In 2009, the International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces (ICOAF) was established. The aim of ICOAF is to establish best practice and lessons learned related to the mandate, powers and functioning of these institutions.
ICOAF gathers representatives of ombuds institutions for the armed forces from around the world, which exist in a variety of different names and models. To date, representatives of ombuds institutions of over 80 states have participated in the ICOAF initiative. For a list of participating countries, please refer to the participants page. ICOAF also reaches out to states that do not have an ombuds institution for the military but have expressed an interest to learn from experiences from other states.
Additionally, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the European Organisation of Military Associations (EUROMIL), among others, participated in ICOAF conferences as observers.
DCAF and a participating ombuds institution co-host the conference each year.