Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input

Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com> Wed, 18 May 2016 23:33 UTC

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From: Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2016 19:32:44 -0400
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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
To: IAOC <iaoc@ietf.org>
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First,  I'd like to thank the IAOC for going to the community for
commentary on this issue.  I believe that the IAOC is working toward being
more transparent with the community, and I think this is an important step.

Secondly, I'd like to note publicly that I have asked the IAOC a clarifying
question.  In reading their message, I noted that they said "Singapore can
function as a meeting location for IETF100".  It was not clear to me,
however, what the scope of that assessment was.  I have asked the IAOC to
clarify if that assessment was of only the working meetings or if it
included assessing the usual accommodations for families and partners  (or
even included an assessment of whether it was suitable for a gala occasion,
given the 100th).

Personally, I did and do support the conclusion that it is suitable for a
working meeting.  The issues in Singapore might occur with public displays
of affection between members of same sex couples, family rights issues with
an accompanying spouse or children, or with interactions with police.  None
are common working group experiences.  A single individual, traveling
alone, is simply unlikely to be affected.

I  cannot support, however,  a conclusion that it meets the other roles.
Traveling with my son to territories where my marriage and parentage might
not be recognized involves at minimum both a lot of paperwork (bringing
birth certificates, judge's orders, letters allowing me to make medical
decisions) and some risk.  I simply would not, personally, do that to allow
him to attend an IETF, and I believe the same to be true for other families
like ours.

I am not yet sure whether I am agreeing with the IAOC, disagreeing with the
IAOC, or we simply are not yet agreed on what the problem is.  I understand
that they will discuss the matter in their upcoming meeting next Wednesday,
and I look forward to a response sometime after then.

Lastly, I want to point to a comment I made to the venue selection list:
https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/venue-selection/YJXG4WtJKyjUrrRT78hOR4Mzn-c.
The most salient piece is this:

The institution of the companion program has increased the visibility of
> families joining IETF participants, and it is clear that some participants
> see venues that are friendly to family travel as a benefit.  But it's not
> currently clear where that accommodation falls in site selection or where
> it should.   To clarify that, I suspect that the IAOC will ultimately need
> to lead a community discussion on the extent to which the accommodation of
> accompanying family members should be considered in site selection.
>
> How to factor specific issues in this category into our meeting planning is
> part of what came up for Singapore, but the question does not really end
> there.  It touches not just on pretty much every aspect of diversity, but
> on basic issues of travel freedom.  While many of us and our families have
> a relatively unfettered access to tourist travel, for some of our
> colleagues the ability to get a business travel visa to a specific
> destination in no way guarantees that their family could get  tourist visas
> to accompany them to a specific site.
>
> As I said in that message, I believe we need a community discussion of
that larger issue, and I look forward to contributing to it when it occurs.

regards,

Ted Hardie



On Tue, May 17, 2016 at 2:14 PM, IAOC Chair <iaoc-chair@ietf.org> wrote:

> On April 7, 2016, the IAOC announced that IETF 100 scheduled for  November
> 2017 will be held in Singapore. This venue, as any other, was announced as
> soon as it was under contract and thus secured. Following this
> announcement, concerns were raised about anti-LGBT laws in Singapore that
> the IAOC was not aware of. We apologise for missing this.
>
> The IAOC took the action to review the current committed plan for IETF
> 100, and also to review our meeting planning procedures to ensure that we
> have input at appropriate points to ensure issues are identified and
> addressed before contracts are signed and announcements made. The process
> updates are in progress, and an outline of the current update is copied
> below.  Our focus here is on bringing IETF 100 to closure.
>
> Having reviewed the Singapore proposal in the light of the plenary input,
> we have a proposal for moving forward and would like community input — see
> below.
>
>
> Review
>
> The IAOC meetings committee reviewed the options for IETF 100, including
> investigating costs and possibilities of moving the meeting to a different
> location.  In keeping with the updated process outlined below, they checked
> with official advisory sources and consulted with specialty travel
> services, frequent travelers, and local representatives about the concerns
> that have been raised.  The input received from those sources is consistent
> with the text on http://travel.state.gov [1].
>
> >From that research, at a strictly practical level, the IAOC believes that
> it is possible to have a successful meeting in Singapore.  The IAOC
> proposes that holding the meeting in Singapore is the best option for IETF
> 100 at this time.
>
> Next Step:
>
> The IAOC would like to hear from the community by June 1st, 2016 on
> barriers to holding a successful meeting in Singapore. Responses should be
> directed to venue-selection@ietf.org
>
>
> Again, we apologize for the failures in the venue selection process that
> took place here and we are moving to enhance that process, to avoid this
> type of error in the future.
>
> Leslie Daigle, for the IAOC.
>
> [1] Relevant text from  http://travel.state.gov :
>
> "While the Singapore government has stated that it will not enforce
>  this section of the penal code, the law remains on the statute books.
>  Singapore does not recognize same-sex unions. LGBT individuals may
>  have difficulty gaining employment in certain sectors of the civil
> service."
>
>
> [2] Appendix:  Updated Process
> N.B.: These are draft procedures being further refined as we speak.  For
> more information and input on the overall meeting venue selection process
> document, please join the mtgvenue@ietf.org mailing list.
>
> IETF meeting venues are selected through a process which involves
> several steps and numerous specific criteria. The IAOC and its Meeting
> Committee are in the process of better documenting these steps in the
> Internet-Draft draft-baker-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process.
> Based on the experience the following changes have been introduced to
> the draft:
>
> Section 3.3.1:
>
> o Review available travel information (such as
> https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html) for issues
> that would be counter to our principles on inclusiveness etc.
> [Mandatory]
>
> And these steps have been added to the process covered in Section 3.5
> of the draft:
>
> D. The Meetings Committee consults Official Advisory Sources, consults
> with speciality travel services, frequent travelers and local
> contacts, to determine if there are barriers to holding a successful
> meeting in the target cities.
>
> E. The IAOC asks the community whether there are any barriers to
> holding a successful meeting in the target cities.
>
> As covered in the draft, these steps will occur very early in the
> venue selection process – at least 3 years prior. For the current set
> of meetings being planned, the timing of the steps will be driven by
> contract schedule and will occur before future contract signing.
>
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