The Office of Ethics and Conduct (ECO) is an independent office reporting directly to the Director General that contributes to fostering a culture of integrity, transparency and accountability within the Organization by:  

  • Providing counsel to the Administration and IOM personnel about ethics and the IOM Standards of Conduct;   

  • Dealing with administrative procedures and developing policies in line with the IOM Standards of Conduct;  

  • Promoting ethical awareness and behaviour at IOM through proactive online and in-person training, outreach, communication, and liaison in the three official languages;  

  • Providing formal advice and guidance on conflicts of interest, such as acceptance of gifts and honours, outside activities, relatives in the workplace and other potential conflicts of interest that could affect the independence and impartiality of IOM personnel;  

  • Implementing an annual exercise on declaration of interests, including providing recommendations to senior managers;  

  • Reviewing allegations of retaliation and ensuring protection against retaliation by recommending appropriate protective measures;  and

  • Focusing on preventive actions.  

Ethical conduct and conflicts of interest 

ECO was established in 2014 in line with the Director General’s commitment towards professionalism, accountability and transparency, and with a view to uphold IOM’s fundamental principle of “integrity”.  

ECO carries out its functions under the principles of objectivity, impartiality, independence, confidentiality, and fairness. It conducts its activities with the highest levels of competence and integrity.  

All IOM personnel are expected to act in accordance with the IOM Standards of Conduct, IN/15 Rev. 1 and to perform their functions consistent with the highest standards of ethical behaviour. They must abide by these duties and obligations at all times, in particular with the principles of integrity, impartiality and independence.   

In this sense, ECO is mandated to raise awareness and provide confidential advice and guidance on ethical issues. Any IOM personnel can approach the Ethics and Conduct Office for assistance in navigating an ethical situation during their employment. Through this service, IOM personnel are better able to make ethical decisions that serve the interest of the Organization.  

ECO is also mandated to ensure that relevant ethical standards are reinforced and promoted by IOM policies, procedures and practices, and that ethical standards are clearly understood. To go further in this mandate, one of ECO’s core functions is ethics training, and outreach, which help IOM personnel understand and meet the high expectations set by the Organization, including taking personal decisions that do not interfere with their official duties or affect their workplace conduct standards.  ECO also owns a mandatory training and provides tailored in-person and online trainings for all IOM personnel.  

Assessment of allegations of retaliation  

All IOM personnel have a duty to report any breach of the Organization’s rules and to cooperate with the Organization’s oversight functions. An individual who makes a report in good faith has the right to be protected against retaliation.  

In 2022, IOM issued for the first time a policy on the protection of IOM personnel against retaliation for reporting suspected misconduct or cooperating with audits and investigations, which aim is to encourage IOM personnel to report misconduct without any fear of repercussion.    

Yearly Declaration of Interest   

The Yearly Declaration of Interest (YDI) process was implemented for the first time in 2021 with the aim of ensuring transparency, holding IOM staff accountable and seeking to avoid and prevent possible situations of conflict of interest. It serves as a reminder to certain categories of staff members that possible conflicts of interest should be disclosed and appropriately addressed. ECO circulates the YDI form to staff members at D1 level and above, Heads of Department, Heads of Division, Chiefs of Mission/Heads of Office and Senior Resource Management Officers/Resource Management Officers.   

By completing the Declaration of Interest form, concerned staff are given the opportunity to affirm their compliance with the Unified Staff Regulations and Rules and the Standards of Conduct (IN/15, Rev.1) in respect of outside employment and activities; financial holdings; gifts, honours and remuneration from outside sources; and relatives in the workplace.

ECO Annual Reports
Contact information

IOM Ethics and Conduct Office