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Handbook on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel

The Handbook on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel is DCAF's flagship publication intended for parliamentarians, ombuds institutions, professional military associations, civil society organisations - all those who play a role in formulating a balanced policy for the human rights of military personnel.

Developed by DCAF in cooperation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Handbook presents an overview of legislation, policies and practices from across the OSCE region, and highlights national models that have proved successful in ensuring the protection and enforcement of the human rights of armed forces personnel and members of the security sector in general.

The Handbook was officially endorsed by the OSCE Participating States at the OSCE Permanent Council Meeting in Vienna in October 2008.

DCAF facilitates understanding and dissemination of the ideas set out in the Handbook through

  • sponsoring translations of the Handbook into local languages
  • organising awareness-raising and training events which focus on specific oversight issues addressed in the Handbook

Ombuds institutions’ role in the protection of human rights and rule of law, a topic which this Handbook explores, has been further developed under DCAF’s Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces project.