© 2018 by DCAF

Publications

Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces: Selected Case Studies

 

Editors: William McDermott and Kim Piaget

 

Ombuds institutions for the armed forces are key actors in establishing good governance and implementing democratic controls of the security sector. These institutions are tasked with protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of armed forces personnel, as well as providing oversight and preventing maladministration of the armed forces. This publication highlights good practices and lessons learned in seven case studies of ombuds institutions for the armed forces from the following OSCE states:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Canada

  • Finland

  • Georgia

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Ukraine

  • United Kingdom

Social Media Guide for Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces

 

Author: William McDermott and Efrat Gilad

 

The aim of this guide is to promote and support ombuds institutions in adopting and competently using social media as part of their broader business and communications strategy. Social media can be used as a safe and effective tool through which ombuds institutions do business, communicate, connect, engage, inform and listen to the public, as well as members of the armed forces under their jurisdiction. In addition, by using social media to raise awareness about the work of ombuds institutions as well as raise their profile, this guide aims to support and promote the values and objectives associated with such institutions, within the larger message of good governance.

 

In this guide, there are practical examples of the positive use of social media by ombuds institutions, as well as lessons learned from the armed forces in the adoption of social media. There are illustrations of good practice in later sections, drawn from the experiences of diverse military and police services.

Mapping Study: Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces in Francophone Countries of Sub-Saharan Africa

 

This mapping study project on ombuds institutions for the armed forces in francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa draws on extensive research undertaken as part of a previous OIF-DCAF research project in 2013 entitled “Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces in Francophone Africa: Burkina Faso, Burundi and Senegal”.

The objectives of the mapping study are to develop a comprehensive analysis of the activities and role of the ombuds institutions; to identify factors that may facilitate or hinder the establishment and functioning of such institutions; to encourage ombuds institutions to deal with the armed forces and to improve the functioning and effectiveness of existing institutions; and to involve the ombuds institutions of the states concerned in the global process of exchanging good practice and experience between existing ombuds institutions.

Gender and Complaints Mechanisms Handbook

 

Author: Megan Bastick

 

This handbook brings together knowledge and experience as regards prevention of misconduct, and handling and monitoring of complaints within armed forces, with particular regard to gender. It is a resource for armed forces, ministries of defence, ombuds institutions and others that manage and oversee armed forces in:

  • establishing a safe and non-discriminatory environment for men and women in the armed forces;

  • dealing with instances and complaints of gender-related discrimination, harassment, bullying and abuse in the armed forces; and

  • monitoring and overseeing the handling of instances and complaints of gender-related discrimination, harassment, bullying and abuse in the armed forces.

Mapping Study on Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces in the OSCE Region

 

Authors: Kim Piaget, Riina Turtio

 

This publication has been developed in joint cooperation between DCAF and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) as part of an ongoing research project on ombuds institutions for the armed forces.  It is the result of an effort to conceptualize and examine issues and challenges related to oversight of the armed forces and the promotion of human rights based on the feedback provided by the institutions themselves. It maps prominent capacity development needs of ombuds institutions in the OSCE region, and offers best practices through which these needs can be addressed. The study also examines different models, functions and approaches of ombuds institutions for the armed forces in the OSCE region.

 

The mapping study will help states that wish to establish ombuds institutions by identifying the best format for doing so, but it can also support existing ombuds institutions, scholars, policy-makers and armed forces commanders by offering a reference instrument on the current state of ombuds institutions in the OSCE region.

Capacity Development and Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces

 

Authors: Hans Born, Benjamin S. Buckland, William McDermott

 

DCAF produced an introduction to the role of capacity development in ombuds institutions for armed forces. This publication was mandated by the Fourth International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces. The publication seeks to identify the needs and the willingness of ombuds institutions to be involved in capacity development, and to explore areas in need of further examination. The structure of the publication first introduces capacity development and its relationship with ombuds institutions for armed forces. It is divide into the following sections:

  • Aims of Capacity Development

  • The Process of Capacity Development

  • Challenges and Opportunities for Capacity Development

 

This publication has been used as the impetus to conduct a mapping study of the work of ombuds institutions that would outline the needs and current state of affairs, as well as allowing for a better understanding of national and regional contexts.

Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces and Gender

Author: Benjamin S. Buckland

 

DCAF produced a paper on the role of gender in ombuds institutions for the armed forces. It was mandated by the Fifth International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces. The paper seeks to provide an introduction to this issue by looking, first, at some of the key issues and challenges relating to gender and the armed forces, and, second, at the ways in which ombuds institutions can help to improve equality, reduce discrimination, and deal with specific issues such as bullying and harassment. It concludes with a small number of recommendations on improving gender equality (and non-discrimination more generally) in the armed forces.

