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DCAF publishes case studies on Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces

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Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces: Selected Case Studies

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, “Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces: Selected Case Studies,” 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

In gathering a wide range of experiences from different types of ombuds institutions, this compilation provides a deeper and more discerning picture of the current challenges ombuds institutions face in the fulfilment of their mandate. It addresses the underlying capacity needs for selected ombuds institutions in the OSCE region. Each of these chapters look at how ombuds institutions are overcoming challenges and limitations in their institutional design. Moreover, each chapter identifies and assesses the tools and approaches employed by ombuds institutions in the development of their own institutional capacity, and in reducing the distance between themselves and the armed forces. Each case study also provides a thorough overview of the challenges that keep an ombuds institution from fully exercising their functions. Examples often mentioned in the chapters include shortages in resources; lack of independence; difficulty in collecting information or problems with reporting and the implementation of recommendations, to name a few.

DCAF gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) via its “Contribution to DCAF-OSCE project financing in the context of Switzerland’s OSCE chairmanship and OSCE Trojka membership.