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Human Rights of Armed Forces Personnel: Compendium of Standards, Good Practice and Recommendations

5 March, 2021


This compendium is a flagship publication of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and DCAF - Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, which explores existing laws, policies and mechanisms for ensuring the protection of the human rights of armed forces personnel in line with international standards and OSCE commitments.

Good practices and recommendations for protecting and respecting the human rights of armed forces personnel are presented at the end of each chapter.

The compendium highlights the importance of human rights in the armed forces to maintain the military’s accountability and embody the democratic commitments of every state. In doing so, it underscores the primary role of commanders in cultivating a climate in which the human rights of all service personnel are respected. 


Table of Content

1. Introduction : Read chapter 1 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
2. OSCE Commitments : Read chapter 2
3. International Human Rights Law : Read chapter 3 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
4. National Protections for the Human Rights of Armed Forces Personnel : Read chapter 4 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
5. Civil and Political Rights : Read chapter 5 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
6. Freedom of Expression : Read chapter 6 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
7. Military Unions and Associations : Read chapter 7 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
8. Conscientious Objection to Military Service : Read chapter 8 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
9. Religion in the Armed Forces : Read chapter 9 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
10. Ethnic, Racial and Linguistic Minorities in the Armed Forces : Read chapter 10 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
11. Women in the Armed Forces : Read chapter 11 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
12. LGBTI Members of the Armed Forces : Read chapter 12 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
13. Children Associated with Armed Forces : Read chapter 13 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
14. Preventing Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and Other Forms of Abuse of Armed Forces Personnel : Read chapter 14 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
15. Working Conditions and Support for Veterans : Read chapter 15 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
16. Human Rights Education : Read chapter 16 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
17. The Role of Commanders and Individual Accountability : Read chapter 17 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
18. Discipline and Military Justice : Read chapter 18 or download the two-page summary EN - RU
19. Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces : Read chapter 19 or download the two-page summary EN - RU


William McDermott, Jonna Naumanen, and Ewa Sapiezynska