Peace and understanding
through travel and hosting

Terms of Use

Servas International Terms of Use

Effective date: 1 July 2016 

Servas International is an international, non-profit, non-governmental federation of national Servas groups, encompassing an international network of hosts and travellers. The purpose of the network is to help build world peace, goodwill and understanding by providing opportunities for personal contacts among people of different cultures, backgrounds and nationalities.

Servas International is a non-profit federation incorporated under Articles 60 to 79 of the Civil Code of Switzerland, and in conformity with Swiss law, with legal seat currently at Zurich, Switzerland.

These Terms of Use govern the relationship between Servas International, and you, as user of the ServasOnline website. Swiss law is applicable.

1. Membership

By registering an account on the ServasOnline website, you become a member of Servas International. Membership is open to physical persons only. Each member is allowed to have one account (profile) - any additional accounts you create will be removed along with all its content. The minimum age for membership is 18.

Types of membership:

(a) Active membership: By completing the registration process, you become an active member of Servas International. This allows you to fully participate in the network and to use all member services that the website offers.

(b) Inactive membership: Active members who have not paid in due time the fees to Servas are set to "inactive" until the due fees are paid. The membership remains intact and all data is kept but the profile may not be listed in default member search results. Inactive members will receive a reminder at the time the profile is set to inactive.

2. Registration

At registration, you are required to provide accurate, up-to-date and complete data about yourself in all mandatory fields of the registration form. This data has to be kept accurate and up-to-date at all times during your membership. This is especially important with respect to your e-mail address, since this is the primary way in which we communicate with you about your account.

As part of the registration process you will be asked to set a password that has to comply with our password security requirements. It is your responsibility to keep this password confidential. If you find out that your password or account is being used by somebody else without your consent, you agree to change your password. Should you discover any other breach of security, please contact us without delay.

3. Privacy

We have a Privacy Policy [see below] to inform you about which data ServasOnline collects and how your content and data is used. We encourage you to read the Privacy Policy and use it to make informed decisions regarding the privacy options we offer.

4. Conduct

You agree to use ServasOnline for its designated purposes, and to contribute to furthering these ideas in a strictly non-commercial way, free of charge. This also means that you should not do anything illegal or disruptive by using ServasOnline. We trust you already have a good idea of what this means, but here are some examples of what you agree NOT to do on ServasOnline:

(a) provide any information to ServasOnline that is false or misleading
(b) violate the rights of any third party
(c) attack or defame other people or groups of people
(d) molest, mob, stalk, harass, threaten, or intimidate any other user of our services
(e) post content that is threatening, contains graphic violence, or incites or glorifies violence or harm against self or others
(f) collect or store any information you obtain through our services for any unauthorized purpose
(g) use our services for any commercial purpose, especially for the distribution of commercial messages or advertisements
(h) use our services for the purpose of finding sexual partners
(i) post pornographic or sexually explicit content or images showing genitalia
(j) use our services for unsolicited private messages with no connection to the purpose of Servas - this includes unsolicited invitations
(k) use our services to collect donations for any other entity than Servas
(l) assist any third party in doing any of the foregoing

Servas International reserves the right to block you from participating in selected areas of the website or to cancel your membership/delete your account in cases of violation of these regulations (see sections 6. "Cancellation of membership" and 7. "Handling of violations" for further details).

5. Content

Copyright and content license:

Content that you own remains in your ownership when you post it on ServasOnline and you can control how it is shared through your visibility settings and preferences (read our Privacy Policy for more information).

You are responsible for all the content you upload, copy, distribute and display using our services. For content that is protected by copyright you must be the copyright owner or have the consent of the copyright owner to use it that way.

For the limited purpose of providing the service, you give Servas International a license to use, host, store, copy, distribute and display the content you upload to the ServasOnline, subject to your privacy settings. Servas International cannot use your content for any other purposes - like promotion material or newspaper articles - unless you explicitly give your consent to that use (if such a possibility arises, we will ask you). Servas International cannot and will not use your content for any commercial purposes.

When you post content on ServasOnline, you participate in a community. If you choose to delete your profile, some of your content will remain in the system - including but not limited to, private messages you have sent to other people, group and forum posts, wiki contributions, profile comments, activities, and suggestions.

Other content, including your profile, photos, we will delete upon cancellation of membership. We will make every reasonable effort to delete this content in a timely manner. The license granted above expires upon deletion.

6. Cancellation of access

ServasOnline administration reserves the right to refuse or cancel your access to ServasOnline for the following reasons:

(a) Requirements for membership are not fulfilled.
(b) Mandatory data is false or not complete.
(c) E-mail address is not confirmed.
(d) Other violation of the Terms of Use.
(e) Any behaviour which is not in line with section 4 "Conduct" of these terms or which endangers or harms Servas International members.

