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MU has network of contact persons for cases of inappropriate behaviour

Assistance in the protection of rights, guarantees for both the reporting person and the accused, impartiality, independence and confidentiality are among the principles of protection of rights at Masaryk University.

Since 1 April 2023, JUDr. Eva Janovičová serves as the University’s Ombuds and receives and handles submissions in the form of reports and notices (oznámení).

“I try to facilitate communication between the two parties and, where the content of the notice allows, I settle the case amicably through mediation. Sometimes, I may conclude that the notification is unjustified. I issue advisory opinions and manage the case files myself, but I do not make decisions regarding the rights and obligations of staff and students,” explains University Ombuds Eva Janovičová.

The Ombuds also cooperates with a network of contact persons trained primarily for sexual harassment cases who have worked in the faculties since May 2022. These persons provide counselling to victims, witnesses and those accused of sexual harassment.

“I am communicating with them more extensively and adjusting the methodology. The system is set up well. We have been looking for suitable contact persons who can approach the issue sensitively, listen to the reporting person and report the complaint. They have all been trained – they don’t judge; they listen and collect information,” explains Eva Janovičová, who is the only person allowed to process the reports, but can also serve as a contact person. If the reporting person does not want to handle the case of inappropriate behaviour directly at the faculty, the services of the Student Advisory Centre or the MU-wide Rights Protection Office at the Rector’s Office can be used. Students may also contact their colleagues in the Students’ Chamber of the MU Academic Senate, who are also trained in this area.

Contact persons from individual faculties, the advisory centre, the Academic Senate and other university departments can be found here.

All contact persons have an active interest in the topic, have attended workshops and are familiar with dealing with incidents of inappropriate behaviour or sexual harassment within Masaryk University. The contact person will listen to the reporting person, introduce the tools of support and explain the process of handling the case. It is up to the reporting person to decide whether to submit the notice for further proceedings. For faculties that are not on the list, contact persons are currently being trained.

The University-wide Rights Protection Office was established at Masaryk University on 1 April 2023. It is located in the Rector’s Office at Žerotínovo nám. 9.