Welcome to the website of the Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA), a member-based organization of Ombudsman offices in the region.
In this site you will find:
- brief information about the role of the Ombudsman (also called Complaints Commissioner in some islands)
- the history, objectives and Constitution of CAROA
- information about each CAROA member office
- international agreements and UN Resolutions relevant to the Ombudsman role
- photo gallery and programs from recent conferences
Membership in regional and international ombudsman organizations is an ideal way for Ombudsman and other oversight institutions (such as Human Rights Commissions, Auditors General and Police Complaints Authorities) to exchange innovative ideas, best practices and professional standards.
As of 2013, there are 15 Ombudsman offices established in the Caribbean region, of which 11 are functioning with Ombudsman in office:
- Guyana was the first country to establish an ombudsman institution in the region, and probably in the entire developing world, in 1966 (1966 constitutional provision, commenced operations in 1967).
- Trinidad and Tobago (1976 constitutional provision, 1977 legislation)
- Jamaica (1978 legislation)
- Barbados (1980 legislation)
- Saint Lucia (entitled Parliamentary Commissioner, 1978 constitutional provision, commenced operations in 1981, 1982 legislation)
- Antigua and Barbuda (1981 constitutional provision, 1994 legislation, commenced operations in 1995)
- Belize (1994 legislation; commenced operations in 1999)
- Haiti (established a Protecteur du Citoyen (ombudsman) after its return to democracy at the end of 1994)