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An International Ombudsman to make non-governmental organizations more accountable? Too good to be true …

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2022

Domenico Carolei*
Law and Philosophy Division, University of Stirling, Room A90, Pathfoot Building, Stirling, Scotland (UK) FK9 4LA


In 2018, the Dutch Government proposed to establish an independent international ombudsman, known as the International Ombuds for Humanitarian and Development Aid (IOHDA), to hold non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accountable for their safeguarding and accountability failures, notably the Oxfam GB sexual abuse scandal in Haiti (March 2018) and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (April 2021). While establishing an international ombudsman would fill a regulatory and accountability gap in global governance, there are many legal and logistic challenges, some of which have been identified by the IOHDA proposal itself, that undermine the creation of this brand new body. Besides the legal and logistic challenges outlined in the proposal, this article argues that the IOHDA is unlikely to succeed because of three additional challenges. First, the IOHDA’s scope is too broad and misinterprets the ombudsman’s jurisdiction and traditional role. Second, the IOHDA neglects that existing ombudsman schemes present limitations in enacting accountability and does not learn any lessons from them. Third, the IOHDA lacks support from NGOs, a driving force, and the principal standard-setters for an international accountability mechanism, like the proposed ombudsman. This article provides a series of recommendations to mitigate these three challenges whilst identifying alternative routes to enact NGO accountability.

© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law in association with the Grotius Centre for International Law, Leiden University

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I would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments and feedback. An earlier version of this article was presented at the International Exhibition ‘Questions of Accountability: Prerogatives, Power and Politics’, University of Worcester (November 2021) and received the best paper award, early career researcher. I wish to thank Dr. Andrew Cunningham, Dr. Maryam M. Deloffre, Professor Dorothea Hilhorst, and Professor Andrea Schapper for taking part in the seminar ‘The Prospects of Establishing and International Mechanism of Accountability for Humanitarian Aid’, University of Stirling (March 2022).


1 L. C. Reif, The Ombudsman, Good Governance and the International Human Rights System (2020), 125. Note that, throughout the article, I alternate terms such as ‘ombudsman’, ‘ombuds’, and ‘ombudsperson’ when that is the term that is used in a specific legislation, regulation, or citation.

2 B. J. T. Tai, ‘The Ombudsman and the rule of law’, in M. Hertogh and R. Kirkham (eds.), Research Handbook on the Ombudsman (2018), at 125–6.

3 Ibid.

4 1967 Parliamentary Commissioner Act, as amended by the 1987 Parliamentary and Health Service Commissioner Act; 1994 Parliamentary Commissioner Act.

5 Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Article 228 – (ex Art. 195 TEC). See also, Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2021/1163 of the European Parliament of 24 June 2021 laying down the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman’s duties (Statute of the European Ombudsman) and repealing Decision 94/262/ECSC, EC, Euratom.

6 UN Office of the Secretary-General, Office of the Ombudsman – appointment and terms of reference of the Ombudsman, UN Doc. ST/SGB/2002/12 (2002).

7 The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Transitional Provisions) (Ombudsman Scheme and Complaints Scheme) Order 2001.

8 (CAN) Orders in Council, P.C. 2019-299.

9 S. O’Neill, ‘Minister Orders Oxfam to Hand over Files on Haiti Prostitute Scandal’, Times, 9 February 2018.

10 Charity Commission for England and Wales, Statement of the Results of an Inquiry. Oxfam (2019); Charity Commission for England and Wales, Decision – Charity inquiry follow-up: Oxfam GB progress on safeguarding (2021).

11 K. McVeigh, ‘British Watchdog Launches Inquiry into WWF Abuse Allegations’, Guardian, 4 April 2019.

12 Charity Commission for England and Wales, Statement of the Results of an Inquiry; The Save the Children Fund – Save the Children UK (2020).

13 D. Hilhorst, A. Naik and A. Cunningham, International Ombuds for Humanitarian and Development Aid – Scoping Study, International Institute of Social Studies (2018).

14 The UK House of Commons, International Development Committee, Follow-up: Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Aid Sector. First Report of Session 2019–2020 (2019), para. 36.

15 The UK House of Commons, International Development Committee, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Aid Sector. Eighth Report of Session 2017–2019 (2018), para. 193.

