Code of Ethics for documenters

This Code of Ethical Conduct for Field Researchers is designed to document the general principles used by Truth Hounds field researchers to maintain trust between field researchers and their clients, ensure high, unbiased standards, reliable information, and avoid bias.


The Code includes the following principles:

  • Humanity
  • Confidentiality
  • Informed consent
  • Independence
  • Professional competence
  • Safety
  • Responsibility


1. The highest value in the work of documentary filmmakers is respect for human integrity, human life and health. In ambiguous situations, the “Do Not Disturb” rule applies. The work of Polish investigators is closely related to the results of brutality, trauma and grief; the professional protection mechanism in this case should not be cynicism or idleness. Truth Hounds has a responsibility to minimize potential harm and prevent witness retraumatization and traumatization of colleagues during the work of a Polish investigator.


2. Confidentiality and client safety is a priority. The content of the conversation held between the field investigators and the client is confidential. The presence of a third person during the interview is allowed only at the request of the client.


Children 14-16 years of age are interviewed by investigators, subject to parental or legal guardian permission. Children under 14 years of age are not described in general terms.


Any open material is arranged in a manner that prevents identification of witnesses and victims, unless confidentiality is the stated desire of the client.


3.Information is recorded by investigators from the client’s word, after which the text is made available to the client for review and necessary corrections or additions and is kept intact. Information obtained from the witness or the victim during the examination is not subject to disclosure or transfer to third parties without the informed written consent (power of attorney) of the client. The information in the text after signing the power of attorney is withdrawn or supplemented solely at the request of the client. Information provided by the client may be shared with representatives of a partner organization only if a nondisclosure agreement is signed between the client and Truth Hounds.


4. No personal opinions, likes or dislikes can influence the collection of facts. Truth Hounds Polish researchers treat their clients equally and impartially, regardless of their background, social status, political or other views; they do not discriminate on the basis of status or gender, race, nationality, age, sexual orientation or any other beliefs. Nisporks are tolerant of all witnesses, combatants, law enforcement officials and others with whom they come into contact during an investigation, regardless of worldview differences, and do not engage in confrontations of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature. At the same time, the researchers reserve the right to disseminate information about the requirements and provisions of IHL and national law.


5. The documentalists clearly define and understand the limits of their own competence and professional qualifications. They also base their work on the definition and legal framework of IHL and MPPL. The deepening of professional knowledge and skills is a compulsory part of Polish work, and is encouraged and supported by CS Truth Hounds.


Polish researchers refrain from public evaluations and comments on the methods and professional competencies and qualities of their colleagues in the presence of third parties.


Documentators do not offer witnesses a financial reward for the information provided. 6.


6. The safety and confidentiality of documentators is an unquestionable priority for Truth Hounds. Every Polish researcher has the unqualified right to put personal safety above the performance of a work assignment. Truth Hounds CSO devotes sufficient time and attention to safety planning to ensure that field researchers do not harm themselves, their colleagues, or third parties through their actions or inactions.


7. Field Investigators understand that Truth Hounds’ reputation and the safety of their colleagues and third parties depend on their individual actions and opinions, and accept responsibility for complying with this Code.


They are professionally and personally responsible to their colleagues, peers and the public for their professional activities and for their own statements made to the media or public appearances from a researcher’s position or on behalf of Truth Hounds.


Only verified and reliable information is used in public speeches or statements in a manner that does not deceive the audience.