Complaints procedure UNICEF the Netherlands

Are you not satisfied with the way UNICEF Nederland works? Do you want to share a complaint with us? Please contact us. We are happy to learn from this and consider your information as a way to improve our work.

The local team will provide first contact for any complaint that will then be forwarded to UNICEF in the Netherlands. Complainants also have the option to go directly to the complaints system based in the Netherlands. The local team will work in close coordination with the complaints system to ensure local context is accounted for as well as actions are followed up with from the main office.

1. Definitions
  • Management: the statutory board of UNICEF the Netherlands
  • Complaint: an alleged shortcoming assumed by the complainant. It is an expression of dissatisfaction with UNICEF in general received by UNICEF the Netherlands, a service rendered by UNICEF the Netherlands, a person working for UNICEF the Netherlands or a product of UNICEF.
  • Complaints regulation: this complaints regulation
  • Complainant: a natural or legal person who submits a complaint to UNICEF the Netherlands.
  •  In writing: by email or letter
  • The Project: Child Development and Protection Project St. Maarten
  • UNICEF the Netherlands: Stichting Nederlands Comité UNICEF, with its registered office in The Hague.
2. Submitting a complaint

2.1   A Complainant can submit a complaint to UNICEF the Netherlands in the following ways:

a. by e-mail;
b. written; to UNICEF Nederland, addressed to Customer Service, PO Box 95375, 2509 CJ The Hague, mentioning 'complaint';
c: by phone; via: 088 - 444 96 66 (the Netherlands), (721)-542-2220 (St. Maarten);   
d. verbal; to the team coordinator based in Sint Maarten.
e. via the contact form on the UNICEF the Netherlands website (

2.2 When submitting a complaint, a Complainant must at least provide the following information:
a. name and email address and / or telephone number of the Complainant;
b. the nature and clearest possible description of the complaint

2.3 Anonymous complaints will be accepted.

3. Handling of the complaint by UNICEF the Netherlands

3.1   Once the Complainant has contacted either the local team coordinator or the UNICEF the Netherlands office directly, the complainant receives a written confirmation of receipt of the Complaint from UNICEF the Netherlands within two business days after the complaint has been submitted to UNICEF the Netherlands. If the complaint has been submitted verbally or otherwise by telephone to UNICEF the Netherlands, UNICEF the Netherlands can verbally confirm receipt of the complaint.
3.2 UNICEF the Netherlands assesses which of its employees is the appropriate person to handle the complaint. If action is required, this employee takes the necessary steps and formulates a response to the complainant. The main office will also coordinate with the local UNICEF team based in Sint Maarten to ensure continuity and flow of communication.
3.3   UNICEF the Netherlands may request further information from the Complainant or the local Sint Maarten team to assess and / or settle the complaint.
3.4   UNICEF the Netherlands intends to settle the complaint within 21 days after it is submitted.
3.5   If the complaint cannot be settled within 21 days, UNICEF the Netherlands will inform the Complainant in writing, stating the reasons and adapted timing of treatment of the complaint. The UNICEF Netherlands team will coordinate closely with the Sint Maarten based team to ensure that all complaints are managed and addressed and/or resolved.

4. Termination of a complaint

4.1 A complaint that has been submitted in one of the ways referred to in Article 2.1 ends if:
a. UNICEF the Netherlands has taken action to respond to the complaint, or decides not to handle the complaint This is decided by the manager of customer services in consultation with the legal advisor and the local Sint Maarten team coordinator. They consult other relevant experts in the organisation based on the nature of the complaint.
b. and it has informed the complainant accordingly;
c. the complainant withdraws the complaint;
d. after mediation and / or after consultation with the complainant it appears that there is no longer any need for the complainant to continue processing the complaint.

5. The World Bank Project Grievance Redress Service (GRS)

The World Bank GRS operates independently of the SEP grievance mechanism.  Any complainant can turn to the World Bank GRS at any time as this mechanism operates as a parallel legal recourse.

6. Other provisions

6.1   UNICEF the Netherlands will keep and maintain electronic files of every complaint submitted to the grievance mechanism. All files shall be kept private according to Dutch privacy legislation, and as indicated in our privacy statement.

6.2   Anyone who is involved in a complaint and the handling thereof in accordance with these complaints regulations will keep this complaint and information obtained in connection with the complaint private as far as it concerns confidential data.

6.3 In cases not covered by these regulations, the Executive Director of UNICEF Netherlands consults with the institution’s legal advisor and any other experts in the organisation to make a determination.

6.4   Complainants are free to take legal recourse if they are unsatisfied with the grievance mechanism process at any time.  

7. Establishment and amendment of complaints procedure

7.1   This complaints procedure is established and can be changed by the Management Board.
7.2   This complaints procedure was established on 1 July 2020.

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