Ukraine

Democratic Security Sector Governance

Independent oversight agencies with specialised monitoring mandates perform a vital role in the governance of the security sector. Such agencies include:

  • national human rights institutions,
  • human rights ombudsperson institutions,
  • public defenders,
  • national ethics committees,
  • anti-corruption agencies,
  • auditor generals,
  • independent complaint mechanisms, and other specialised expert oversight bodies (e.g. for intelligence oversight)

The roles of independent agencies can include monitoring security policy and practice, independently undertaking investigations, issuing binding and/or non-binding recommendations on accountability issues, policies and practices, aggregating data on complaints and malpractices, and publicly reporting on oversight and compliance issues. Such independent monitoring is essential to ensure accountability, strengthen stakeholder confidence, and provide a substantive basis for dialogue and cooperation between democratic institutions, the security sector, and civil society on security governance issues. Structured and systematic reports and other documentation about the behaviour of the security institutions can provide an empirical basis for reforms to policy and practice at national and local levels.

Similarly, independent oversight institutions are well placed, depending on their precise terms of reference, to issue recommendations on improving security provision and human rights observance by security sector agencies.

Resources

Eden Cole and Katrin Kinzelbach (eds.), Monitoring and Investigating the Security Sector, (Bratislava: Renesans for UNDP, 2007)

Hans Born and Ian Leigh, Handbook on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel, (ODIHR & DCAF, 2008)

Benjamin Buckland and William McDermott, Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces: A Handbook, (DCAF 2012)

OHCHR and NHRIs

UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre, Guide for Ombudsman Institutions: How to Conduct Investigations, 2006.

OSCE ODIHR, Guidelines on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, (Warsaw: 2014)

Gender and Complaints Mechanisms: A Handbook for Armed Forces and Ombuds Institutions

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. The Handbook is a resource for armed forces, ministries of defe … read more

Guides to Good Governance: Anti-Corruption Policies and Agencies

“Guides to Good Governance” is a series of small booklets each of which discusses a particular topic of importance to good governance in the defence sector. The main reason for promoting integrity in a systematic way is to reduce the risk of corruption … read more

Democratic and Effective Oversight of National Security Services

With the permission of the Council of Europe, DCAF has translated the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’ May 2015 Issue Paper on ‘Democratic and effective oversight of national security services’ (link to original source here) into severa … read more

International Standards of Financial Oversight in the Security Sector

This Toolkit provides readers with easy access to internationally-adopted guiding principles, standards, and best practices of financial oversight of security sector institutions. The toolkit allows readers to access key international standards on budg … read more

SSR: Applying the Principles of Good Governance to the Security Sector

This SSR Backgrounder is about security sector reform. SSR is the political and technical process of improving state and human security by applying the principles of good governance to the security sector. SSR means making security provision, oversight … read more

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

This guidance note is a practical resource for Ombuds institutions and NHRIs, and those who support them. The publication can help an Ombuds institution or NHRI engage more effectively with police, militaries and other security sector institutions to m … read more

Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector

This paper represents a further addition to the series of publications on issues in parliamentary practice from the Office for Promotion of Parliamentary Democracy (OPPD). The main objective of this publication is to provide an overview of the main iss … read more

Overseeing Intelligence Services Toolkit

DCAF’s toolkit on overseeing intelligence services is a compendium of booklets (tools) that provides policy-relevant information on the establishment and consolidation of independent bodies to oversee state organisations involved in the collection, ana … read more

The Role of Good Governance in the Promotion of Human Rights

The concepts of good governance and human rights are mutually reinforcing. Human rights principles provide a set of values to guide the work of governments and other political and social actors. They also provide a set of performance standards against … read more

Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces: A Handbook

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 Insti … read more

Legislating for the Security Sector Toolkit: Compilation of Good Practices for Intelligence Agencies and their Oversight

The Compilation of Good Practices within the Security Sector Toolkit highlights the legal and institutional frameworks and measures that ensure respect for human rights by intelligence agencies while countering terrorism. The toolkit also identifies in … read more

Parliamentary Oversight of Security and Intelligence Agencies in the European Union

This study evaluates the oversight of national security and intelligence agencies by parliaments and specialised, non-parliamentary oversight bodies with a view to identifying good practices that inform the European Parliament’s approach to strengtheni … read more

Building Public Support for Anti-Corruption Efforts

This paper provides a practical overview of how an agency may work with the media to win the support of the public in the fight against corruption. The paper is intended as a “how-to” guide to help agencies understand how to control the way they presen … read more

UNDP-OHCHR Toolkit for Collaboration with National Human Rights Institutions

The Toolkit identifies good practices and support strategies for projects aimed at supporting organisational development and capacity assessment generally, with a focus on the two substantive areas of NHRI work: Protection mandate: investigations, effe … read more

Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society

Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society is addressed to the civil society actors who, every day in every part of the world, contribute to the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights. Developed … read more

Public Oversight of the Security Sector: A Handbook for Civil Society Organizations

This Handbook provides structured guidance for civil society organisations (CSOs) on the role they can play in democratic security sector oversight. Although many CSOs have facilitated security sector reform processes in transition and post-conflict st … read more

Handbook on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel

The Handbook is the product of a research project initiated in January 2005 by DCAF in cooperation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Rather than examining the external aspects of the issue, such as the conduct o … read more

Monitoring and Investigating the Security Sector

This book focuses on the role of Ombuds 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 … read more

Defence Institution Building Sourcebook in Support of the Partnership Action Plan on DIB: What Kind of Defence Do We Need?

This book aims to be a sourcebook on ‘defence institution building’, drawing on established practices in Western Europe, but also on recent experiences from among new NATO members. All contributions focus on ongoing defence reform. The chapters in this … read more

Understanding Policing: A Resource for Human Rights Activists

This Resource Book builds on the assumption that an approach by human rights organizations that acknowledges the concerns and realities of the police and understands police language, will be more effective than an approach that sets itself apart and cr … read more

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