's work should treat others with respect, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, nationality, skin color, disability, religion, political affiliation, social status, and other identity markers.
The House of Literature's mission is to spread knowledge and understanding and to foster dialogue and openness between groups. Therefore, all affiliates should also show respect for other countries, cultures, and religions. Even when working abroad, one should respect the host country's laws, culture, and religion, as long as it does not conflict with international human rights standards.
The House of Literature works for increased tolerance and a broader space for expression. The foundation should not only follow these rules itself but also actively work for increased respect and dialogue in society at large.
Responsible Use of Power and Position
We do not accept fraud or corruption within our organization.
The House of Literature aims to be a reputable institution that promotes honesty and integrity. It is therefore not allowed for representatives to give or receive gifts or services that could influence job-related decisions. Fraud and corruption go against our values and our responsibility towards society, authorities, and donors.
We will manage the resources provided to The House of Literature in a transparent and responsible manner, in accordance with established controls to ensure the optimal use of all our material and human resources. The foundation will also ensure transparent financial reporting, where all expenses can be accounted for.
Everyone who visits, works at, or collaborates with The House of Literature should feel safe from unwanted sexual attention or harassment.
Sexual harassment is generally defined as unwanted sexual attention that is experienced as offensive and bothersome by the person affected. For an action to be considered sexual harassment, the attention must be unwanted. The perception of the person who experiences harassment should be given the most weight when assessing whether the harassment was unwanted or not.
Unwanted sexual attention/harassment can take several forms, including:
- Verbal: Unwanted comments or insinuations about the body, clothing, or private life, sexual jokes, suggestions/demands for sexual services or sexual relationships, phone calls, electronic mail, text messages, etc.
- Non-verbal: Unwanted or invasive stares, staring, flashing, body movements, exposure to pornographic images, calendars, or sexual objects.
- Physical: Encompassing unwanted touching, hugging, or kissing, as well as more severe offenses like rape or attempted rape.
- Digital: On the internet, social media, email, or text and/or image messages.
Sexual harassment is prohibited in Norway under the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act (likestillingsloven). The courts enforce this prohibition, while the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud (LDO) receives complaints.
The House of Literature has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, harassment, and unwanted sexual attention.
Reporting and Follow-Up
If you experience unacceptable situations, you should be able to report them confidently, knowing that your report will be addressed.
Unacceptable situations related to the activities of The House of Literature Foundation can and should be reported to your contact person at The House of Literature, to the club leader Madeleine Gedde Metz, or to the managing director Susanne Kaluza. Unacceptable situations can include violations of legal regulations, these guidelines, or other ethical norms that have broad support in society.
If the report concerns a leader, or for other reasons, you do not want to report directly to Litteraturhuset, you can report to the chair of The House of Literature's board/Mikkel Bugge or to the leader of the Norwegian Authors' Center/Ingvild Herzog. Problems should be reported as early as possible, on behalf of yourself or others.
All reports will be treated confidentially. According to the Norwegian Working Environment Act § 2 A-4, the whistleblower is protected from retaliation by the employer, which The House of Literature fully respects. If necessary, The House of Literature will implement measures aimed at preventing retaliation against the person who has reported.
If you need advice, you can get free and anonymous guidance from the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud or from the organization Balansekunst, which works against discrimination, sexual harassment, or abuse of power in the cultural sector. You can also file complaints with the Discrimination Tribunal. Criminal offenses should also be reported to the police. The House of Literature will provide follow-up and support to individuals who have experienced actions contrary to these guidelines.
Litteraturhuset is committed to promptly and thoroughly addressing all reported cases and may introduce internal disciplinary measures and/or report the incident where applicable.
Serious cases, including violations of these ethical guidelines, may lead to criminal charges, termination, or termination of collaboration.