All Staff Representatives are thoroughly briefed on the many different potential pathways for seeking internal justice for grievances related to harassment, abuse of authority, discrimination, and other work conditions. Staff members are encouraged to contact their Staff Representative for help with navigating the internal justice systems.
Below is a brief simplified overview of some of the possible routes to take when filing a grievance and seeking relevant justice.
Office of Staff Legal Assistance
The Office of Staff Legal Assistance provides assistance to staff members in various stages of appeals and in disciplinary and other claims. This office may provide legal assistance and representation to staff in proceedings within the internal justice system, may assist in identifying counsel for staff members, and may assist with proceedings before UNDT or UNAT.
Ombudsman and Mediation Services
The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services (UNOMS) helps UN employees to address their workplace concerns and resolve conflicts through informal means, such as: identification and review of options, conflict coaching, shuttle diplomacy, and mediation. The work of the ombudsmen and mediators is based on the principles of confidentiality, neutrality and impartiality, independence and informality. UNOMS provides services to employees of the UN Secretariat, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS, UN Women and UNHCR through its respective ombudsmen.
United Nations Dispute Tribunal
If a solution is not reached when a grievance is evaluated by management, the Dispute Tribunal will hear and decide the case appealing administrative decisions alleged to be in non-compliance with their terms of appointment or contract of employment. The Tribunal conducts hearings, issues orders, and renders binding judgments. As a transitional measure from the former system, the Dispute Tribunal also hears and passes judgment on cases transferred from the former Joint Appeals Boards, Joint Disciplinary Committees and United Nations Administrative Tribunal.
United Nations Appeals Tribunal
Both staff members and the Administration have a right to appeal the judgments of the Dispute Tribunal to the United Nations Appeals Tribunal. UNAT is composed of seven judges, who normally review appeals in three-member panels. Their judgments are final and binding on the parties.
Office of the Focal Points for Women
The Office of the Focal Points for Women provides informal counselling to all staff on gender-related grievances, such as: conditions of service, discrimination, staff selection, harassment, and abuse of power. The Office also coordinates with the departmental focal point system and provides advocacy and assistance in the formulation of gender-related policies and practices e.g., gender strategy, harassment including sexual harassment, or flexible working arrangements.
The Ethics Office provides advice and guidance on professional ethics standards and conflicts of interest. The only complaint of misconduct the Ethics Office will receive is a complaint of retaliation stemming from a protected activity (i.e., individuals who have reported misconduct or who have cooperated with duly authorized audits or investigations).
Please refer to the UN Ethics Office Roadmap for a complete overview of all available offices and their corresponding policy documents.