Servas International also reserves the right to cancel a membership for other reasons upon recommendation of the Conflict Resolution Committee.

When your membership is cancelled, your profile, posts, and trips will be made invisible for other members. Your community contributions - that is, content that you shared with others during your membership (for example, but not limited to, in the Servas International forums and groups, the wiki pages, the comments you left in activities or in groups, the activities you created, and the suggestions you made) - will remain visible.

For safety reasons and as required by the authorities, removed data and content may be kept for up to a maximum of twelve months. After that it may persist in backup copies. However, once you remove your data and content, it will no longer be visible. In case of a cancellation as a result of serious abuse, Servas International reserves the right to store information for an indefinite time to prevent the abuser from creating a new account.

Should you wish to come back to Servas International within twelve months after cancellation of your account, please contact us to reactivate your previous account and membership. After this 12-months period you will have to create a new account if you wish to become a member again.

If the account was cancelled as a result of serious abuse, Servas International reserves the right to ban the account permanently.

7. Handling of violations

In the handling of violations of these terms, a difference is made between valid and invalid accounts:

(a) Invalid accounts: Accounts with incomplete mandatory data, invalid e-mail address, not fulfilling the minimum requirements for membership, or solely created for the purpose of spam or abuse. These accounts will be deleted without warning and notification.

(b) Valid accounts: All other accounts. In cases of violations which affect or may affect the safety of the members, accounts may be blocked or deleted without warning. A notification will be issued to the affected member including information how to appeal this decision. In all other cases, members will receive a warning and request to comply with these terms. In cases of repeated violations, members may be temporarily or permanently blocked from participating in selected areas of the website, or membership may be cancelled completely. A notification will be issued to the account registrant including information on how to appeal this decision.

8. Liability

We provide a platform for Servas members to exchange. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that information is 100% accurate, reliable at all times, error-free, and that service will be uninterrupted, and fast. All services are provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis. This therefore exempts Servas International from any claims or liabilities whatsoever arising from or in connection with the services delivered by ServasOnline.

Servas International reserves the right to modify, suspend or discontinue the ServasOnline services at its sole discretion at any time and without prior notice. Servas International is not and will not be held liable for any modification, suspension, or discontinuance of ServasOnline services.

In case of a dispute between members, Servas International shall not be liable nor held responsible. If a member interacts with someone through ServasOnline, who is acting or has acted inappropriately, please immediately report such person to the appropriate authorities and to ServasOnline administration and Servas International through the contact form.

Please note that, although Servas International encourages you to report misconduct, Servas International is not responsible or liable for members' actions and not obligated to take any action.

You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Servas International, its Executive Committee and members, from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including, but not limited to, reasonable legal and expert fees, arising out of or in any way connected with your access to or use of ServasOnline services, or your violation of these terms. 

9. Litigation

Any disputes arising under or in connection with these terms shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Civil Tribunal of Zurich. You also agree that these terms are only governed by the Swiss law.

These terms constitute the entire agreement between Servas International and you with respect to your use of ServasOnline services. For informational purposes we may produce derived versions such as summaries, explanations or translations, but in all cases the authoritative version remains the official English version.

Failure of Servas International to enforce any right or provision in these terms shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.

If a court should find that one or more provisions contained in these terms are invalid, you agree that the remainder of the terms shall remain enforceable.

Servas International reserves the right to amend these terms as seen appropriate but will inform all members of the changes by e-mail and by publication on ServasOnline at least 30 days before they take effect.

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy is intended to inform you of Servas International's policies and practices regarding the collection, use and disclosure of any Personal Information submitted through ServasOnline website.
Servas International ("Servas International ", "us" or "we") respects the privacy of the visitors to ServasOnline website, the home page of which is located at

Terms of this disclaimer

"Personal Information" is information about you that is personally identifiable to you, like your name, address, e-mail address, or phone number, as well as other non-public information that is associated with the foregoing.
"Anonymous Information" means information that is not associated with or linked to your Personal Information; Anonymous Information does not permit the identification of individual persons. We collect and use Personal Information and Anonymous Information as described in this Privacy Policy. 

User Consent

By submitting Personal Information through ServasOnline, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy and expressly consent to the processing of your Personal Information according to this Privacy Policy. Your Personal Information may be processed by Servas International in the country where it was collected as well as other countries (including the United States of America) where laws regarding processing of Personal Information may be less stringent than the laws in your country.


We collect Personal Information that you submit to us voluntarily through ServasOnline.

