The former World JOTI Team had several complaints about how they were treated. WOSM did not have a formal complaint procedure. Ignoring or denying complaints without investigation was possible without consequences. A World Scout Bureau director wrote that three complaints were thoroughly investigated. No wrongdoing had been found. The complainer was an incompetent volunteer.
The World JOTI Team did not accept this. For a half year the issue was frequently addressed by the World Scout Committee. Finally a delegation of the WSC met with a delegation of the former World JOTI Team.
The WSC delegation was shocked and promised a WOSM Complaint Procedure. The World JOTI Team had 3 other demands:
- rectification of a formal letter, in which 3 high ranking WOSM members stated that the former World JOTI Team was incompetent and not to be trusted.
- Unblocking of the Facebook page; WSB had specially registered JOTI as a trademark to be able to do this. However, WOSM rules allow trademarks to be used by scouts.
After a half year this was still not done. The former World JOTI team raised a complaint, using the new complaint procedure.
The concept version that was discussed with the plaintiffs was an almost objective report. The final publication took 6 months, while it should have been completed within 2 months. The final version was completely rewritten. The acknowledged complaints from the concept version were now denied.
The complaint officer had violated 9 accounts of the WOSM Complaints Policy. The former World JOTI Team put in a new complaint against the complaint officer. The complaint officer confirmed receipt of the complaint. After that all correspondence about this complaint was ignored by the Complaint Officer and all other WOSM officials. The Complaint Officer was a former Director of a Regional Scout Bureau, with close contacts with the accused.
The WOSM Complaint Policy has an appeal option. In the appeal a number of mistakes were acknowledged, like that the earlier complaints were not properly handled.
However, no consequences followed. The WSB director who lied that 3 complaints had been thoroughly investigated was not fired. The World JOTA-JOTI Coordinator who made false statements about volunteers was not fired. The Facebook-pages are still blocked: unblocking would prove that the statement of presence “inappropriate content” damaging WOSM was incorrect. And the WSB director and the World JOTA-JOTI Coordinator refused to rectify their letter with multiple lies about volunteers.
The fact that WOSM finally has a Complaint Policy on paper has not changed anything. There is a culture within the top of WOSM of protecting each other. This was addressed by the National Scout Organisation, Scouting Nederland. Although they acknowledge that the situation is unacceptable, they do not have the means to correct these abuses.