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Ombuds-Institutions for Armed Forces

Ombuds-institutions can play a valuable role in helping to ensure that the armed forces are governed in accordance with the rule of law, and with respect for the human rights of both armed forces personnel and the civilians with which they engage. Ombuds-institutions for the armed forces can take the form of an independent ombuds-institution for the armed forces (e.g. a parliamentary commissioner); an ombuds-institution integrated within the armed forces structures (e.g. an inspector-general); or a general ombuds-institution with jurisdiction over the armed forces.

The objectives of DCAF's engagement with ombuds-institutions for the armed forces are:

  • To formulate policy recommendations to strengthen the functioning of these institutions on the basis of policy-oriented research;
  • To support international cooperation between these institutions of various countries
  • To document best practices and lessons learned

Factsheet (PDF 282kb)

The Ombuds-institution website, initiated by the International Conference of Ombuds-Institutions for Armed Forces (ICOAF), functions as a resource centre and information sharing platform for existing ombuds-institutions for the armed forces, as well as for those states that would like to set up such an institution. The website will provide a centralised database of national legal frameworks for ombuds-institutions (e.g. laws, administrative decrees etc), thematic and annual reports, compilations of best practices, as well as research and comparative analysis of ombuds-institutions.