  • When you register on the ServasOnline website, we will collect your name, e-mail address, your country and region.
  • When you save other Personal Information in your profile we will collect any such information you enter.
  • When you enter Personal Information throughout the Servas International network using one of the features of the Servas International network, for example blogs, groups, or message boards (forum), we will collect any such information you enter ("Publicly Posted Information").
  • When you contact us by sending us an e-mail, we will collect your e-mail addresses and any information contained in the e-mail you send us. Once you register with Servas International and sign in to our services, you are not anonymous to us. If you are browsing the Website without registering with Servas International, you are anonymous to us, but we will collect the information listed below under Personal Information Collected Via Technology.


Use of information

Any member visiting the Servas International website can view your profile information and photos that you have uploaded to the Servas International community. You can control what part of your profile information and photos is visible to visitors of the Servas International website and which network of Servas International members can see what information. To provide you with some of the features that the Servas International community offers to its members, we may use Personal Information that is stored in your profile after you have requested such features, for example to send invitation e-mails to people that you specified as being interested in joining the Servas International community. When you decide to view a member's profile, we may show that Servas International member that you chose to view their profile. If you decide to use certain features of the Servas International network (like blogs, groups, message boards and the like), some of the Personal Information you entered into your Servas International profile and any information, including Personal Information, that you enter using one of these features, might be used and displayed. Servas International members can use the search feature to search for other members by different criteria, like location or interests. The Personal Information that Servas International members enter into the Servas International profile will be used for these searches. Please be aware that any information that is publicly posted throughout the Servas International network can be accessed by every visitor of the Website. Servas International may analyse any collected information for its own internal purposes. Servas International may use Anonymous Information for any purpose and disclose Anonymous Information in its discretion.

Information Sharing and Disclosure

Servas International does not rent, sell, or share personal information about you with other people or companies except to provide products or services you've requested, when we have your permission, or as otherwise described in this privacy policy.
We will disclose information in response to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process, or to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims. We may disclose information, if we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding suspected illegal activities or fraud, situations involving the physical safety of any person, violations of Servas International's terms of use, or as otherwise required by applicable law. 

Personal Information Collected Via Technology

As you navigate the Website, certain information may also be passively collected and stored on our server logs, including your Internet protocol address, browser type, and operating system. We can also use Cookies and navigational data like Uniform Resource Locators (URL) to gather information regarding the date and time of your visit and the solutions and information for which you searched and viewed. This type of information is collected to make our services and solutions more useful to you and to tailor the Servas International community experience to meet your special interests and needs. If you search the Servas International community by using a toolbar that contains Servas International, we may collect Anonymous Information about you automatically, but we will not collect Personal Information.
An "Internet protocol address" or "IP Address" is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer when you use the Internet. In some cases your IP Address stays the same from browser session to browser session; but if you use a consumer internet access provider, your IP Address probably varies from session to session. We track your IP Address when you login to the Website.
"Cookies" are small pieces of information that a web site sends to your computer's hard drive while you are viewing a web site. Servas International may use both session Cookies (which expire once you close your web browser) and persistent Cookies (which stay on your computer until you delete them) to provide you with a more personal and interactive experience on the Website. Persistent Cookies can be removed by following your Internet browser help file directions. If you choose to disable Cookies, some areas of the Website may not work properly. If it happens that third parties place cookies on webpages within the Servas International network, the use of their cookies is subject to their own privacy policies, not this one. 


Your Ability to Edit and Delete Your Account Information and Preferences

We reserve the right to send you certain communications relating to the Servas International service, such as service announcements, administrative messages and the Servas International Newsletter, that are considered part of your Servas International account. If you would like to opt out of certain messages, log into Servas International and go to your account settings. On that page you can edit your preferences. If you would like to delete your account, please contact Servas International.

Confidentiality and Security

We limit access to personal information about you to employees and third parties who we reasonably believe need access to that information to provide products or services to you or in order to do their jobs.
We have physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect personal information about you and your Servas International account information is protected by a password that you select. Servas International uses industry-standard SSL encryption in certain areas of the Website to protect data transmissions. However, no company, including Servas International, can fully eliminate security risks associated with Personal Information. 

Other Sites

Our provision of a link to any other website or location is for your convenience and does not signify our endorsement of such other website or location or its contents. We have no control over, do not review, and cannot be responsible for these outside websites or their content. Please be aware that the terms of our Privacy Policy does not apply to these outside websites.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this Privacy Policy, please contact us:

Changes to this Privacy Policy

Servas International may update this policy from time to time. We will notify you about significant changes in the way we treat Personal Information by sending a notice to the primary email address specified in your Servas International account or by placing a prominent notice on our Website. If you object to any such changes, you must cease using our Website. Continued use of our Website following notice of any such changes shall indicate your acknowledgement of such changes and agreement to be bound by the terms and conditions of such changes.