16 S. O’Neil, ‘Oxfam Rocked by new Sex Claims against Aid Workers’, Times, 2 April 2021.

17 C. Bennett, ‘Constructive Deconstruction: Imagining Alternative Humanitarian Action’, (2018) HPG Working Paper 1.

18 Oxfam Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture, Toward a more accountable Oxfam – Final Report (2019), 50.

19 D. Hilhorst, ‘Aid agencies can’t police themselves. It’s time for a change’, New Humanitarian, 22 February 2018.

20 S. Charnovitz, ‘Nongovernamental Organisations and International Law’, (2006) 100 American Journal of International Law 348, at 351.

21 For an analysis on the problems of classification and definition of NGOs see K. Martens, ‘Mission Impossible. Defining Nongovernmental Organizations’, (2002) 13 Voluntas 271; A. C Vakil, ‘Confronting the Classification Problem: Toward a Taxonomy of NGOs’, (1997) 25 World Development 2057.

22 M. T. Kamminga, ‘The Evolving Status of NGOs under International Law: A Threat to the Inter-State System?’, in G. Kreijen et al. (eds.), State, Sovereignty and International Governance (2002), at 390.

23 See, in general, M. Polizzi and A. Murdie, ‘NGOs and Human Rights’, in T. Davies (ed.), Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations (2019), 251.

24 See, in general, S. Roth, ‘Humanitarian NGOs’, in Davies, ibid., at 267.

25 D. Godrej, ‘NGOs: Do they Help?’, New Internationalist, 1 December 2014, available at

26 See, for example, E. Cusumano, ‘Humanitarians at Sea: Selective Emulation across Migrant Rescue NGOs in the Mediterranean Sea’, (2019) 40 Contemporary Security Policy 239; M. C. Noto, ‘The Arctic Sunrise Arbitration and Acts of Protest at Sea’, (2016) 2 Maritime Safety and Security Law Journal 36.

27 E. A. Bloodgood, J. Tremblay-Boire and A. Prakash, ‘National Styles of NGOs Regulation’, (2014) 43 Non-Profit and Voluntary Quarterly 716, at 720–1.

28 M. Glasius, J. Schalk and M. De Lange, ‘Illiberal Norm Diffusion: How Do Governments Learn to Restrict Nongovernmental Organizations?’, (2020) 64 International Studies Quarterly 453; C. F. Swiney, ‘The Counter-Associational Revolution: The Rise, Spread, and Contagion of Restrictive Civil Society Laws in the World’s Strongest Democratic States’, (2019) 43 Fordham International Law Journal 399; A. J. De Mattee, ‘Covenants, Constitutions, and Distinct Law Types: Investigating Governments’ Restrictions on CSOs Using an Institutional Approach’, (2019) 30 Voluntas 1229.

29 International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), Effective Donor Responses to the Challenge of Closing Civic Space (2018).

30 Council of Europe – Expert Council on NGO Law, Using Criminal Law to Restrict the Work of NGOs Supporting Refugees and Other Migrants in Council of Europe Member States, CONF/EXP (2019)1. See also Council of Europe – Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Restrictions on NGO activities in Council of Europe Member States (Draft Report), Doc. 15205 Report (2021).

31 CIVICUS, ‘Freedoms under Threat during the Covid-19 Pandemic – A Snapshot of Restrictions and Resilience’, 2020 (October) CIVICUS Monitor 1.

32 S. Phillips, ‘Putting Humpty Together Again: How Reputation Regulation Fails the Charitable Sector’, (2019) 10 Nonprofit Policy Forum 1, at 6.

33 Ibid. See also H. K. Anheier and S.Toepler, ‘Policy Neglect: The True Challenge to the Nonprofit Sector’, (2019) 10 Nonprofit Policy Forum 1.

34 D. Carolei, ‘What Happens when NGOs are Accused of Violating Human Rights?’, (2019) Open Democracy.

35 1945 Charter of the United Nations, 1 UNTS XVI, Art. 71.

36 1949 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (First Geneva Convention), 75 UNTS 31, Art. 10; 1949 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea (Second Geneva Convention), 75 UNTS 85, Art. 10; 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Third Geneva Convention), 75 UNTS 135, Art. 10; 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention), 75 UNTS 287, Art. 10. For an account of the regulation of NGOs under international humanitarian law, see C. Barrat, Status of NGOs in International Humanitarian Law (2014).

