Democratic Security Sector Governance

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Ombudsman, also referred to as Ombudspersons and/or Ombuds Institutions, can perform highly segmented monitoring, oversight, arbitration, and investigation roles in military institutions, law enforcement institutions and in the intelligence sector. In some nations, an Inspector General within a security sector agency can perform a similar function. Overall, any nation with an ombuds institution focused on human rights issues will face the challenge of monitoring the security sector and its agencies in one form or another.


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

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)


Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Mid Term Review: Office of the Ombudsperson Strategy and Action Plan (2013-2017), (Kyiv, 2015).

Key Issues and Policy Recommendations , Conference 5

This publication offers the Key Issues and Policy Recommendations based on the results of the Fifth International Conference “The Role of Ombuds Institutions in Security Sector Governance”. Conference Five, following to the previous conferences recomme … read more

Conference 8: Human Rights and Security Sector Governance: Ukraine’s Reform Challenges

  In the framework of the ‘Ukraine – Security Governance Best Practice and Monitoring Platforms’ project, the eighth conference will take place in Kiev between 21 and 22 June. This conference will address Ukraine’s reform challenges related to Hum … read more

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

The fifth multi-stakeholder conference on “The role of the ombuds Institutions in security sector governance” took place on 29-30 November 2016 in Kyiv. The Ukrainian parliament commissioner for human rights opened the conference by clarifying the stat … read more

8th Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces

Jointly hosted by the Inspector General of the Royal Netherlands’ Armed Forces, the National Ombudsman of the Netherlands and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the 8th ICOAF took place in Amsterdam on 2-5 October 2016 … read more

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

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

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

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

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