Welcome to IC Ethics!

Museums in Ukraine Facing War.
Civil Unrest, and conflict

Amsterdam 1-3 November 2023

The ICOM organizations ICMEMOHRI (International Committee for Memorial and Human Rights Museums) and IC-Ethics, in cooperation with NIOD Institute for War Holocaust and Genocide Studies, are organizing the expert meeting ‘Museums Facing War. The War in Ukraine’ from 1 – 3 November. Seven representatives of Ukrainian museums will discuss with international museum heritage and memory culture experts. Besides the representatives from Ukraine, we have received commitments from participants from countries such as Spain, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Italy Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Rwanda, Australia, the US.A and The Netherlands.

The war in Ukraine poses museum professionals for huge challenges and dilemmas. They have to function in threatening conditions in a war where cultural heritage is under deliberately attack. What are the implications of this situation for their work, their personal lives and for the protection of their collections? How do they plan for the post-war period – both in terms of narrative and of collecting tangible and intangible heritage during the war? The expert meeting aims to work towards an outcome of initiating plans for the future and promoting a sustainable international cooperation.

In this expert meeting, ICMEMOHRI and IC Ethics offer Ukrainian museum professionals the possibility to exchange experiences, ideas, dilemmas and good practices with colleagues from countries that also faced armed conflict: Rwanda, Lebanon, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Netherlands and the United States. Based on the needs of the Ukrainian participants, this expert meeting will offer a platform for discussing a broad range of questions like: How will historical and military events and the role of the aggressor be represented? How can museums be future places of remembrance and reconciliation? How do they work with and support contemporary artists? How can trauma be processed through culture and, in particular, through museum presentation? How to address ethical dilemmas such as cultural forensics and collecting? The expert meeting aims to work towards an outcome of initiating plans for the future and promoting a sustainable international cooperation.

The program is available here.

Upcoming event: Museums, Museology, Heritage: Ethical Challenges

Date: August 11-16, 2023
Location: Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences, Rio de Janeiro – RJ

The Graduate Program in Museology and Heritage (PPG-PMUS, UNIRIO) / MAST, IC-Ethics and ICOFOM-LAC are pleased to announce the following conference, held in Rio de Janeiro that will discuss a major theme on Museums, Museology, Heritage: Ethical Challenges, with IC-Ethics Board Chair Lina Tahan. You can register for the conference and find full details here: https://www.sympla.com.br/evento/encontro-do-ppg-pmus-unirio-mast-museologia-patrimonio-desafios-eticos-ethical-challenges/2051696

Annual Conference: The State of Museum Ethics Today

Date: July 27, 2023
Time: 11:00am-12:30pm (ET – New York), 5:00pm-6:30pm (CET – Paris)
Online Conference: Register Here

In 2023, the International Council of Museums (ICOM), Museums Association (UK) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) are all reworking their Codes of Ethics in response to “changing conditions, values and ideas.”1 This rare moment of synchronous rethinking about the codified ethics of the profession offers a valuable opportunity to consider how codes of ethics, and the different approaches that professional organizations take in creating them, shape the field’s ability to respond to ethical dilemmas. In this online conference, representatives from ICOM’s Standing Committee on Ethics, the Museums Association, AAM, and Brazil’s museum sector, along with museum ethicist Janet Marstine, will discuss the current state of museum ethics, and consider the ways that the professions’ codes of ethics are created, implemented and used. It will unpack the relationships between the different codes and the emergent, complex ethical dilemmas that museum professionals face in the course of their work, and ask how the sector’s ethics practices might need to evolve to meet the needs of the future.

Speakers: Sally Yerkovich (ICOM Standing Committee on Ethics), Julie Hart (American Alliance of Museums), India Divers (Museums Association – UK), Tereza Scheiner (Federal University of Estado do Rio de Janeiro), Janet Marstine (Museum Ethicist). Moderated by Suse Anderson (IC-Ethics).

1 “AAM Code of Ethics for Museums.”


Are you a museum professional interested in or dealing with an ethical dilemma? Would you like to discuss this with your colleagues? We invite you to be a speaker or speakers of our virtual open platform dicussions!
You can find all information about the IC Ethics Meeting Room and what to consider as a speaker moderating in these documents:

(French and Spanish versions are coming soon!)

More information about the IC Ethics Meeting Room series, following and previous events as well as the recordings of the introductions >> on this page.

Call for nominations – IC Ethics 2022

Stand for election to the IC Ethics Board (202325)

International Committee on Ethical Dilemmas

The ICOM International Committee on Ethical Dilemmas (IC Ethics) is an open forum on practical challenges regarding ethical dilemmas in the museum profession. IC Ethics is a space where museum professionals can reflect, share and discuss ethical dilemmas, helping them to make more informed choices. It is one of ICOM’s 32 International Committees. IC Ethics

  • offers a channel of communication between ICOM members facing similiar ethical dilemmas in their every day practice;
  • shares professional approaches to ethical dilemmas;
  • gathers, in cooperation with all other committees in ICOM, experiences on museum ethics to foster the dissemination of good practices;
  • provides input to ethical debates through different forms of knowledge dissemination; and
  • does not pass formal judgements about right or wrong.

IC Ethics Rules, including those for elections, can be found here:

Please note that IC Ethics and ETHCOM are not the same!

More information about what distinguishes IC Ethics from ETHCOM can be found here: https://www.ic-ethics.museum/about-us/

We welcome your candidacy!

The IC Ethics Board has today 8 members that serve voluntarily to represent the interests of IC Ethics, the International Committee on Ethical Dilemmas. The committee is the youngest om ICOMs 32 international committees. It exists since September 2019 and has already over 110 members from 19 countries. Board meetings are held once a month, and the activities include regular Meeting Room Events, conferences and other events, focusing on current ethical challenges as experienced by ICOM members. Please note that active contributions to the committees work and mission are required!