37 Council of Europe, Explanatory Report on the European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations, ETS 124 (1986).

38 See Charnovitz, supra note 20, at 335. The status and the legal personality of NGOs has been debated by scholars; for a comprehensive examination of the topic see R. H. Ben-Ari, The Legal Status of International Non-Governmental Organizations: Analysis of Past and Present Initiatives (2013); P. M. Dupuy and L. Vierucci (eds.), NGOs in International Law: Efficiency in Flexibility? (2008); A. K. Lindblom, Non-Governmental Organisations in International Law (2006).

39 ILC Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations, 2011 YILC Vol. II (Part Two), at 40.

40 G. Gaja, First Report on Responsibility of International Organizations, UN Doc. A/CN.4/532 (2003), at 12.

41 ECOSOC, Consultative relationship between the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, Resolution 1996/31 (1996).

42 ECOSOC Resolution 1296 (XLIV), UN Doc. E/4548 (1968).

43 B. K. Woodward, ‘Non-State Actors Responsibilities: Obligations, Monitoring and Compliance’, in N. Gal-Oh, C. Ryngaert and M. Noortmann, Responsibilities of the Non-State Actor Armed Conflict and the Market Place: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Findings (2015), at 40–1.

44 Ibid.

45 M. Noortman, ‘NGOs in International Law: Reconsidering Personality and Participation (again)’, in Davies, supra note 23, at 194. As Noortman notes, even if the legal accountability of NGOs is underdeveloped and underreached among international lawyers there is a fast-growing literature on the concept across the social sciences and beyond. Multiple definitions of NGO accountability exist, and scholars have analysed the concept from different perspectives, exploring ‘for what’, ‘how’, and ‘to whom’ NGOs should be accountable. For an updated literature review on NGO accountability see M. Kaba, ‘NGO Accountability: A Conceptual Review across the Engaged Disciplines’, (2021) International Studies Review 1. For a comprehensive analysis of the concept and seminal works see L. Jordan and P. van Tuijl (eds.), NGO Accountability. Politics, Principles and Innovations (2006); A. Ebrahim, ‘Accountability in Practice: Mechanisms for NGOs’, (2003) 31 World Development 813; M. Edwards, NGO Rights and Responsibilities: A new Deal for Global Governance (2000).

46 A. Reinisch, ‘The Changing International Legal Framework for Dealing with Non-State Actors and Human Rights’, in P. Alston (ed.), Non-State Actors and Human Rights (2005), at 62.

47 Ibid.

48 UN General Assembly, Declaration on Establishment of the New International Economic Order, UN Doc. A/RES/3202 (S-VI) (1974), where the UN General Assembly provided in Section V of the Resolution that ‘all efforts should be made to formulate, adopt and implement an international code of conduct for transnational corporations’.

49 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Annex to Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises, OECD Doc. C (76) 99 (Final) (1976) subsequently amended in 1979, 1982, 1984, 1991, 2000 and 2011.

50 UN Human Rights Council, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework. Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises, John Ruggie, UN Doc. A/HRC/17/31 (2011).

51 See Lindblom, supra note 38, at 187–9.

52 O. B. Breen, A. Dunn and M. Sidel, ‘Regulatory Waves: an introduction’, in O. B. Breen, A. Dunn and M. Sidel (eds.), Regulatory Waves: Comparative Perspectives on State Regulation and Self-Regulation Policies in the Nonprofit Sector (2017), at 2–3.

53 A. Traxle, D. Greiling and H. Hebesberger, ‘GRI Sustainability Reporting by INGOs: A Way Forward for Improving Accountability?’, (2018) 24(3) Voluntas 1, at 13; A. Crack, ‘Reversing the Telescope: Evaluating NGO Peer-Regulation Initiatives’, (2016) 28 Journal of International Development 40, at 46–9; L. Hammad and B. Morton, ‘Greater Influence, Greater Responsibility: are INGOs’ Self-Regulatory Accountability Standards Effective?’, The North-South Institute, 2011, at 14-6, available at

54 The UK House of Commons, International Development Committee, supra note 14, paras. 34–36.

55 Ibid.

56 Ibid. The UK House of Commons, International Development Committee, supra note 15, para. 193.

57 D. Peppiatt, ‘The Ombudsman Project: Pilot Project to Investigate the Concept of an Ombudsman for Humanitarian Assistance’, (1997) 9 Relief and Rehabilitation Network Newsletter 17.

