our code of conduct

Standby Task Force Code of Conduct and Ethics

Standby Task Force (SBTF) is an international network and community of digital humanitarians. Our ethical and professional code is centered on five core principles*: Humanity, Neutrality, Responsibility, Respect and Professionalism, and is based on best practices in the field of humanitarian response, including International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) guidelines for aid agencies providing disaster relief.

By accepting membership within SBTF, each volunteer pledges to:

1.1 Affirm the universal value and equality of all human life, as well as the fundamental right of all persons everywhere to receive and offer humanitarian assistance.
1.2 Prioritize assistance on the basis of need alone; never discriminate based on race, gender, creed, nationality or any other form of adverse distinction.

1.3 Endeavor to respect the culture and custom of fellow volunteers, partners and the communities we assist, alongside universal humanitarian principles.
1.4 Maintain an atmosphere of respect, civility and inclusiveness in all SBTF-related channels and activities.

1.5 Provide aid impartially and independently of any political, religious or ideological affiliation or goal.
1.6 Remain nonpartisan during scenarios of conflict or war.
1.7 Avoid activity that serves political, military or economical purposes not strictly humanitarian in nature.

1.8 Strive to verify information before recording, sharing or otherwise acting on it in any way.
1.9 Maintain the confidentiality of any sensitive or personal information about crisis-affected or at-risk individuals or groups.
1.10 Maintain the confidentiality of any sensitive or personal information about any fellow member of Standby Task Force including any information listed in the member database and/or any communications.
1.11 Never share false information, incite panic or otherwise endanger public safety.
1.12 Abide by the conduct regulations of partner agencies that activate us.

1.12 Abide by all organizational and deployment-specific procedures and protocols.
1.13 Exercise professional conduct when volunteering or otherwise representing SBTF.
1.14 Never misuse for personal or partisan gain any information obtained as an SBTF member.

Conduct violations are taken up by the SBTF Core Team and can result in review of membership status, up to and including termination. Criminal offenses will be reported to the relevant authorities.

To voice concern or report a violation, please send an email to [email protected]

Reference for determining the sensitivity of personal information:
Humanitarianism in the Networked Age”:

  • Can information be tracked back to the individual, community, village or any other unit of analysis?
  • Could it compromise their lives, dignity or livelihoods?
  • Information that identifies people who report on acts of violence can be used by Governments or armed groups for retribution.
  • New technologies can also create new threats, such as a greater risk of surveillance or manipulation.

Code of Conduct and Ethics Policies and Procedures has been created by the Temporary Compliance Committee; Per Aarvik, Valeria Villan, Joyce Monsees

*Source used for Code of Conduct and Ethics Policies and Procedures:

Approved by the Board of Directors, April 25. 2016