This Code of Conduct is to support an engaging and meaningful experience for all participants of the Youth Assembly activities, and events. It aims to help participants to achieve their goals during such engagements by supporting an appropriate and safe environment. With participants coming from all different backgrounds and walks of life, it is expected that participants will conduct themselves in a manner that will inspire public confidence and trust by the AFS Intercultural Programs (hereafter referred to as AFS) community.

The following rules apply to all participants of the AFS Youth Assembly (“YA”) activities, and events . Participants’ engagement during all YA programs, projects, activities, and events be in a manner that reflects positively on the AFS community and the individual at all times. This set of rules applies to participants’ conduct during the official YA program events, special or social events, side activities, meals, transport, accommodations, and other arrangements set forth by AFS. For multi-day programs, these rules also apply beyond the official programs when no formal activities or meetings are scheduled, such as late evening and early morning hours.

I Participation, Decorum, and General Respect

1. YA programs connect and bring together people coming from all different parts of the world and a great variety of cultures and backgrounds. Therefore, it is important that all participants exhibit good manners by being respectful to other people’s cultures, traditions, and religious beliefs, including fellow participants, speakers, and AFS staff, volunteers, and team members.

2. At all times, participants are expected to show respect and courtesy toward others. In cases where AFS provides accommodations, sometimes accommodations are shared, and as such respect for individual differences must be practiced. You may represent your country, your community, or your organization, while being polite, accommodating and receptive to others. Impolite behavior, unsafe actions, negative attitudes, etc. detract from the program experience. Acceptance of others is necessary, especially in regards to respecting their opinions and personalities.

3. Over the course of its programs, activities, and events, AFS provides participants the opportunity of access to renowned and high-level speakers and global organizations. The speakers and organizations represent diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, under the auspices of academic freedom . However, the speakers do not represent the viewpoints of AFS, nor is AFS responsible for their perspectives and speeches. Participants must use respect and open-mindedness when interacting with speakers and organizations at all times, in accordance with AFS values of respect for diversity and this Code of Conduct. Disrespect, offense, or hostility towards speakers or other participants in any way will not be tolerated by the AFS staff, team members, and community.  

4. Where mandatory and provided, identification badges are to be worn by each participant as required. This will ensure that AFS staff and security are better able to identify and assist participants.  

5. Dress code is business casual. Please show professionalism in your apparel at all times. On occasion, participants are invited and encouraged to wear traditional or modern clothing from their cultures or nationalities during certain events.

6. During programs and special events, please stay within the designated premises only. You may not enter closed rooms or unauthorized areas. AFS staff reserve the right to confiscate any participant’s name badge and refuse re-admittance to the YA program from any participant who is reported for disruptive or inappropriate behavior.

7. During speaker events, as a courtesy to the speakers and your fellow participants, please always be on time and plan to arrive at the event location 10-15 minutes before the session starts.

8. AFS shall have authority over the supervision of its events and participants, including any necessary modifications that may arise during any aspect of its programs, projects, activities or events. Regarding The Youth Assembly, this is also delineated in the applicable Terms and Conditions. 

9. Generally, Participants may take photos and videos with cell phones and share their experience at YA events online but may not be permitted to do so if notified during certain activities, such as UN Mission Visits. Delegates may not use professional media companies or professional equipment during The Youth Assembly. Any social media interaction during and beyond any YA event must not be offensive to other participants.

Program Packages  – Specific Rules  

1. Participants of YA Program Packages (as defined and detailed in the YA Terms and Conditions), are expected to attend the official conference program, special events, or other arrangements as indicated in their itineraries. They are expected to be prompt and prepared for all sessions and events. If a participant chooses to deviate from his or her official itinerary or make their own arrangements, then any resulting costs are borne by the participant.

2. Package programming, events, activities, meals, transport, accommodation and other arrangements are exclusive for registered Package participants only. Given the significant investment made into participating in special packages, other non-Package guests may not attend events and arrangements reserved for Package  participants, unless otherwise authorized by AFS staff. Package participants may not invite/solicit others into arrangements reserved for registered Package participants.

3. Any additional services and/or personal expenses outside of what is specifically provided by notification of AFS in any arranged accommodations will be charged to the participant and borne by the participant.  

4. Participants of applicable Packages are encouraged to follow their AFS guide throughout the course of their itinerary, if they are assigned a guide. Participants should adhere to and abide by the directions and decisions of their AFS guides and other AFS staff, awarding them common courtesy and respect due by virtue of his/her position as an official representative of FA.

II Safety and Behavior

1. Outside of program sessions or events, such as during free time, we recommend that participants explore in a group size of at least three people for safety.

2. Participants are responsible for the safety of their own possessions at all times.

3. Safety is a paramount issue. Any unsafe activity (both physical and psychological) will not be tolerated. Physical or psychological confrontational behavior or harassment, including intimidation or hostility, aimed at another person, that causes or may cause harm will not be tolerated and may result in the immediate dismissal of the aggressor at his or her own expense.

4. Participants are to report any accidents, injuries or illnesses to AFS staff (and if available, their group leader, or guide).

5. Possession, use, or other forms of engagement with illegal drugs under U.S. law is not tolerated. Use or even involvement of use for non-medicinal purposes will result in immediate dismissal from the program.

6. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in any conference venue, meals, accommodation, or transport unless specifically designated in a special event. Inappropriate behavior as a result of alcohol will be dealt with strictly.

  • Possession, use, or other forms of engagement with alcohol by those who are under age 21 is illegal as per US state laws. Use or even suspicion of use of alcohol by participants under 21during their engagement with the YA program, project, activity or event will result in immediate dismissal from said YA program. Distribution of alcohol to fellow participants under 21 is prohibited.  
  • Excessive drinking and related disruptive behavior by those of, or over the age 21 will not be tolerated, and is grounds for immediate dismissal from the YA program at own expense.
  • Underage drinking, excessive drinking, and detrimental behavior as a result of any form of alcohol consumption may result in involvement by local law enforcement.

7. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other tobacco products are not permitted in any of the locations of the YA programs, projects, activities, or events and any related arrangements, including lodging rooms and venues.

8. Sexual harassment is a serious crime and will be reported to appropriate authorities. Any incident or allegation will result at a minimum in the suspension of your participation and may result in your dismissal from the program. In these cases all further expenses will be your responsibility and there will be no refund of any conference fees.

9. Participants responsible for theft and/or vandalism during the course of the event will be held financially liable and subject to disciplinary action.

10. The use and/or possession of prohibited items is not permitted and would result in disciplinary actions. Prohibited items include handguns or any other form of weapon.

11. In the event of inappropriate behavior or non-compliance with this Code of Conduct, AFS will take careful steps to address the issue, and terminate YA program participation where necessary. Disciplinary action against any participant found to violate any of the above rules includes, but is not limited to:

  • counseling by staff and/or group leader
  • rescinding of program activities
  • contacting parents/guardians if a minor
  • dismissal from the program at participant’s own expense
  • involvement of local law enforcement if necessary

12. If a participant is dismissed from the YA program due to breach of this Code of Conduct or otherwise deemed inappropriate behavior at the discretion of AFS staff, then he or she will pay all related expenses, and will not be refunded any AFS program fees previously paid or costs incurred.  

Note: we also expect that participants will not passively condone inappropriate behavior of other fellow participants. If witnessing any inappropriate behavior or an incident violating the Code of Conduct, the participant is expected to promptly report such behavior or incident to AFS staff or volunteers.

Last Updated: February 2022