58 Ibid.

59 Ibid.

60 A. Davis, ‘Concerning Accountability of Humanitarian Actions’, (2007) 58 HPN Network Paper 1, at 8.

61 J. Mitchell and D. Doane, ‘An Ombudsman for Humanitarian Assistance?’, (1999) Disasters 115, 116–19.

62 Ibid.

63 Ibid.

64 D. Doane, ‘The Humanitarian Accountability Project: A Voice for People Affected by Disaster and Conflict’, (2000) 17 Humanitarian Exchange HPN 19.

65 K. Van Brabant, ‘Regaining Perspective: The Debate over Quality Assurance and Accountability’, (2000) 17 Humanitarian Exchange HPN 22, at 22–5.

66 I. Christoplos, ‘Humanitarianism, pluralism and ombudsmen: Do the pieces fit?’, (1999) 23(2) Disasters 125, at 127.

67 N. Stockton, ‘The code of conduct in practice: A personal view’, in N. Leader and J. Macrae (eds.), HPG Report 6 Terms of engagement: Conditions and conditionality in humanitarian action (July 2000), at 19.

68 See, in general, D. Hilhorst, ‘Being Good at Doing Good? Quality and Accountability of Humanitarian NGOs’, (2002) 26(3) Disasters 193.

69 M. Deloffre, ‘Global accountability communities: NGO self-regulation in the humanitarian sector’, (2016) 42(4) Review of International Studies 724, at 737–8.

70 A. Callamard, ‘NGO Accountability and the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership: Towards a Transformative Agenda’, in L. Jordan and P. van Tuijl (eds.), NGO Accountability: Politics, Principles and Innovations (2006), at 184.

71 See Hilhorst, Naik and Cunningham, supra note 13.

72 Ibid., Annex I: Participants.

73 Ibid., at 3.

74 Ibid.

75 Ibid., at 20–1.

76 Ibid., at 22–3.

77 Ibid.

78 Ibid., at 24.

79 Ibid.

80 Ibid.

81 Ibid.

82 Ibid.

83 Ibid.

84 Ibid.

85 Ibid., at 25.

86 Ibid.

87 Ibid., at 41.

88 Ibid., at 26.

89 Ibid.

90 Ibid.

91 Ibid., at 29.

92 Ibid.

93 Ibid.

94 Ibid.

95 Ibid., at 30.

96 Ibid.

97 Ibid., at 5.

98 Ibid., at 38–41.

99 Ibid., at 33.

100 Ibid., at 38–41.

101 Ibid.

102 Ibid., at 33, 38.

103 Ibid.

104 Ibid., at 5.

105 Ibid., at 42–3.

106 Ibid.

107 Ibid., at 32.

108 Ibid.

109 Ibid.

110 Ibid., at 40.

111 Ibid., at 36.

112 Ibid.

113 Ibid., at 42.

114 Ibid., at 30, 40.

115 M. Shuteriqi, ‘Enhancing Accountability SEA: Is a Sector Ombudsperson the Next Step?’, (2018) ICVA Discussion Paper 4. See also K. Lattu, To Complain or not to Complain still the Question: Consultations with Humanitarian Aid Beneficiaries on their Perceptions of Efforts to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (2008)

116 See Hilhorst, Naik and Cunningham, supra note 13, at 29 (emphasis added).

117 In a nutshell, maladministration means poor or failed administration. According to the European Ombudsman, maladministration ‘administrative irregularities, unfairness, discrimination or the abuse of power, for example in the managing of EU funds, procurement or recruitment policies’, ‘How can the Ombudsman help?’, available at In the UK, the most quoted definition of maladministration is that of a Cabinet Minister, Richard Crossman, who in 1967 who listed ‘bias, neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, ineptitude, perversity, turpitude and so on’. Official Report HC 734 Col 51 (1967). In other jurisdictions, the concept of maladministration is broader than that employed in the UK. In Denmark, for example, the ombudsman might examine ‘mistakes’ and ‘unreasonable decisions’ and in Norway, the ombudsman can investigate decisions which are ‘clearly unreasonable’. H. Barnett, Constitutional and Administrative Law (2019), at 791.

