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When being discriminated, harassed, sexually harassed or victimized

KTH's core values are based on democracy, the equal value of human beings, human rights and freedom and free and open discussion. Gender equality and the dissociation from all forms of discrimination are both an issue of quality and a natural part of KTH's core values. Equality and diversity among employees and students also represent important resources for KTH, from Ethical policy for KTH V-2016-0347.

As an employee, where do I go for help and support?

If you need support when you feel that you have been discriminated against, harassed, sexually harassed or been exposed to victimization, turn to your immediate manager or to a contact person listed on the right side of this page.

The first step is a talk with the person you turn to for support, to find out what happened. Together, discuss how to proceed. As regards to a complaint to KTH, there are no special formalities. A complaint may be in spoken or written form.

You can also turn to the occupational health care, your union or to one of the school's safety representatives (skyddsombud) for support.

Guidance for those exposed

You may have been exposed if you feel that you have experienced an unwelcome act or behavioral pattern that is uncomfortable, unfair or difficult to understand. 

If possible, try to communicate clearly that the behavior is unwelcome from your side.

In cases of perceived discrimination, as an employee you can make a report to the Discrimination Ombuds Office (DO) at

DO receives reports and complaints about:

  • discrimination
  • risks of discrimination
  • shortcomings in the work of employers and providers of education to prevent discrimination (active measures).

Punishment is forbidden

If you have reported your employer, employment office, union or similar for discrimination, you must not be punished, i.e. subjected to reprisals. Examples of punishment or reprisals include being ordered to work excessive overtime, being given a heavier workload or unskilled duties, or being refused help by an employment office. Nor may an employer subject you to reprisals if for instance you point out that she or he has not taken preventive action against discrimination.


Discrimination is a violation of the principle of equal treatment. Discrimination means that someone (such as an employer or education provider) treats someone else (such as a student or employee), for unjustified reasons, worse than others and this treatment is related to discrimination on grounds of gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Direct discrimination

Direct discrimination is defined as an individual being disadvantaged by being treated less favourably than another person is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation and that this is linked to one or more grounds for discrimination i.e. gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Indirect discrimination

Indirect discrimination is defined as an individual being disadvantaged by the application of a provision, criterion or practice which appears neutral but that may be a particular disadvantage to individuals of a particular gender, certain transgender identity or expression, certain ethnic origin, certain religion or belief, certain disability, sexual orientation or age.

Harassment and sexual harassment

Harassment is conduct that violates a person's dignity and that is associated with one or more of the grounds for discrimination: gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Sexual harassment is conduct of a sexual nature that violates someone's dignity. This may involve physical contact, groping, jokes, suggestions, looks or images that are sexually explicit and often perceived as derogatory.


The concept of victimization is used in health and safety legislation and is described as recurrent, unwelcome behaviour, behaviour or negative actions directed against individual employees/students in an offensive manner that may lead to those exposed becoming excluded from the workplace/school community. Other terms often used to describe similar behaviour include bullying, mental abuse and social exclusion. These attitudes demonstrate serious disrespect and violate our joint honourable and moral concepts of how people should be treated.