The word “Ombudsman” dates back to 1809 when the Swedish parliament instituted a new position in the civil service known as the Justice Ombudsman. This referred to a public official appointed to investigate citizens’ complaints against government agencies. In Swedish it means “citizens’ defender” or “a representative of the people.” It is a gender-neutral designation and either Ombud or Ombudsperson is considered an acceptable derivative of the term.

This short video explains the nature of Ombudsing and in particular who Ombuds are.

If you would like to find out more about Ombudsing, visit the website for the International Ombudsman Association.