118 See The UK House of Commons, International Development Committee, supra note 15, para. 192.

119 J. Beqiraj, S. Garahan and K. Shuttleworth, ‘Ombudsman schemes and effective access to justice: A study of international practices and trends’, 2018 (October) International Bar Association 1, at 17. See also Spanish Ombudsman, Spain’s National Preventive Mechanism against Torture: Annual Report (2016).

120 Ibid.

121 Ibid., at 21.

122 Ibid. See also The World Bank, Governance & Public Sector Management (2016).

123 See, in general, C. Gill and N. Creutzfeldt, ‘The “Ombuds Watchers”: Collective Dissent and Legal Protest Among Users of Public Services Ombuds’, (2018) 27 Social & Legal Studies 367.

124 N. Abedin, ‘The Ombudsman in Developing Democracies: The Commonwealth Caribbean Experience’, (2010) 23 International Journal of Public Sector Management 221, at 228.

125 Ibid., at 245.

126 J. Laffranque, ‘The Ombudsman in the Eyes of the European Court of Human Rights’, (2020) 29 Juridica International 95, at 97–9.

127 Ibid.

128 See Hilhorst, Naik and Cunningham, supra note 13, at 5.

129 Ibid., at 30

130 1967 Parliamentary Commissioner Act, supra note 4.

131 Ibid.

132 Ibid.

133 The UK House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee, Time for a People’s Ombudsman Service (2014), para. 55.

134 Draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill Presented to Parliament by the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office by Command of Her Majesty (2016).

135 See, in general, K. Keenan, ‘Canada’s New Corporate Responsibility Ombudsperson Falls Far Short of its Promise’, (2020) 5 Business and Human Rights Journal 137.

136 J. Saloranta, ‘Establishing a Corporate Responsibility Ombudsman: Enhancing Remedy through State-Based Non-Judicial Mechanisms?’, (2021) 28 Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 102, at 108. See also C. Kamphuis, ‘Building the Case for a Home-State Grievance Mechanism: Law Reform Strategies in the Canadian Resource Justice Movement’, in I. Freichtner et al. (eds.), Human Rights in Extractive Industries: Transparency, Participation, Resistance (2019), at 502.

137 See Hilhorst, Naik and Cunningham, supra note 13, at 36.

138 B. Thompson, ‘The Challenges of Independence, Accountability and Governance in the Ombudsman Sector’, in R. Kirkham and C. Gill (eds.), A Manifesto for Ombudsman Reform (2020), at 147.

139 Principles on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution (‘The Venice Principles’), adopted by the Venice Commission at its 118th Plenary Session (Venice, 15–16 March 2019)

140 Ibid.

141 J. Daun, ‘Humanitarian Accountability: A Conceptual Analysis’, (2020) 41 Refugee Law Initative (working paper) 1, at 8.

142 See Hilhorst, Naik and Cunningham, supra note 13, at 8.

143 S. Edwards, ‘DFID gives up on Idea for an International Safeguarding Ombudsman’, 2019, Devex, available at

144 R. van Abswoude and P. Heintze, ‘The Potential of an International Ombuds for Humanitarian and Development Aid – A Scoping Study’, Kuino, 2018, at 11, available at

145 See Hilhorst, Naik and Cunningham, supra note 13, Annex I: Participants. Among the 70 participants to the scoping study, there are 25 NGOs listed: CIVICUS, Adeso Africa – African Development Solutions, International Alert, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Disasters Emergency Committee, Save the Children International, Catholic International Development Charity (CAFOD), Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities Network (CDAC), Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust (COAST) Bangladesh, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), World Vision UK, Christian Aid, Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, Medecins Sans Frontieres-International, Somalia NGO Consortium, Aids free World/Code Blue, International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP), Tearfund, Action Against Hunger (ACF)-USA, Hear Their Cries, Action Conte la Faim (ACF) France, Global Mentoring Initiative, Oxfam, ICCO-Cooperation, and Humedica.

146 M. Glasius, The International Criminal Court: A Global Civil Society Achievement (2006).

147 T. van Boven, ‘The Role of Non-Governmental Organisations in International Human Rights Standard-Setting: A Prerequisite for Democracy’, 1990 (20) California Western International Law Journal 207, at 211.

