Disadvantaged status of international nongovernmental organization personnel


No convention or other arrangement exists to protect the status of INGO personnel (except in Belgium). This means that those who work for INGOs must be prepared to face bureaucratic obstacles of every kind: (a) in attempting to work in the headquarters offices; (b) in field-level work; (c) in travel on INGO business. In addition, social security provisions are such that INGO employees may be unable to ensure continuity of social security benefits and pension rights on return to their country of origin, or when they move to some third country. Payment of pension or life insurance may be blocked by currency regulations. Clearly this ensures that only nationals of the secretariat country can afford to spend career time with and INGO, or else people who are prepared to take the risk of forgoing such benefits. As a consequence this may have considerable implications for the INGOs ability to attract qualified personnel and guarantee their job security. The significance of this problem becomes evident for the work of INGOs when the state of IGO personnel rights and privileges and immunities is considered. Such privileges are held to be essential in order to maintain an adequate international staff. They cover items such as: travel documents, residential requirements and tax exemption, in addition to social security and pension rights. As well as generous fringe benefits, IGO personnel also receive salaries considerably in excess of local salaries to compensate them for the inconvenience for having to work away from their country of origin.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST