Code of Conduct

Magnum Statement on Conduct

Magnum is committed to fostering a respectful and dignified environment that adheres to the highest level of professional standards. We strive to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone who works with or for Magnum and Magnum photographers, creating an environment in which each person’s rights, dignity and individual worth are respected.

This policy supersedes any previous such policy prior to its issue date. It is a legally binding code that is framed in the form of questions to make it as easy as possible to navigate and understand. For more information on the recent revisions to the Code of Conduct, and to read Magnum’s related Public Complaints Policy and Procedure, please refer to the end of the page.

Code of Conduct

A. What is the Purpose of the Code?

Magnum Photos International, Inc., Magnum Global Ventures, Inc., and their affiliated companies (collectively, “Magnum”) expect Photographers and Employees (each defined below) to treat each other and others with respect and dignity and to actively promote an environment free of discrimination, harassment and other inappropriate conduct. Magnum does not condone improper, or abusive, conduct by any Magnum Photographer or Employee. Additionally, Magnum prohibits conduct unbecoming or detrimental to the organisation.

This Code of Conduct (the “Code”) has been created to guide and educate Photographers, Employees, and members of the public about Magnum’s expectations for what constitutes discrimination, harassment, and improper behaviour.

This Code is intended to be read alongside Magnum’s Public Complaints Policy and Procedure which sets forth the actions members of the public, including but not limited to photographic assistants, studio managers, collaborators, mentees, workshop students, and event attendees, as well as their relatives, friends and associates, can and are encouraged to take if they experience or witness inappropriate behaviour of any kind.

The Public Complaints Policy and Procedure also outlines Magnum’s procedure for investigating complaints, and the consequences of violating the Code which can include sanctions ranging from a written reminder to permanent expulsion from Magnum’s membership, or termination of Employment.

This Code is meant to go beyond the requirements of applicable local laws, and to prohibit inappropriate harassment, discrimination and any other inappropriate conduct. However, if applicable local law is stricter than the guidelines set forth in the Code, Magnum will follow the stricter standard.

The Code will be posted on Magnum’s website,

B. Who Must Abide by this Code?

All Photographers who are represented by Magnum must abide by the Code, whether they are Members, Associates, Nominees, Contributors, Correspondents, Representatives of Estates, or otherwise associated with Magnum (collectively, “Photographers”). Employees in any Magnum office (collectively “Employees”) also must abide by the Code.

Additionally, the Code of Conduct also applies to non-employees that provide services to Magnum pursuant to a contract. Accordingly, any references in this Code of Conduct to “Employees” should be interpreted, for the purposes of interpretation of this Code only, to include all workers, contractors and interns. Such references, however, should not be construed to confer employment rights to contractors or interns, nor should they be construed to imply that contractors and interns in any Magnum office are considered “Employees”.

All Photographers and Employees should regularly review this Code and familiarize themselves with its policies.

C. Where Can Violations of the Code Occur?

This Code governs behaviour that occurs at Magnum’s offices, events, workshops, on assignments organised by Magnum, and in any other setting or context that could reasonably be considered to relate to the activity of Magnum. Magnum recognises that Photographers also engage in activity external to Magnum. Magnum takes the view that Photographers and Employees represent the face of Magnum to the public and therefore expects their behaviour reflect the goals and ideals of Magnum at all times.

D. What Behaviour is Prohibited by the Code?

This Code prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment including sexual harassment and other verbal, physical or visual conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person (or such person’s relatives, friends, or associates) because of or based upon certain characteristics, including but not limited to sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, social and economic class, education level, colour, immigration status, sex, gender identity or expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, or mental and physical ability.

Magnum wishes to emphasise that it may not matter whether a perpetrator intended to create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the victim. Magnum will take account of the surrounding circumstances, including the victim’s own viewpoint, and whether it is reasonable for them to feel that the Code has been breached, irrespective of intentions.

Whether particular actions or a course of conduct constitutes the legal definition or discrimination or harassment will depend on the specific facts and circumstances. Regardless of whether any single instance of behaviour rises to the level of discrimination or harassment, it is Magnum’s policy that inappropriate and offensive behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and expression, or status of being transgender when:

• It creates a hostile environment because the harassing conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment; or

• It is Quid Pro Quo type of behaviour: the conduct or advances either explicitly or implicitly are a term or condition of the individual’s success or professional advancement.

