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Judgment No. 3689


1. The impugned decision of 21 February 2014 is set aside.
2. WHO shall pay the complainant the sums due to him by virtue of his entitlements as indicated in consideration 4, together with interest as specified in that same consideration.
3. WHO shall also pay the complainant compensation in the amount of 30,000 United States dollars for moral injury under all heads.
4. All other claims are dismissed.


The complainant contends that he contracted onchocerciasis, a parasitic disease which may eventually lead to blindness, during the performance of his duties as a collector of insects that are vectors of the disease, in Côte d’Ivoire under WHO’s Onchocerciasis Control Programme.

Judgment keywords


complaint allowed; decision quashed; illness; service-incurred

Consideration 3


As a rule, the Tribunal cannot substitute its own opinions for those of medical experts or determine whether or not the physical condition of an official stems from an occupational illness. This does not, however, preclude it from forming an opinion predicated on the diverging conclusion of the competent medical bodies.


illness; service-incurred; judicial review

Consideration 5


[T]he Tribunal recalls that international organizations have a duty to adopt appropriate measures to protect the health and ensure the safety of their staff members (see Judgments 3025, under 2, and 2403, under 16). An organization which disregards this duty is therefore liable to pay damages to the staff member concerned.


ILOAT Judgment(s): 2403, 3025


moral injury; duty of care

Last updated: 02.06.2020 ^ top