[Venue-selection] Paris (and general)

Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com> Mon, 18 April 2016 18:24 UTC

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From: Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:24:10 -0700
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Subject: [Venue-selection] Paris (and general)
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Thank you for updating the meeting planning procedures to permit the
community to provide early feedback.

I note that France has implemented a "*Loi interdisant la dissimulation du
visage dans l'espace public", *which imposes a 150 Euro fine on those who
wear face coverings in public.  This includes those who wear the niqāb as
part of their religious practice.  The law, after a challenge, has been
upheld by the European Court of Human rights, though many see it as part of
an anti-religious (or specifically anti-Muslim) aspect of French society.

I do not know of any IETF participant who wears the niqāb or a similar face
covering, and I strongly suspect that for the IETF's usual participants,
the relevant law is not directly an issue.  I mention it, despite that, to
point out that I have much less insight into whether or not this has an
impact on the families of current or potential IETF participants.  There
may be no one; there may be a dozen--I just don't know.

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.  What that means for a site's
suitability is not clear, at least to me.

Thank you for your work on this difficult problem and, once again, for the
opportunity to provide early feedback.  That transparency offers us new
opportunities to move the discussion forward before the impact must be
measured for specific individuals or meetings.

regards,

Ted Hardie