148 See Section 3.

149 M. Deloffre, ‘An Independent Commission for Voices in Crisis: Changing the referee instead changing the game’, Humanitarian Practice Network, 26 April 2021, available at

150 Ibid.

151 INTERPOL, SOTERIA Project: ‘Preventing Individuals from Using Aid Work as means to Access and Offending against the Vulnerable’, available at

152 UK Department for International Development, ‘International Development Secretary calls on UK aid agencies to share data on staff misconduct’, 25 February 2020, available at

153 Ibid.

154 OECD, DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance: Key Pillars of Prevention and Response, OECD/LEGAL/5020 (2019).

155 Ibid.

156 G. Clarke, ‘The Credibility of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) and the Oxfam Scandal of 2018’, (2021) 17 Journal of Civil Society 219, at 234.

157 The UN Global Compact (GC), launched at UN Headquarters (2000), amended at 1st Global Compact

Leaders Summit, UN Headquarters (2004), Participation to the GC is open to business and non-business participants. At the time of writing, over 1,500 NGOs signed the GC as non-business participants. The GC website clarifies that ‘non-business participants are also encouraged to commit their organisation to the 10 Principles and to report on progress made within their organisation’, United Nations Global Compact, available at

158 National Contact Point Norway, Initial Assessment and Final Conclusion, 129 Roma in Kosovo v. Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), on 26 September 2011; National Contact Point of Switzerland, Initial Assessment Specific Instance regarding the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) submitted by the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) on 28 May 2015; National Contact Point of Switzerland, Initial Assessment Specific Instance regarding the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) submitted by Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) on 11 February 2016; National Contact Point of Switzerland, Initial Assessment, Specific Instance regarding the World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF) submitted by Survival International (SI) Charitable Trust on 20 December 2016; National Contact Point of Switzerland; Initial Assessment Specific Instance regarding the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) submitted by Transformation for Justice (TuK) Indonesia on 31 May 2018; National Contact Point of United Kingdom, Initial assessment by the UK National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: complaint from IDI, EC and LICADHO against Bonsucro Ltd, on 25 September 2019.

159 National Contact Point of Switzerland, Initial Assessment, Specific Instance regarding the Worldwide Fund for Nature International (WWF) submitted by Survival International (SI) Charitable Trust on 20 December 2016; National Contact Point of Switzerland.

160 D. Carolei, ‘Survival International vs WWF: Using the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises as a means of NGO Accountability’, (2018) 2 Human Rights Law Review 371, at 382.

161 D. Carolei, ‘Accountability beyond Corporations: The Applicability of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to Non-profit Organisations’, (2022) 13 Nonprofit Policy Forum, 31–47.

162 Ibid.

163 N. Schimmel, Advancing International Human Rights Law Responsibilities of Development NGOs. Respecting and Fulling the Right to Reparative Justice for Genocide Survivor in Rwanda (2020), at 52.

164 J. H. Knox, letter sent to Pavan Sukhdev, President, Marco Lambertini, Director-General, WWF International Gland Switzerland, MediaFire, 30 June 2021, available at .

165 See D. Carolei and N. Bernaz, ‘Accountability for Human Rights: Applying Business and Human Rights Instruments to Non-Governmental Organisations’, (2021) 13(3) Journal of Human Rights Practice 507, 522.

166 Steven Patrick Dennis v. Flyktninghjelpen [Norwegian Refugee Council], TOSLO-2015-32886 (2015).

167 Ibid.

168 H. Yorke, ‘Oxfam workers could face UK prosecution over sex crimes’, Telegraph, 12 February 2018. See also J. Grierson, ‘Oxfam Scandal: Penny Mordaunt to meet National Crime Agency’, Guardian, 14 February 2018.

169 Charity Commission England and Wales, Inquiry Report: Summary Findings and Conclusions Oxfam (2019), 26.

170 Ibid.

171 K. B. Sandvik, ‘Humanitarians in Court: How Duty of Care Travelled from Human Resources to Legal Liability’, (2019) 50 Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 358, 365.

173 D. Guénéheux and A. Bottomley (eds.), ‘Accountability for Civil Society by Civil Society: A Guide to Self-Regulation Initiatives’, (2014) CIVICUS, at 45.

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