Ethics Office

In the framework of the reflection on UN reform, and in order to foster a culture of integrity and high ethical standards with a view to enhancing transparency and accountability in the ILO, the Director-General decided to create the function of Ethics Officer [Office Directive on ethics in the Office, IGDS Number 76, 17 June 2009 (pdf 243 KB)].

The Ethics Officer’s functions cover three main areas. They are: consultation, promotion and whistleblower protection.

Concerning consultation, (i.e. the advisory function), upon request, the Ethics Officer counsels the administration and staff members on questions of ethics and advises on the permissibility of outside activities.

Regarding promotion, the Ethics Officer provides guidance to ensure that relevant ethical standards are reinforced and promoted by ILO policies, procedures and practices, and that the ethical standards are clearly understood. She contributes to the creation and implementation of appropriate training programmes.

The third function of the Ethics Officer is the protection of whistleblowers. In this capacity, the Ethics Officer is called upon to make a preliminary review of complaints by staff who allege they have suffered retaliation subsequent to their reporting of misconduct or cooperating with an audit or investigation. This review is one step of several that could lead to possible disciplinary action against the alleged retaliator.


  1. Martin Oelz

    Ethics Officer

    Martin Oelz has served as Ethics Officer of the International Labour Office since 1 February 2016. He also performs this function for the ILO International Training Centre in Turin, Italy. A national of Austria, he joined the ILO in 2001 as Associate Expert on Human Rights and subsequently held the positions of Legal Officer in the International Labour Standards Department and Legal Specialist on Working Conditions in the Conditions of Work and Employment Programme. He is presently Senior Specialist on Equality and Non-discrimination in the Gender Equality and Diversity Branch.