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Safety Guidelines for ICLR 2020:

  • Walk in groups, especially at night.  Keep valuables, including phones, purses and backpacks secured on your person and in zipped or buttoned pockets.  Taxis or shuttles are highly recommended at night. 
  • Do not bring your passport to the convention center. Keep a photo of it on your phone or copy of your passport in your wallet. Lock it in your hotel safe.
  • Carry your hotel business card where you are staying and a list of important telephone numbers.
  • Do not carry or show large amounts of cash.  Keep most of your cash in your hotel room safe.
  • Do not stop on the road to ask directions. Go where known help is available (i.e., hotels, restaurants).
  • Remove your name badge once you leave your meeting.
  • Treat your hotel room like your home. Lock your doors.
  • Always verify surprise repair calls at your hotel with the front desk or hotel security (i.e., plumbing or electrical repairs).

Resources ICLR is providing to support attendees include:

  • a government-issued letter guaranteeing the safety of all ICLR attendees                                                                                       
  • a hotline for attendees feeling unsafe for any reason set up by the Technology and Innovation Minister       
  • heightened security around the conference venue, including strict checks on vehicles and access

While in Ethiopia:

  • Carry a copy of your passport with you at all times during your stay in Ethiopia. You may be asked to produce it.                           
  • We recommend memorizing and/or writing down contact information (phone number and address) of your embassy. You may contact them if you face legal challenges, issues with authorities, or threats to your safety.                                                                 
  • The government will write a general letter assuring safety and security of all conference attendees. We advise carrying a copy of it on your person.                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Be careful when disclosing personal details to strangers, even in seemingly innocuous conversations.                                             
  • Always carry your valuables with you, or lock them in lockable safes that are provided at your hotels.

What to do if you feel unsafe, or if something happens:   

  • Local ICLR organizers’ phone numbers will be available to call when any participant needs help. The information will be available in the ICLR website closer to the conference.                                                                                                                                 
  • As part of its commitment to guaranteeing safety for all attendees, the Ethiopian Technology and Innovation Minister would also set up a general hotline for all ICLR participants safety. This information should go out to all attendees prior to the conference.
  • The embassies of many countries in Addis Ababa also accept calls during regular working hours from their citizens if something happens to them.

If approached by police, detained, or arrested: 

  • Every foreigner has the right to contact their embassy for help                                                                                                             
  • Every foreigner that is also detained of any suspected crime is entitled to ask for legal representation via their embassy.   
  • Persons detained or suspected of committing a crime have a constitutional right to legal representation in Ethiopia. However, obtaining government-appointed legal representation may be difficult in practice.                                                                         
  • You may present the aforementioned government-issued letter guaranteeing the safety of all ICLR attendees.