At a regional meeting in 1998 in Antigua and Barbuda, representatives of various countries and institutions resolved to establish the Caribbean Ombudsman Association (“CAROA”). The 2000 meeting in St. Lucia adopted an interim Constitution. The final Constitution was ratified in the 2002 meeting in Trinidad.
The development of CAROA was promoted in large part by Dr. Victor Ayeni, then Director of Governance and Institutional Development at the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Commonwealth Secretariat pledged technical and financial support to CAROA for ten years and has continue to support CAROA since 2010.
In 2000 the Commonwealth Secretariat published the proceedings of the 1998 Conference in Antigua and Barbuda in collaboration with the International Ombudsman Institute. This book is titled: Strengthening Ombudsman and Human Rights Institutions in Commonwealth Small and Island States.
(edited by Victor Ayeni, Linda Reif, Hayden Thomas)
- To strengthen offices of the Ombudsman in the Caribbean so as to foster cooperative work, to harness resources of, to network and provide continued enrichment with other Regional, Hemispheric and International offices of the Ombudsman and other similar institutions;
- To support the promotion and protection of Human Rights Agencies in the Caribbean and the development of governmental and non-governmental institutions relating to human rights;
- To maintain and promote the Institution of the Ombudsman and to encourage its development throughout the Caribbean by ensuring that the people are served by independent and effective Ombudsman and other similar human rights institutions;
- To develop professionalism in the discharge of the role as Ombudsman and to maintain the integrity of the role of Ombudsman;
- To facilitate the exchange of experiences and information for the enhancement of the work of Ombudsman and other human rights agencies in the Caribbean;
- To sponsor training and enhancement programmes for Institutions of Ombudsman in the Caribbean;
- To encourage and support study and research regarding the institutions of Ombudsman and human rights agencies, with particular reference to the Caribbean area;
- To collect, store and disseminate information and research data about Institution of Ombudsman and human rights agencies;
- To plan, arrange and supervise periodic Ombudsman Conferences.