The first term of the committee is now ending, and all members are hereby invited to send us a nomination for a board position. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please send the following information to

icom@ic-ethics.museum by the 30th of September 2022:

  • a motivation statement on how you can contribute to IC Ethics ́ mission, and your motivation to get involved in the IC Ethics Board (maximum 250 words)
  • a short bio/resume (maximum 250 words) and a portrait photo

Your candidacy will be announced to all members in the beginning of October 2022. You will also have the possibility to present yourself at IC Ethics Annual Meeting 2022, 29th of November. The elections will be held at the same meeting.

Any questions can be sent to icom@ic-ethics.museum. You are also welcome to contact any board member for further questions about the day-to-day work of the committee.

Norway, 29th of July 2022

Kathrin Pabst
Chair IC-Ethics


25 August 2022, 09:00 – 17:00
Preliminary program:

Call for short text- or video messages

The Power of Museums
demands reflections on pressing ethical challenges

After two years of travel restrictions due to the pandemic, we are looking forward to meeting museum colleagues from all over the world again. We have decided to dedicate our Off-Site meeting at Museum Kampa, Werich Villa, on 25 August 2022 to connect and reflect in- depth together.

The discussions will take their starting point in the topics and challenges our members and other colleagues experience in their everyday life or find most relevant for today’s museums.

We hereby invite you to send us a short email or video message with the challenge you would like to discuss at Werich Villa. Even if you can not be present, we encourage you to send your experiences and challenges to contribute to the reflection of the group.

Read more here:

We, museum professionals, want to express our full solidarity with our Ukrainian colleagues. The International Council of Museums – ICOM International – called, on Thursday 24 February, in a clear statement, for respect for the 1954 Hague Convention and its first protocol to protect cultural heritage in this armed conflict. All actions contrary to the maintenance of good relations and peace, maximally, the armed invasion of a country, must be resolutely condemned and the museums, which are the guardians of our common cultural heritage, also preserving the testimonies of the dark periods in our history, must be the first to proclaim the hope that they will not be repeated.

Nous, professionnels de musées, voulons exprimer notre entière solidarité à l’égard de nos collègues ukrainiens. Le Conseil international des musées – ICOM International – a appelé, le jeudi 24 février, dans une déclaration
claire, au respect de la Convention de La Haye de 1954 et de son premier protocole pour protéger le patrimoine culturel dans ce conflit armé.
Toutes actions contraires au maintien de bonnes relations et de la paix, et plus encore, l’invasion armée d’un pays, doivent être résolument condamnées et les musées, qui sont les gardiens de notre patrimoine culturel commun, en préservant également les témoignages des périodes sombres de notre histoire, doivent être les premiers à proclamer l’espoir que celles-ci ne se répèteront pas.

Nosotros, profesionales de los museos, queremos expresar nuestra plena solidaridad con nuestros colegas ucranianos. El Consejo Internacional de Museos – ICOM International – llamó, el jueves 24 de febrero, en un claro
comunicado, al respeto del Convenio de La Haya de 1954 y su primer protocolo para proteger el patrimonio cultural en este conflicto armado. Toda acción contraria al mantenimiento de las buenas relaciones y la paz, como la invasión armada de un país, debe ser resueltamente condenada y los museos, que son los guardianes de nuestro patrimonio cultural común, conservando también los testimonios de los períodos oscuros de nuestra historia, deben ser los primeros en proclamar la esperanza de que no se repitan.

We / Nous / Nosotros,
ICOM Bosnia | ICOM Croatia | ICOM Georgia | ICOM Greece | ICOM Italy | ICOM Israel | ICOM France | ICOM Luxemburg | ICOM Portugal | ICOM Romania | ICOM Spain | ICOM UK | ICOM Ethics | ICOM EUROPE | ICOM NORD | ICOM SEE

A lot of ICOM Members are not aware of the extent of advantages and opportunities our network has to offer. Beyond the well-known ICOM Card, our membership allows you to enter exclusive grants programmes, world-class capacity building trainings, and much more!

READ MORE HERE: https://icom.museum/en/news/5-good-reasons-to-join-icom/

current challenges for the management and leadership of ICOM International

IC Ethics, among many other International and National Committees of ICOM, Regional Alliances, Standing Committees and Working Groups is fully supportive of ICOMs recent work advancing transparency, inclusion, diversity, democracy and sustainability, and we encourage all ICOM members and the leadership to continue and strengthen the work.

Following worrying developments, IC Ethics issued an open letter to the President, Executive Board and General Director of ICOM in June 2020:

Information on current developments, the correspondence between the committees and the leadership, as well as a large number of documents are now gradually available to all members of ICOM in the members area https://icom-museum.force.com/.

About IC Ethics

As dedicated museum professionals and ICOM members, we see the need for a broad and open debate about ethical dilemmas. With the new importance of museums as societal actors, ethical dilemmas are among the most relevant working fields. We believe that IC Ethics will be an essential and important addition to the International Committees of ICOM.

As an International Committee, it will be an open forum on ethical dilemmas for all museum professionals, a forum for reflection, discussion and sharing, thereby helping museum professionals to make more informed choices.

IC Ethics has been officially founded in Kyoto/Japan on Tuesday, 4th of September 2019, after being approved by the ICOMs Executive Board in July 2019. The initiators have received 171 Letters of Support from 38 different countries and four continents. In addition, five National Committees have supported the initiative with written statements.

Find out more about:

>>> Our mission (English, Français, Español) and rules (English)

>>> Chair, Board Members and Observer 2019-2022

>>> Our activities

>>> How to become a member

>>> How to connect