The following is a list of non-exclusive examples of sexual harassment that are strictly prohibited under this Code:

• Physical acts of a sexual nature, such as:

-Touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, brushing against another person’s body or poking another person’s body; or

-Assault, rape, sexual battery, or molestation, or attempts to commit any of these.

• Unwanted sexual advances or propositions, such as:

-Words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation or physical violence which are of a sexual nature, or which are directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex or gender identity and expression;

-Sexually explicit derogatory statements or sexually discriminatory remarks which are offensive or objectionable to the recipient and/or which cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation;

-Requests for sexual favours accompanied by implied or overt promises or threats concerning the target’s career and advancement; or

-Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.

• Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks or jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience;

• Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and expression, or the status of being transgender, such as:

-Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s property;

-Sabotaging an individual’s work; or

-Bullying, yelling, or name-calling.

• Comments, questions, remarks or requests that indicate stereotyping by questioning the personality traits or presentation of another because they may not conform to societal ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex or gender identity and expression should act or look.

Magnum prohibits any form of sexual harassment including but not limited to the examples above which may be made verbally, physically, in writing, or in pictures, and in person, via SMS, virtually, or online including through video calls or social media.

What are Other Types of Harassment, Discrimination and Inappropriate Behaviour?

Harassment or discrimination may also include other forms of verbal, physical or visual conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual (or such individual’s relatives, friends, or associates) because of, or based upon, certain protected characteristics described in Section D above.

Examples of inappropriate behaviours which may constitute harassment or discrimination include:

• Epithets, slurs, quips, or negative stereotyping;

• Threatening, intimidating or hostile acts;

• Written or graphic material (including graffiti) that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group;

• “Pranks” or other forms of “humour” that are demeaning or hostile; or

• Failing to hire or promote, or choosing to terminate someone’s employment.

Magnum prohibits any form of discrimination and harassment including but not limited to the examples above which may be made verbally, physically, in writing, or in pictures, and in person, via SMS, virtually, or online including through video calls or social media.

E. Who Can Perpetrate Harassment, Discrimination, or Inappropriate Behaviour, and Towards Whom?

Harassment, discrimination, and inappropriate behaviour is often perpetrated by someone in a position of authority however this is not always the case. The perpetrator may be any person including but not limited to the victim’s mentor, workshop teacher, supervisor, co-worker, client or customer, and may be a man, woman, or non-binary gender.

It is not necessary for a victim to have the protected characteristic that is the subject of the harassment or discrimination, or for the act(s) of harassment or discrimination to be aimed directly at or addressed to the victim. An individual can also be a victim of harassment or discrimination if the perpetrator’s behaviour or conduct has had the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the victim.

If you feel uncomfortable about someone’s behaviour, and believe it might be harassing, discriminatory, or otherwise inappropriate, seek help by reporting the behaviour. Members of the public can refer to Magnum’s Public Complaints Policy and Procedures for guidance in relation to reporting a complaint. Employees and Photographers shall follow Magnum’s internal procedures.

F. Amendments and Updates

To the extent that this Code differs from anything in the Employee Handbook, the policies in this Code control and supersede the Employee Handbook. This Code shall be amended and updated at Magnum’s discretion. Magnum will inform Photographers and Employees of changes to the Code and distribute the Code as appropriate to other partners, suppliers, or personnel including contractors and interns. The Code will be published on Magnum’s website

Policy issue date January 2021

Date of next update January 2022

The Code of Conduct is next due for a general review on the above date. It may however be reviewed and updated earlier, in the event of a change in requirements, including changes to relevant legislation.

Notes on 2021 revisions:

Magnum’s 2018 Code of Conduct has been replaced by two related policies: the 2021 Code of Conduct and a new Public Complaints Policy and Procedure.

The principles behind the 2021 Code of Conduct are the same as in 2018 – the values, standards, and ethics have not changed. Magnum is wholly committed to fostering a dignified, inclusive, and welcoming environment that respects each person’s rights and individual worth.

So, why make revisions?

The 2018 Code was an internal document that had a confidentiality clause preventing its publication. This has been removed which allows us to make the policy openly available.

We have taken other steps as well. As an internal document, the 2018 Code described how photographers and employees can make complaints and did not address members of the public. Magnum’s new Public Complaints Policy provides this guidance in one place, describing how people can report issues and our procedures for taking matters forward.

Magnum is committed open dialogue and we welcome any suggestions for further strengthening and improving our policies. Suggestions can be addressed to

Other related policies: Public Complaints Policy and Procedure, Code of Ethics

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