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Guidelines for Safer Spaces 

At the Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival, we strive to create and maintain a safe and respectful environment for all participants. These principles ensure that everyone can feel welcome, valued, and safe during our event. The following principles guide our actions:

1. Respect Others and Embrace Diversity
Treat every individual with respect. We do not question anyone's differences but instead value and celebrate them. We understand that diversity enriches both the event and artistic expression.


2. Enable Participation for All
We ensure that everyone has the space and opportunity to participate in the festival. We actively listen and make sure that every voice is heard and valued.

3. Respect Boundaries
Do not disturb anyone verbally, physically, or through looks. Respect personal space and always seek consent before any physical contact or dealing with personal matters. Be mindful of power dynamics, recognizing that consent alone may not be sufficient.


4. Avoid Discrimination and Assumptions
Do not discriminate against anyone based on their characteristics or background. Avoid making assumptions about others’ gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic background, health, or ability. Be open, listen, and respect each person's self-expression, including pronouns and names.

5. Correct Behavior and Address Inappropriate Conduct
Be ready to correct your behavior and learn from mistakes. If you encounter or witness inappropriate treatment or discrimination, contact the harassment liaison. We encourage everyone to approach the harassment liaison in uncomfortable situations.


6. Respect Others' Boundaries
We cannot know others' boundaries without asking. Discuss them in advance and ask when unsure. Take responsibility for your actions. No means no.


7. Refrain from Commenting on or Criticizing Others' Bodies
Avoid commenting on bodies and refrain from remarks about others' food portions or eating habits. Everyone's body and lifestyle are personal and deserve respect.


8. Respect Differing Views and Experiences
Value others' opinions, beliefs, and experiences. Do not mock, ridicule, or embarrass anyone with words, behavior, or actions. Treat every individual with dignity and respect.


9. Responsibility for Your Actions
Be aware that your actions affect others, even if your intentions are good. Take responsibility for your actions and continually strive to improve your behavior and interaction skills.


10. Provide Space and Respect Privacy
Ensure that everyone has the space to participate in discussions and activities. Do not overpower others' opinions and allow for different viewpoints. Respect others' privacy and handle sensitive topics with respect.

11. Address Harassment and Offer Support
Do not remain passive if you witness harassment. Offer support to those affected by harassment and ask how you can help. Be active in creating a safer space. Do not discriminate against anyone for addressing harassment or inappropriate behavior and respect the experiences of all witnesses to harassment or discrimination.

These principles help create an environment where festival participants can enjoy the event and feel safe. We commit to continuous learning and improvement in implementing these principles.

If you experience harassment or discrimination during the event, please call or message our harassment liaison.

Harassment Liaison for the Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival
Rami Meling, Tel. 040 8384 380,



Our principles are built on the following guidelines:

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