For the 13th IOI World Conference the National Ombudsman of the Netherlands proposed five themes to be discussed during the event. They are:
- Climate Change and Living Conditions
- Value Dilemmas
- Future generations
- Reaching vulnerable and marginalised groups
As host of the conference, the National Ombudsman of the Netherlands had an idea on what these topics mean. However, this would mean that the Institutions would miss out on different views on these themes. Because it is quite possible that the regional view of the theme, given the differences in, among others, the cultural and geographical background, may lead to other interpretations.
The National Ombudsman wanted to be sensitive to this and wanted to hear what the views of other regions are on the themes. Therefore, they started online meetings with the IOI regional boards where the latter were invited to share their thoughts and ideas on the themes as viewed from their perspective.
This week, the meetings with the North America region, as well as the African and Asian regions took place. After a short introduction of each theme by one of the staff of the National Ombudsman, it was discussed. Moreover, it was very fruitful and enjoyable to share thoughts and experiences in this way.
All institutions do have similar work but during the meetings, they also learned a lot from other regions, about indigenous peoples, impact of climate change in different societies, or different groups with their own language and culture that need to be taken into consideration when handling their complaints. All ombudsman institutions are creative in their work and in the way they try to be as effective as possible with the means available to them.
Each office told their story about the way they reached out to certain groups and here the National Ombudsman saw that inclusiveness and reaching vulnerable and marginalised groups are closely connected. The National Ombudsman of the Netherlands will write a best practice paper on reaching vulnerable and marginalised groups. The institution already has a lot of information and many new contacts, which will be involved for this paper.
In January 2024, the National Ombudsman of the Netherlands hopes to share the programme with the IOI members that should reflect the outcome of the discussions. The institution is very much looking forward to continue the sharing of experiences and ideas in The Hague in May next year during the conference.
Please register for the conference at your earliest convenience.
Source: The National Ombudsman of the Netherlands and IOI World Conference host