The huge success of the training sessions showed that there is a strong demand among member institutions for training activities. The IOI has become highly aware of the necessity of training programmes for its members and is planning to offer additional training courses focusing on areas that are of specific concern to ombudsman institutions and taking into account regional topics of specific interest.
Since November 2010 the IOI General Secretariat hosted various training initiatives in Vienna and was able to forge close ties with renowned partner institutions offering training such as the Vienna-based International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), the Queen Margaret University (UK/Scotland), the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), the Ombudsman of Ontario (Canada) and the Ombudsman of New South Wales (Australia).
The very positive feedback from our members encourages the IOI to further embark on such projects and provide its membership with additional trainings at the IOI headquarter in Vienna as well as in the IOI regions in the future.
With the view to strengthen our members’ capability and to foster the exchange of expertise among Ombudsman worldwide, the IOI always strives to identify the specific training needs of its members and to broaden the range of topics offered to its members in tailor-made training seminars.
The IOI aims at implementing research projects that will become the basis for an intensified exchange of best practices among member institutions that will for the first time have comprehensive data available on other members of the ombudsman community.
Comparative research project on Asian Ombudsman Institutions
The upcoming research project will deal with Asian Ombuds institutions.
Comparative research project: "APOR Ombudsman Institutions"
The IOI General Secretariat commissioned the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, an independent Austrian research institution, to conduct a comparative research study on the ombudsman offices of the Australasian and Pacific Region. The APOR comparative research project links up with a very successful research project on the European Region conducted by Prof. Kucsko-Stadlmayr. It aims at analysing the legal basis, the legal status as well as the position of ombudsman institutions of the APOR Region within their political systems and societies. In addition, the project focuses on the compliance of the various ombudsman institutions with norms of good administration and international and regional human rights standards, on their accessibility to different societal groups and on their monitoring and data collection mechanisms.
A print version of the study "'Australasia and Pacific Ombudsman Institutions" was published in 2013. It contains a detailed comparative analysis of the ombudsman institutions of the APOR Region. An online access will be available for members soon.
Access to research on European ombudsman institutions
Against the background of this intensified scientific cooperation the IOI General Secretariat is pleased to offer all IOI Members the opportunity of free of charge electronic access to the following publication: Kucsko-Stadlmayer, Gabriele (ed.): "European Ombusman-Institutions. A comparative legal analysis regarding the multifaceted realisation of an idea", Springer Wien New York, 2008. This comparative legal study that was realised by the European region in 2007/2008 and contains well founded information about approaches, assignments and competences of Ombudsman institutions in 49 European states . It can therefore provide a valuable incentive for the status and potential of development of the Ombudsman regime.
For further information please contact the IOI General Secretariat.
Using membership fees, the Executive Committee of the IOI is able to grant subsidies for regional projects based on a transparent tender procedure.
Out of numerous project proposals six applications from five regions were selected in 2011. Most of the projects concerned training initiatives or public communication and research activities.
In 2012, five projects from four regions were subsidized. A webinar, training courses, a capacity building workshop and a fundamental rights campaign for detainees were financially supported by the IOI.
Amongst several other promising projects, the proposals that received subsidies in 2013 were an information campaign against human trafficking, a project on awareness raising of women’s rights and child rights as well as a training course for new Ombudsmen and developing or expanding offices.
Ombudsman under threat
Threats to Ombudsman institutions come in a variety of forms but have a common denominator: they come as a direct response to the complaint handling work of Ombudsmen and their efforts to protect human rights and fight corruption.
The IOI acknowledges the general need to support member institutions under threat as one of its core tasks, especially when democracy is weakened, undermined or comes under threat. The IOI sees the need to support democratic oversight bodies such as the Ombudsman in order to protect the citizens concerned.
The IOI therefore developed a set of guidelines to establish principles and courses of action to coordinate IOI support for Ombudsmen coming under threat, facing reprisals or operating under difficult circumstances.
When supporting a member in need, the IOI will respect its values and principles and apply a “do-no-harm” principle. Coordination and communication of any actions and at all stages of the process is of utmost importance; especially with the Ombudsman institution in question.
The guidelines provide an overview of the options for support available and clarify the procedures to be followed should such case present itself.
- IOI Guidelines: Support to Ombudsman under Threat (337,8 KiB)
- IOI statement in support of the Mexican National Human Rights Commission (July 2019) - EN (145,2 KiB)
- IOI statement in support of the Human Rights Commissioner of Poland (Feb. 2019) (146,2 KiB)
- IOI statement in support of the Ombudsman of the Kingdom of Lesotho (June 2018) (164,3 KiB)
- IOI statement in support of the Public Defender of Georgia (Dec 2017) (150,8 KiB)
- Vienna Declaration in support of the National Ombudsman of Argentina (April 2017) (278,7 KiB)
- IOI statement in support of the Public Protector of South Africa (May 2016) (132,9 KiB)
- IOI statement in support of colleagues in four Latin-American countries (July 2020) (59,4 KiB)
Policies, Principles & Declarations
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.
Dublin Declaration (May 2020)
UN Resolution on Ombudsman and Mediator Institutions (Dec. 2020)
- A/RES/75/186 – The role of Ombudsman and mediator institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance and the rule of law (resolution adopted on 16 December 2020) (204,2 KiB)
- A/RES/75/186 – El papel de las instituciones de ómbudsman y mediadores enla promoción y protección de los derechos humanos, la buena gobernanza y el estado de derecho (resolución aprobada el 16 de diciembre de 2020) (204,0 KiB)
- A/RES/75/186 – Le rôle des institutions des ombudsmans et des médiateurs dans la promotion et la protection des droits humains, de la bonne gouvernance et de l’état de droit (résolution adoptée le 16 décembre 2020) (200,0 KiB)
Covid-19 Resolution (May 2020)
Venice Principles (March 2019)
- Principles on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution adopted by Venice Commission (“Venice Principles”) (266,7 KiB)
- Principios sobre la protección y la promoción de la institución del Defensor del Pueblo adoptado por la Comisión de Venecia (“Principios de Venecia”) (201,2 KiB)
- Principes sur la protection et la promotion de l’institution du médiateur adoptés par la Commission de Venise (“Principes de Venise”) (266,7 KiB)
- Principi sulla protezione e la promozione dell’instituzione del Difensore Civico adottati dalla Commissione di Venezia (“Principi di Venezia”) (80,1 KiB)
Vienna Declaration (April 2017)
Bangkok Declaration (Nov. 2016)
IOI Privatisation Policy Paper (May 2015)
This calendar intends to list as many events related to topics and matters relevant to the wider Ombudsman community as possible. The Secretariat relies on information it receives from members and regions to update the calendar and give as broad a picture as possible. This calendar does not claim to be exhaustive! If you wish to add an event that could be of interest to the IOI community, please contact the IOI General Secretariat.