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The New York Declaration on the Independence and Rights of International Civil Servants

The Symposium on the Legal Status of International Civil Servants was convened to address the basic rights and independence of international civil servants throughout the world.

The following text is the resulting statement from that symposium.

Individuals working for international organizations are subject to the statutes and regulations of those organizations and general principles of law.

The immunity granted to maintain the independence of international organizations has prevented employees of those organizations from enjoying the protection of national laws.

Therefore, there must be a workable legal framework consistent with modern labour management practices that guarantees to all civil servants due process and equal protection equivalent to the rights and principles they would enjoy under relevant national laws. In view of the foregoing, to protect the rights and independence of the international civil service, they should be afforded the following:

Freedom of Association

  • International civil servants should have the right, through their staff associations or unions, to bargain collectively on their working conditions.
  • International civil servants should have the right to freedom of association and this right includes the right to form and join the staff association or union of their choice and to create international asociations of international civil servants.
  • International civil servants should be given the means to exercise effectively this right of association. The staff associations or unions should have the right to affiliate with other international associations or unions as part of a federation.

Collective Bargaining

  • International civil servants should have the right, through their staff associations and unions, to bargain collectively on their working conditions.
  • International civil servants' associations or unions should have the right to petition and address the governing bodies of their organizations.
  • International civil servants should have the right to take collective actions including the right to strike.

Due Process and Judicial Review

  • International civil servants should be entitled to due process in the administrative hearing and the appeal process.
  • International civil servants should have access to an independent administrative tribunal composed of attorneys and jurists. This right of access shall include the rights of due process, a fair and speedy trial, and an oral hearing.
  • This right of access to an administrative tribunal should extend to individuals, staff associations and unions to represent the collective rights of the staff.

Protection of Fundamental Rights

  • To protect the fundamental rights of all international civil servants, they should be given the rights extended under international human rights instruments as well as relevant international labor standards as embodied in ILO Conventions and Recommendations relating to conditions of employment.