ABSTRACT

This chapter identifies and discusses alternative accountability routes to self-regulation at the international level. It focuses on three new and emerging accountability routes. The first route is the establishment of an international ombudsman for the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector, with a proposal tabled by the Dutch government in 2018. The second route consists of applying the business and human rights framework – meant for multinational corporations – to NGOs. It looks at three major initiatives in the field: the UN Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The third route is extraterritorial jurisdiction for criminal and tort liability, which consists of using the law of the country where the NGO is legally registered or headquartered (home country) to deal with misconduct perpetrated overseas (host countries). This chapter argues that these routes can play a pivotal role in reinforcing NGO accountability. Yet, none of these three routes can replace self-regulation totally, in light of the presence of multiple legal and practical challenges and considering that they refer to different dimensions of accountability.