Dutch higher education institutions provide their students with a safe learning environment. Knowledge institutions provide their staff members with a safe working environment, regardless of their position. Dutch knowledge institutions have a duty of care regarding the social security of their staff and students. There is no place for discrimination.

Especially with regard to a subject like knowledge security, in which threat analyses and risk profiles play an important role, there is a danger that an approach will ‘go overboard’ and lead to forms of arbitrary exclusion, imputation and discrimination. This should be avoided at all times. Any measures taken should always be objective, proportional and related to an actual danger. Engage in open discussion about this within your institution and take any and all signals seriously. See also the National Action Plan for Diversity and Inclusion.

Duty of care for knowledge institutions

The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity describes the duty of care for researchers as follows: ‘Institutions provide a working environment that promotes and safeguards good research practices’. The institution ensures that researchers can work in a safe, inclusive and open environment. An environment where they feel responsible and accountable, can share concerns about dilemmas and can discuss errors made without fearing the consequences ('blame-free reporting'). The duties of care relate to training and supervision, research culture, data management, publication and dissemination, and ethical norms and procedures.