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Ethics Office

Ethics Office

Maintaining Integrity in Everything We Do

What is the mission of the Ethics Office?

The mission of the Ethics Office is to promote a culture of ethics and integrity in PAHO. This includes providing guidance, advice and training to help you make the right ethical decisions and assuring compliance with all applicable rules and policies on the values, principles and standards of conduct of the Organization.


Who does the Ethics Office report to?

The Ethics Office is an independent entity that does not have any direct reporting relationship in PAHO, except for administrative purposes. To assure and maintain its independence, the Ethics Office reports directly to PAHO's Governing Bodies through the Executive Committee. This means that it has complete authority and autonomy and operates without any constraints in carrying out its mission.


What is the level of authority of the Ethics Office?

The Ethics Office has full authority to provide decisions on ethical issues, such as whether family members or relatives can be employed or contracted by the Organization; whether you can engage in outside activities and employment, accept gifts or participate in political activities; and in any situation where there is - or appears to be - a conflict of interest.

The Ethics Office is also responsible for investigating alleged misconduct, harassment and violations of the PAHO Code of Ethical Principles and Conduct. Its role in investigations is limited to findings of fact. Decisions on any administrative or disciplinary action following the completion of an investigation are a management function and are taken by the Human Resources Manager, Director of Administration or Director.


What is the level of confidentiality of the Ethics Office?

The Ethics Office has complete access to all records and staff of the Organization. It has a duty to protect the confidentiality of information that is brought to its attention and can only share this information with people who have a legitimate need to know. Nonetheless, the Ethics Office has the responsibility to initiate an investigation whenever there is a sufficient basis to do so, even if the person reporting the information would prefer that no action be taken.


Who can use the services of the Ethics Office?

The Ethics Office is accessible to everyone who works for PAHO, irrespective of the type or duration of appointment, and to family members, clients, stakeholders and vendors. It can be contacted directly or anonymously, through the Ethics Help Line, which guarantees the reporting person's anonymity.


When should you contact the Ethics Office?

You should contact the Ethics Office to:

  • Ask questions about PAHO's Code of Ethical Principles and Conduct and related policies;
  • Inquire whether a particular situation raises ethical issues;
  • Get guidance on conflict of interest concerns;
  • Obtain assistance on an ethical dilemma;
  • Provide information about possible violations of the Code of Ethical Principles and Conduct, policies or law; or
  • Report concerns about activities that may place PAHO's reputation at risk.


How can the Ethics Office be contacted?

By Telephone: To help you make the right decisions, you can call toll free the Ethics Help Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week (anonymously if you wish) to ask questions about situations you think may raise ethical concerns.

You can also call the Ethics Help Line to report an illegal or unsafe situation in you workplace, or if you suspect that someone is engaging in unethical behavior, such as theft of funds or property, misuse of resources, violence or threatening behavior or conflict of interest.

The Ethics Help Line

1-888-448-4715 (toll free)

Dialing Instructions from outside the United States: Callers from outside the United States must first dial the AT&T access code for their country, as per the icon attached list. After dialing the access code, the caller will reach the AT&T telecom system. Callers should then dial: 888-448-4715. (NOTES: (1) From outside the United States, there is no need to dial a "1" before dialing 888- 448-4715); (2) This service is not available in Cuba at the present time. However, staff in Cuba can use the online reporting system described below).

Do not wait to make the right call!

By Public Internet: From any computer with Internet access (home, Internet cafe, public library, etc.), go to and click on "File a New Report." You will then be asked to enter your Organization's name. Enter "PAHO" or "Pan American Health Organization", click on and then click on "Submit a new report." Alternatively, you can go directly from any computer to to file a report.

Through the PAHO Network: From the PAHO Intranet home page, click on "Have an Ethical Concern to Report?" to be automatically linked to the website and then click on "Submit a new report." Please be aware that this method does not ensure the same complete anonymity as using non-PAHO equipment. Therefore, if complete anonymity is required, it is suggested that non-PAHO equipment be used instead to file a report.


Other ways to Contact the Ethics Office

Última atualização em Qua, 18 de Fevereiro de 2015 09:19

Escritório regional para as Américas da Organização Mundial da Saúde
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, Estados Unidos
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

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