Complaints

Overview

 

The International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) receives and processes complaints of alleged violations of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (‘the Code’) by its Member companies. The Code includes a wide range of standards and principles for the responsible provision of private security services which can be broadly summarized in two categories: first, principles regarding the conduct of Member company personnel based on international human rights and humanitarian law standards including rules on the use of force, sexual violence, human trafficking and child labour; and second, principles regarding the management and governance of Member companies including the selection, vetting and proper training of personnel.

 

Where a complainant seeks support, the ICoCA facilitates access to fair and accessible grievance procedures that may offer an effective remedy, including through providing the complainant with access to ICoCA’s own good offices. For Member companies, the Association provides guidance on establishing and maintaining fair and accessible grievance procedures in compliance with the Code.

 

Two types of complaints may be reported to the Association:

 

  1. Complaints from an individual or his or her representative alleging harm caused by an alleged Code violation by an ICoCA Member company; or
  2. Complaints by an individual or a group with credible evidence of an alleged Code violation by an ICoCA Member company.

 

In either case the Association initiates a process to respond to the complaint:

 

  1. Where an individual or his or her representative alleges harm caused by an alleged Code violation, the Association will work with the complainant and the ICoCA Member company to facilitate access to a fair and accessible grievance procedure that may offer an effective remedy. This may include the ICoCA Member company’s grievance procedure, the good offices of the Association, mediation services, or alternative mechanisms. At all times, the interests and priorities of the complainant will guide the choice of resolution. This process is guided by the Article 13 Procedures for Receiving and Processing Complaints.
  2. Where an individual, group or their representatives has credible evidence of an alleged Code violation by an ICoCA Member company, the Association will address the complaint with the Member company. Such complaints may be brought by any group or individual whether or not harmed and may include alleged Code violations which have occurred or are about to occur. This may include anonymous complaints, complaints by whistle-blowers, or complaints by any other individuals or groups with credible evidence of alleged Code violations. This process is guided by the ICoCA’s Article 12 Procedures for Reporting, Monitoring and Assessing Performance and Compliance.

The Association may apply either or both the Article 12 and Article 13 Procedures depending on the nature of the complaint and the parties involved. 

 

1. Registering a Complaint

 

1.1 Criteria for filing a complaint

 

(1) Complaints from an individual or his or her representative alleging harm caused by an alleged Code violation by an ICoCA Member company:

 

If you are filing a complaint for harm resulting from the activities of an ICoCA Member company, or as the representative of an individual or group harmed by the activities of an ICoCA Member company, all of the following criteria must be met for the ICoCA to receive the complaint:

 

  • The complaint involves an ICoCA Member company;
  • The complaint contains specific allegations of conduct that, if true, would constitute a violation of the Code; and
  •  The complainant or his or her representative alleges harm as a result of the ICoCA Member company’s activities.

 

Complainants may include:

 

  • An individual affected by an ICoCA Member company’s activities or his or her representative;
  • An employee affected by an ICoCA Member company’s activities, a labour union or other representative;
  • A community affected by an ICoCA Member company’s activities, or an organization or other representative on the community’s behalf.

 

(2) Complaints by an individual or group with credible evidence of an alleged Code violation by an ICoCA Member company:

 

If you are filing a complaint because you have credible evidence of or have observed an alleged Code violation by an ICoCA Member company, all of the following criteria must be met for the ICoCA to receive the complaint:

 

  • The complaint involves an ICoCA Member company; and
  • The complaint contains specific allegations of conduct that, if true, would constitute a violation of the Code.

 

Complainants may include:

 

  • Anonymous individuals or groups;
  • Individuals or groups or their representatives;
  • Whistle-blowers and/or personnel reporting Member company wrongdoing;
  • A trade union;
  • A non-governmental organisation (NGO); or
  • A client of the Member company.

 

1.2 Filing the complaint

 

Complaints may be filed using the following form.

 

 

The form may be used for either type of complaint:

 

  1. Complaints from an individual or his or her representative alleging harm caused by an alleged Code violation by an ICoCA Member company; or
  2. Complaints by an individual or group with credible evidence of an alleged Code violation by an ICoCA Member company​.

2. What to expect after filing the complaint

 

The process is guided by either or both the Article 12 and Article 13 Procedures depending on the nature of the complaint and the parties involved and includes the following steps:

 

  • The ICoCA will review the complaint received to ensure the criteria listed above has been met and the information is complete.
  • If the complaints form is incomplete or missing necessary information, where possible, the ICoCA will return the complaint to the complainant. The complainant may correct the form and re-submit the complaint.
  • Unfounded or frivolous complaints, complaints of contractual or personnel disputes, and complaints not meeting the criteria above will not be accepted by the ICoCA. Complainants will be notified as to why the complaint cannot be considered.
  • If the complaint involves allegations of criminal activity, the Association may report that violation to one or more Competent Authorities with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the crime. In order to avoid serious prejudice to any such investigations or proceedings or party thereto, the Association may suspend or limit the complaints process until the conclusion of the investigation or proceedings.
  • For all remaining claims, the ICoCA will review the complaint to determine the nature of the complaint:

 

(1) Complaints seeking a remedy for an alleged Code violation will be accepted for processing along with an explanation of applicable confidentiality rules, processing and timeline. This also includes further explanation as to the role of the ICoCA in facilitating access to a fair and accessible grievance procedure that may offer an effective remedy such as the Member company’s grievance mechanism, the ICoCA’s good offices, mediation or alternative grievance procedures.

 

Processing Timeline

Within 30 days (this time may be extended, as required, where the Complainant or his/her representative fails, for good reason, to timely respond to requests from the Secretariat for additional information) of receiving a complaint accepted for processing, the ICoCA will inform the Complainant whether or not the ICoCA Member company’s mechanism is assessed to be viable, options to pursue the claim, and the next steps.

 

Transparency

Once a complaint alleging harm is accepted for processing, the ICoCA publishes summary information on its website without naming the parties.  This information includes when a complaint was filed, the status of the complaint and the general nature of the alleged Code violations. While the complaint is being processed the parties involved are kept informed, but details of the case are not made public.  At the conclusion of the case, ICoCA will make the results of the process available in a public report or statement including the name of the affected Member company.

 

(2) Complaints with credible evidence of an alleged Code violation by an ICoCA Member company will be addressed with the Member company consistent with the Article 12 Procedures for Reporting, Monitoring and Assessing Performance and Compliance. 

3. Contact

 

For any questions about the ICoCA’s complaints process please:

 

Write to
International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers’ Association
7bis, avenue de la Paix
CH-1202
Geneva Switzerland

 

E-mail to secretariat@icoca.ch

 

Call by phone, Skype, Viber or WhatsApp 

  • Phone: +41 22 727 07 54  
  • Phone / Viber / WhatsApp: +41 79 440 34 14
  • Skype name: ICoCA Secretariat

 

Send an instant message (via sms, WhatsApp or Viber) to +41 79 440 34 14

 

4. Resources and further guidance