Global Brigades Code of Conduct

(Updated February 19, 2020)

We believe that when well-structured and professionally managed, volunteering internationally can make a real difference to people’s lives. Each volunteer participating in a Global Brigades program is expected to be respectful of other program participants, the program staff, the placement, and the community. Participants in our program are representatives not only of themselves, but also Global Brigades, their university and act as ambassadors to their home country. Our policies and guidelines have been designed to protect the communities where we work, the volunteers, and our staff. Each volunteer must abide by these policies, rules, and regulations to ensure the safety of all participants. In the event of unacceptable behavior or a violation of any of these rules and policies, Global Brigades will take disciplinary action, which could include termination and removal from your program. In the event of termination, you will be responsible for any and all expenses and change fees to get you home.

Program Policies

The possession and/or use of drugs is illegal. Anyone who is found asking for, buying, in possession of, or using drugs will be expelled from the program and may be reported to local authorities. Keep in mind that neither Global Brigades nor your home country embassy will be able to protect you if you are in custody of the local authorities.

Alcohol and narcotics
In all program locations, and for all volunteers, abuse of alcohol is not allowed for any volunteers. Hard alcohol is strictly prohibited. The ability to consume alcohol is in accordance with local law and country policy and is closely monitored by GB staff. The abuse and sale of narcotics is never permitted and will not be tolerated.

Under no circumstances will volunteers carry weapons or have weapons or ammunition while with Global Brigades. To do so would undermine our humanitarian philosophy and endanger the well-being of our staff and volunteers. This includes the purchase of weapons as souvenirs (i.e. machetes and knives).

All volunteers participating in the program will be expected to remain with the group at all times. Volunteers should never wander off the compound or away from staff supervision. Quiet Hours are posted in each compound. All volunteers participating in the program will be expected to observe these hours to ensure volunteers are well-rested for their Brigade in the morning.

Sexual Relations
Sexual misconduct and harassment is never tolerated on Brigade. Volunteers are prohibited from any sexual relations while on the program as they may be considered offensive to the local culture and can become disruptive to your fellow volunteers.

Gift Giving
The focus of Global Brigades programs is to empower communities to rise out of poverty through an integrated approach. Therefore, we ask that volunteers never give gifts or handouts to community members as this directly undermines our goals as charity and not empowerment.

I,___________, understand and agree to abide by Global Brigades’ Code of Conduct and the policies described above. I further understand that my actions, behavior, and their consequences are my own responsibility. I understand that, as a participant in a Global Brigades program, I am expected to:

  • Be flexible, patient, and open-minded when faced with challenges.
  • Abide by any rules, policies, or direction of the GB staff.
  • Be respectful of and care for the property of GB, the staff, and my fellow volunteers.
  • Be respectful of community members and only take photos when given permission.
  • Act in a responsible manner and exercise good judgment in all situations, including in the community, and at the compound.
  • Always be accompanied by a GB staff member on any trips outside of the compound, including in community.
  • Always comply with the Global Brigades Code of Ethics
  • Never engage in any violence, including physical or emotional violence, toward any other individual.
  • Attend Brigade on a daily basis, as scheduled, and actively participate in any scheduled activities.
  • Keep open lines of communication with Global Brigades staff while on brigade to let them know of any issues or support I might need.
  • Commit to the program and understand the aspects of the volunteer work, holistic model and empowerment approach and cultural exchange.

The Global Brigades model is designed to provide numerous opportunities for impactful work and cultural exchange in the community. I have read the above and I understand my responsibility to respect these policies. I furthermore realize the consequences and severity of violating any Global Brigades policy during my program.

Signature of Global Brigades Volunteer