As the ombudsperson has assumed the most diversified features, both worldwide as well as at the national and subnational levels, it is very difficult to elaborate a general notion of this institution. In very rough terms, the ombudsperson can be described as an office composed of one or more officials appointed by parliament, or the executive, or both, and with the mandate to receive and impartially investigate complaints from aggrieved persons concerning a violation of their fundamental rights connected with the conduct of the government administration and, as an outcome of such an investigative activity, of issuing recommendations and reports.There are different types of ombudspersons on the international plane. A first configuration is provided by alternative dispute settlement mechanisms created by the internal law of some international organizations in order to resolve employer-employee conflicts (Administrative Boards, Commissions and Tribunals in International Organizations; International Organizations or Institutions, Internal Law and Rules). These are called ‘international organization workplace ombudsperson’ or ‘internal ombudsperson’.A second type of ombudsperson consists in offices which are appointed by international organizations to improve their accountability, transparency, and democratic participation vis-à-vis Member States or external populations affected by their activities, eg development projects, peacekeeping, or peacebuilding operations funded or administered by them. These are called ‘international organization good governance ombudspersons’ (Good Governance).Finally, a third, very broad category of international ombudsperson is represented by institutions created by some intergovernmental organizations with the mandate to ensure promotion of and respect for human rights in a specific geographical area or worldwide. These institutions are called ‘international commissioner for human rights’ or ‘ombudsperson for human rights’.
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