Ukraine

Democratic Security Sector Governance

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Security sector governance refers to the process by which accountable security institutions transparently supply security as a public good via transparent policies and practices.  Accountability of security institutions is affected by democratic oversight performed by a range of stakeholders including democratic institutions, government, civil society, and the media. Security sector reform is the process by which security institutions are subordinated to oversight mechanisms, vetting, and lustration in order to deliver transparent and accountable public services as a public good. Security sector governance reinforces the rule of law.

Democratic Governance and Oversight of the Security Sector

 

Democratic governance of the security sector comprises the active performance of individual and cooperative oversight functions by:

  • Democratic Institutions
  • Independent Oversight Institutions / Ombuds Institutions
  • Civil Society
  • Media
  • Executive
  • Government
  • Security Sector Institutions

 

Credible oversight and management of the security sector remains vital in order to ensure democratic and economic development. The overall rationale for ensuring substantive democratic governance of the security sector is to:

 

  • Enhance citizens’ safety and public security;
  • Strengthen security provision;
  • Enable democratic institutions to monitor and amend security sector policies and practices and ensure compliance with international standards;
  • Embed transparency and accountability mechanisms across the security sector;
  • Encourage the development and maintenance of a democratic culture rooted in respect for the rule of law and human rights within security institutions;
  • Provide effective checks and balances to ensure that security sector actors cannot commit abuses or human rights violations;
  • Manage the security sector cost-effectively in order to avoid a financially resource-heavy security sector; and reduce the possibilities for corruption;
  • Manage human and financial resources effectively, including effective disciplinary measures and career management structures, and encourage professionalism and respect for authority among security sector officials;
  • Promote the security sector as representative institutions of the society at large, ensuring equitable participation of women, and minorities.

 

Democratic governance of the security sector must ensure that security agencies and their staff meet expected standards of performance and behaviour as defined through laws, policies, practices and relevant social and cultural norms. These principles apply not only at management level, but also that of the individual staff member. In particular, security institutions should:

 

  • Prevent abuses of power and authority (by security actors themselves or by other interest groups);
  • Use resources appropriately and effectively through appropriate budgetary management;
  • Be as transparent as possible, making appropriate information available to other government agencies, oversight bodies and the general public;
  • Uphold human rights both by preventing abuses within the security sector itself and by preventing and investigating abuses in society as a whole;
  • Address the security needs of all people for whom they are responsible, regardless of sex, ethnicity, religion, age, or income.

 

Effective governance of the security sector is based on sustaining security institutions that are:

 

  • Governed internally and externally by a legal and institutional framework;
  • Accountable to the authorities and to the population;
  • Transparently managed according to codified standards and practices;
  • Based on, and responsive to, people’s needs;
  • Based on fair and equitable representation.

 

Resources

UN SSR Guidance Note on Democratic Governance of the Security Sector

DCAF Security Sector Reform Backgrounder

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Conference 7: Ukraine’s Civilian Security Sector: Reforms’ Progress and Challenges

In the framework of the ‘Ukraine – Security Governance Best Practice and Monitoring Platforms’ project, the seventh conference will take place in Kiev between 29 and 30 March. This conference will address Ukraine’s Civilian Security Sector: Reforms’ Pr … read more

Proceedings from the Second International Conference “Security Sector Governance: The Role of Democratic Institutions & International Best Practices”

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Proceedings from the First International Conference MONITORING UKRAINE’S SECURITY GOVERNANCE CHALLENGES

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Conference 5: The Role of Ombuds Institutions in Security Sector Governance

The fifth multi-stakeholder conference addressing Ukraine’s security governance challenges will take place in Kiev between 29th and 30th November. The conference will focus on the role of independent oversight institutions and monitoring of security se … read more

OSCE PCU, & Verkhovna Rada and & Ministry of Defence Visit to DCAF and GICHD 10-12/10/16

At the request of the OSCE Project-Coordinator in Ukraine, DCAF and GICHD (Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining) hosted a delegation from the Verkhovna Rada and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine to brief them on DCAF and GICHD’s work. … read more

OSCE PCU, & Verkhovna Rada and & Ministry of Defence Visit to DCAF and GICHD 10-12 October 2016

At the request of the OSCE Project-Coordinator in Ukraine, DCAF and GICHD (Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining) will host a delegation from the Verkhovna Rada and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine between 10 and 12 of October 2016. T … read more

Security Sector Governance and Reform Guidelines for OSCE Staff

These guidelines provide OSCE staff with advice on supporting cross-dimensional approaches to security sector governance and reform (SSG/R). The purpose of such approaches is to promote a move away from the kind of fragmented support which has a limite … read more

Teaching Gender in the Military: A Handbook

The Handbook was created in response to a call to integrate gender in military education and training articulated in the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security; the NATO frameworks to implement these resolutions; and national poli … read more

Handbook on Combating Corruption

This handbook is a reference guide on available legal tools, the latest legislative and policy trends, and pertinent measures and practices to prevent and suppress corruption. The handbook is aimed at raising awareness of the range of international ins … read more

Conference on Monitoring Ukraine’s Security Sector Governance (SSG) Challenges: Governance and Reform of State Security Services – Best Practices

The third multi-stakeholder conference on democratic security sector governance issues in Ukraine, held at the Verkhovna Rada on the on 24th of May, has focused on intelligence reform challenges and priorities. Participants included national and intern … read more

Democratic Civilian Control over the Security Sector: Comparative Legal Documents

This publication provides a broad range of examples of national legislation as well as international conventions and instruments related to the democratic oversight of the security sector. The product is designed for stakeholders’ easy reference, be th … read more

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