CONFIDENTIAL COUNSELLORS MAITREYA INSTITUTE
Maitreya Institute has the legal duty to ensure a safe workplace for its own employees, temporary and hired workers, secondary (under contract for specific work) workers and volunteers, as well as everyone else who visits our centre. We take this task very seriously, for example by having a written ethical code of conduct and a formal policy of protection against abuse.
CORE TASKS CONFIDENTIAL ADVISOR
The core tasks of our confidential advisers are:
- receiving, guiding and advising complainants and informants (for an explanation of the difference: see below)
- educating, informing and inspiring Maitreya Institute
- incorporating solicited and unsolicited advice from the board and management
A confidential adviser must be able to speak to complainants and informants in confidence. In addition, it is of great importance that there is an internal right/policy of non-disclosure within our organization. This means that the confidential adviser cannot be forced to indicate or reveal who has reported what. The confidential adviser has a duty of strict confidentiality. However, the confidential adviser does not legally have an external right of non-disclosure, such as doctors and lawyers. At the request of a judge, the confidential adviser must testify. This will usually involve serious crimes. Breaking confidentiality is subject to very strict rules in the Netherlands. A confidential adviser who does not comply with this may be taken to court or a complaints committee.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMPLAINANT/ACCUSER AND INFORMANT/INFORMER
A COMPLAINANT or accuser is someone who is themselves a victim of an undesirable form of interaction that harms or has harmed themselves personally. This concerns complaints regarding (sexual) harassment, aggression and violence, bullying and / or (direct or indirect) discrimination. An informant or informer is someone who makes a report about the behaviour of another person that harms others, the organisation and/or society. This concerns a (suspicion on reasonable grounds of a) irregularity, abuse, violation of EU law or other violation of integrity. The INFORMANT is a witness, not a victim. The formal parts of the processes to be followed regarding a complainant and an informant are different. The most well-known term for an informant is that of the 'whistleblower', defined as: someone involved in the disclosure of suspicions of illegal or immoral practices that take place under the responsibility of managers and in which a major social interest is involved.
POSITION OF THE CONFIDENTIAL ADVISOR
The confidential advisor is always biased and advocates for the complainant / informer. The confidential advisor does not engage in truth-finding! After all, it is about how the complainant/informer (has) experienced the issue at hand. The confidential advisor gives an overview of the possibilities on the basis of the case. In principle, however, the confidential advisor does not take any action themselves. The complainant / informer decides for themselves whether or not to proceed, and if deciding on proceeding, how they want to continue.
WHO ARE OUR CONFIDENTIAL COUNSELLORS?
The Maitreya Institute has two independent and professionally trained counsellors.
Katelijne Hooijmaaijers (she/her) is a very experienced GZ psychologist / psychotherapist. She has been actively involved at Maitreya Institute since 1998 and studies Buddhism with various teachers of the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition. She can be reached by telephone at: 0618981762.
Eric Leenderts (he/him) is a certified confidential advisor and a member of the National Association of Confidential Counsellors. He has been actively involved at Maitreya Institute since 1997. He currently serves as its chairman, and studies with various teachers from different Buddhist traditions. He can be reached by telephone at: 065324888.
In case you have had to deal with (or suspect) sexually transgressive behavior, abuse, bullying, discrimination, harassment or other forms of (power) abuse, you can report the circumstances and speak about it confidentially. Our email address is email@example.com. The Buddhist Union of the Netherlands has also appointed an external confidential advisor; for more details, see this page.