About the IOI

In most countries around the world parliamentary control bodies are established, which monitor and implement the rule of law, the fight against corruption and good public administration. Although the specific role of the Ombudsman institution may vary, the holder of this office is legitimized by parliament – either through direct elections or through appointment by the head of state or government by or after consultation with parliament.

The role of the ombudsman is to protect the people against violation of rights, abuse of powers, unfair decisions and maladministration. Ombudsman institutions play an increasingly important role in improving public administration while making the government's actions more open and its administration more accountable to the public.

The International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), established in 1978, is the only global organisation for the cooperation of more than 170 independent Ombudsman institutions from more than 90 countries worldwide. The IOI is organised in six regional chapters (Africa, Asia, Australasia & Pacific, Europe, the Caribbean & Latin America and North America). In its effort to focus on good governance and capacity building, the IOI supports its members in a threefold way: training, research and regional subsidies for projects.



The International Ombudsman Institute is organised in regional chapters in Africa, Asia, Australasia & Pacific, Europe, the Caribbean & Latin America and North America.



The 10th IOI World Conference paved the way for further strengthening the IOI as the leading organization within the international Ombudsman community. A draft document of new By-laws was put forward to the General Assembly during this conference on 13 November 2012 for vote and the General Assembly approved these new By-laws with the overwhelming majority of 96,3% in favor.

IOI World Conferences

Pursuant to Article 14.4 of the IOI By-laws “A regular meeting of the Voting members (the General Assembly) shall be held in conjunction with each International Ombudsman Conference, at least every four years.”

Since its establishment the IOI held ten such IOI World Conferences which were hosted by the following countries in the following IOI Regions:


  • 2016 - Bangkok / Thailand (Asia)
  • 2012 - Wellington / New Zealand (APOR)
  • 2009 - Stockholm / Sweden (European Region)
  • 2004 - Québec / Canada (North American Region)
  • 2000 - Durban / South Africa (African Region)
  • 1996 - Buenos Aires / Argentina (Caribbean & Latin American Region)
  • 1992 - Vienna / Austria (European Region)
  • 1988 - Canberra / Australia (APOR)
  • 1984 - Stockholm / Sweden (European Region)
  • 1980 - Jerusalem / Israel (European Region)
  • 1976 - Alberta / Canada (North American Region)

IOI Policies

The International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) is committed to promoting and developing the concept of the Ombudsman and it does so in a variety of ways: it encourages the creation and development of Ombudsman institutions where they do not already exist, it funds research, provides training and promotes information exchange and shared learning.

In its ongoing dialogue with key international organizations and stakeholders, the IOI also engages in Ombudsman-related topics and issues statements on behalf of its entire membership.

As the only global organisation representing Ombudsman institutions, IOI considers policy areas that are of specific importance to its members and therefore contributes to improving public services around the world.