What does the word Ombudsman mean?
The term Ombudsman originated in Sweden in the year of 1809, when the institution of Ombudsman was first established. This institution was empowered to receive grievances from the citizenry against the government and the bureaucracy of the government, to do investigations, render decisions and issue findings. The word Ombudsman is, in fact, the English translation of the Swedish word “umbuds man” from the Old Norse “umboosmaor”, meaning representative.
Currently, an ombudsman is an individual or an entity who handles disputes while operating in a neutral and confidential role. The ombudsman investigates complaints made by individuals inside and outside an organization, reports the findings and helps to achieve equitable solutions.
There are different types of ombudsmen with different roles, functional responsibilities and standards of practice including: classical ombudsman, advocate ombudsman and organizational ombudsman.
Thus we have Legislative Ombudsmen, who are established by the legislature as part of the legislative branch and who receives complaints from the general public or internally and addresses actions and failures to act of a government agency, official, public employee, or contractor.
An advocate ombudsman is defined as one who advocates on behalf of a designated population, such as patients in long-term care facilities.
The organizational Ombudsmen, are typically found in Universities, corporations or other organizations and their role is to facilitate fair and equitable resolutions of concerns that arise within the entity.
What is the Role of the International Ombudsman for Investors?
The International Ombudsman for Investors Corporation is an organizational ombudsman established as a non-profit organization that represents the interests of the worldwide investors by investigating and addressing complaints of maladministration or violation of their economic, commercial and other similar important rights.
Specific objectives and purposes:
(1) To defend the interests of investors around the world, to promote and protect their economic, commercial and other similar rights in front of the authorities of any country;
(2)To investigate complaints of investors and endeavor to solve them by using recommendations or Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods as mediation, conciliation, and arbitration;
(3)To correct injustices caused to investors, individuals or legal entities, by maladministration or violation of their rights;
(4)To defend the interests of investors against any manifestation based on any discrimination on any grounds of nationality, sex, race, color, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, disability, HIV, age or sexual orientation or based on other prejudices involving racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and others alike.