All UNHCR staff members have a duty to report instances of misconduct and are required to cooperate unreservedly with the Inspector General's Office. For other complainants, the allegation could be anonymous, however the IGO encourages anyone making an allegation to provide as much information and evidence as possible, and where to find evidence. The IGO specifically asks that you provide the following important information:

  • What alleged wrongdoing are you reporting?
  • Describe in detail what happened.
  • Who committed the alleged wrongdoing? Was anyone else involved? Provide full names and titles if possible.
  • When and where did it happen? Indicate dates and times, if available.
  • How did the individual commit the alleged wrongdoing?
  • Why do you believe the activity was improper?

Strict confidentiality standards as well as other standards and procedural safeguards apply to investigations conducted by the Inspector General’s Office. IGO safeguards the confidentiality of the identity of the person from whom or the entity from which it receives a report of possible misconduct.

Types of misconduct

Important note before sending your complaint: the Investigation Service of the IGO does not have the authority to deal with protection/assistance related requests. This means that the IGO cannot review individual refugee claims, cannot provide individuals with assistance in kind or in cash, and cannot provide applicants with a durable solution. For these matters, please contact the UNHCR Office where you are registered or closest to where you are located.

The United Nations defines misconduct as "any failure by a staff member to comply with his or her obligations under the Charter of the United Nations, the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules or other administrative issuances, or to observe the standards of conduct expected of an international civil servant."

Possible misconduct can include:

  • Sexual exploitation and abuse of people of concern.
  • Fraud (e.g. falsifying a document).
  • Corruption (e.g. taking money from refugees or others).
  • Theft and embezzlement (e.g. stealing equipment or money).
  • Workplace harassment (e.g. treating staff members in an unfair manner).
  • Sexual harassment (e.g. unwelcome sexual behaviour).
  • Abuse of authority (e.g. showing favouritism or discrimination against staff).
  • Assault upon or threats to others.
  • Misuse of UNHCR assets.
  • Breach of confidentiality.
  • Acts or behaviour that would discredit UNHCR.
  • Non-compliance with local laws.
  • Conflict of interest.
  • Abuse of privileges and immunities.
  • Gross negligence.
  • Unauthorized outside activities or employment.

Ways to contact the IGO

Confidential fax: +41 22 739 73 80

Confidential email: Email IGO

In person or by post: 94 rue de Montbrillant, CP 2500, 1211 Geneva

By using the Online Complaint Form

Mark all mail CONFIDENTIAL

Telephone and fax numbers are not toll-free; local or long distance telephone charges apply.