Integrating Gender into Oversight of the Security Sector by Ombuds Institutions & National Human Rights Institutions

 

Author: Megan Bastick

 

This guidance note on Integrating Gender into Oversight of the Security Sector by Ombuds Institutions & National Human Rights Institutions, developed by DCAF,OSCE/ODIHR and the OSCE Gender Section  is a practical resource for ombuds institutions and NHRIs, and those who support them. It can help an ombuds institution or NHRI engage more effectively with police, militaries and other security sector institutions to monitor and reinforce how the human rights of men and women working there are upheld.  It can strengthen oversight of how well police and others meet the needs of communities.

Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces in Francophone Africa

 

Authors: Jean-Pierre Bayala, Athanase Ndikumana, Dior Fall Sow

 

Under the aegis of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), DCAF undertook three case studies in Burkina Faso, Burundi and Senegal each of which were prepared by country experts. Each study seeks to identify and facilitate the exchange of good practices and experiences between the states concerned, as well as among similar institutions around the world. Each study examines relevant national institutions, as well as their legal status, shedding light on their strengths and weaknesses and contributing to an evaluation of their capacity building needs. Each study also includes details of their complaints handling procedures and of standards that may be relevant to other similar institutions, contributing as a result to a deepened understanding of their mandates, remit, and functioning. Furthermore, these case studies provide a snapshot of the state of security sector governance in each of the three countries, as well as the progress of ongoing reforms.

Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces:
A Handbook

 

Authors: Benjamin S. Buckland, William McDermott

 

This handbook examines ombuds institutions for the armed forces and their role in the promotion and protection of human rights as well as in the prevention of maladministration.

Developed in cooperation with the International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces (ICOAF), the handbook compares and contrasts different institutional models to highlight their strengths and weaknesses, as well as seeking to support the development of relevant legal and institutional frameworks by bringing together a range of good practice on the functioning and establishment of such institutions.

The handbook is designed to be of use to well-established and newly formed institutions alike and contains key sections on:

  • History Functions and Models;

  • Complaints;

  • Investigations; and

  • Reporting and Recommendations.

A Comparative Perspective of Ombudsman Institutions for the Armed Forces

 

Authors: Hans Born, Aidan Wills, Benjamin S. Buckland

 

Ombudsman institutions, in their many guises, have now been around for two centuries. However, it is only since the Second World War that these institutions have been more widely embraced as an important component of democratic governance. This trend has been reflected in the gradual proliferation of ombuds institutions over the past fifty years. This policy paper is part of an ongoing research project which will analyse the functions and performance of ombudsman institutions in relation to the armed forces and identify lessons of best practice on the basis of comparative research.

Handbook on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel

 

Authors: Hans Born, Aidan Wills, Benjamin S. Buckland

 

The Handbook is the product of a research project initiated in January 2005 and conducted by DCAF in cooperation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

Inspired by the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, the manual presents an overview of legislation, policies and mechanisms within the OSCE region, outlining models or ‘best practices’ of how military structures can successfully integrate human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The handbook focuses on the internal aspects of human rights and fundamental freedoms of armed forces personnel, and not on the external aspects of this issue – the conduct of the armed forces in their operations. At the same time, limitations on human rights and fundamental freedoms of armed forces personnel are taken into account given the requirements of maintaining national security. The project aims to contribute to the enforcement of existing standards and it also contains recommendations for participating States of measures that should be taken in order to ensure that policies and practices are in full compliance with international human rights standards and OSCE human dimension commitments.

The handbook is aimed at all individuals who play a role in promoting, protecting, and enforcing human rights, such as parliamentarians, government officials, policy makers, military personnel, judges, professional military associations, and non-governmental organizations.

Monitoring and Investigating the Security Sector

 

Editors: Katrin Kinzelbach, Eden Cole

 

This book focuses on the role of ombudsman institutions in monitoring and investigating the security sector. It argues that independent ombudsman institutions can play an important role in strengthening democratic oversight and furthering human and public security.

Despite the fact that most ombudsman institutions have relatively broad mandates and corresponding powers, which also endow them with competency over human rights abuses in the security sector, they encounter many problems when they start investigations. Baseline research on the relationship between ombuds institutions and the security sector presented in this publication shows that the security sector remains a closed domain, and that there is a significant need and potential to strengthen the work of ombudsman institutions on security sector oversight.

Ombudsman institutions can provide a viable forum for the investigation and resolution of human rights violations committed by security sector agencies; they can help to bring national legislation into conformity with international standards; they can monitor the security sector; and they can educate security sector officials about their obligations and the general public about their rights.So far, there is only little guidance available for ombudsman institutions on how they can best structure their work on human and public security. This publication intends to close this gap and presents action-oriented recommendations, which have benefited greatly from practical input presented by ombudsman institutions from Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

International Conference of