Staying safe, secure, and healthy at RightsCon Costa Rica
The 12th edition of RightsCon is less than a week away (June 5-8, 2023) and we’re taking a moment to provide an update and reminder of the core policies, principles, and processes that help keep the summit a safe, productive, and inclusive space.
As we embark on our first hybrid summit, our Security Working Group (SWG), an internal committee composed of our RightsCon, SecOps, and Code of Conduct leadership, has reviewed, tested, and adapted our internal security and safety processes to ensure we remain positioned to best understand risks posed to the RightsCon community, both online and in person, and respond effectively to issues should they arise.
This includes, but is not limited to, the following measures:
- Code of Conduct trainings for online technical moderators and guidance for staff at our venue, the Costa Rica Convention Center (CRCC), so that they can provide quick First Response to incidents to prevent further harm;
- Developing strong response and escalation mechanisms across the RightsCon production teams, designed to take quick action.
- Undertaking risk assessments, analysis, and scenario planning;
- Securing a trusted security firm to support and safeguard an event of this size at the CRCC;
- Conducting a thorough Covid-19 policy analysis, based on events of a similar scale, government guidelines, and trend analysis;
- Maintaining and building upon our historic policies related to privacy, security, safety, and anonymity of our community members;
- Transparently reporting on the accessibility of our spaces, both online and in-person, to account for the diverse needs of our community.
Informing your participation: online and in-person
As always, RightsCon is open to the public and a space that embraces multiple stakeholders and perspectives.
Diversity is central to the success of RightsCon and the strength of our community. While we’ve developed safety and security measures to protect people from harm, we also want to acknowledge that there may be instances during the week where you encounter individuals or organizations who have a different approach, background, or opinion to yourself or members of your community.
As you prepare for the week, we encourage you to review and consider your digital hygiene and digital security best practices when working and interacting in online spaces or while traveling. This includes any physical or in-person risks that you may have in attending RightsCon Costa Rica, whether this is related to transmissible diseases or privacy concerns that stem from attending large public events.
When participating in RightsCon, we encourage you to:
- Be mindful of the public nature of certain spaces and what information you share, or how to verify information your receive (including URLs and attachments);
- Where you have the need to discuss highly sensitive topics, consider the most appropriate space, platform, or channel for such exchanges;
- Take time to think about the risks and undertake a risk self-assessment of threats you may face, and create a plan to support your safe attendance.
Lanyards, privacy, and anonymity
In-person RightsCon participants are issued a RightsCon badge that includes their first name, last name, and affiliation. We expect this credential to be worn at all times when inside the venue & RightsCon managed spaces. Participants can choose to have a red or green lanyard.
Importantly, the red lanyard indicates that a participant does not want to be photographed or recorded in any way. You can learn more about our lanyard policy here.
In an online setting, participants will not have different colored lanyards, and as a result, we request all participants refrain from filming, photographing, or posting on social media about any other participant without their express permission.
In every session, moderators or organizers will announce the level of privacy expected from participants, which may range from open attribution, to Chatham House rules, to no attribution. All participants should listen to and respect these guidelines.
Participants are also welcome to register for RightsCon under a pseudonym or information they choose in order to preserve their anonymity.
Beyond safety and security: health and accessibility
The health of the RightsCon community, including staff and participants, is important to us. We’ve not forgotten the impact and risks posed by transmissible diseases, such as Covid-19, for participants and the communities in which we live and work, particularly for those who are at greater risk.
We encourage in-person participants to be fully vaccinated, to test themselves before departure, and consider mask wearing while traveling to and attending RightsCon. There will be medical staff on site to support and provide guidance for any illness related issues.
If a participant feels sick, is symptomatic, or tests positive for Covid-19 or any other transmissible disease that poses significant risk to others, they will not be permitted to attend RightsCon until an appropriate timeframe has passed. You can read more about our approach to transmissible diseases here.
Beyond getting sick, we also want to recognize that those attending online may face long days in front of a computer screen discussing sensitive matters which can impact wellbeing and our health. Take a moment to move around, meditate, take one of our online yoga sessions, or take some time outside!
How accessible is the Costa Rica Convention Center? We’ve put together a checklist to outline the accessibility of the interior and exterior of our event space in Costa Rica. If you have any additional accessibility considerations or questions, you can outline this through our registration process or get in touch with us at [email protected].
Reporting and responding
In an effort to keep our spaces safe and productive, our team will be on standby to respond to any safety and security questions or incidents. Depending on the severity of the situation, our team may need to respond with a quick decision (“First Response”) to ensure the safety of the community, prevent further harm, and stabilize the situation. Subsequently, we will work to assess the situation, decide on the final response and remedy, with the best interests of our community, and those most at risk, in mind.
To report an incident, you can contact us through the appropriate channels outlined below. For general questions about our approach to safety and security, you can email us at [email protected].
If you’re experiencing an issue while attending RightsCon, there’s multiple ways to get in touch:
- Code of Conduct: Need to report a conduct issue? Please reach out by email at [email protected] (PGP public key available here).
- Security Question: If you have any other concerns related to your attendance that are not covered above, you can reach out to us at [email protected] or ask at the information desk.
- Online? Use the RightsCon Platform ‘Helpdesk’: If you have an online issue or tech problem contact the Help Desk through the online chat function at any stage.
- In-person? Approach the ‘Info Desk’: This is located at the entrance of the Costa Rica Convention Center that’s open during in-person programming hours. Immediate security concerns can be directed to the emergency number linked on your credential.
- Security Question: If you have any other concerns related to your attendance that are not covered above, you can reach out to us at [email protected] or ask at the information desk. Contact +1 (657) 620 1363 for any security-related emergencies.
- Emergency Services: If appropriate, call the Costa Rica emergency services:
- Police Emergency – 911
- Ambulance: 911 or 128
- Fire Service – 911 or 118
Don’t forget to check out our participant guide for much more information!