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Impact of COVID-19 on Armed Forces

16 February, 2021



The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on societies and their institutions has led to a series of extraordinary responses by governments around the world. COVID-19 has affected all dimensions of the security sector, including armed forces, which have been deployed to assist civilian authorities in fighting the pandemic in a vast majority of countries.

The objective of this briefing note is to map the substantive impact of COVID-19 on armed forces from two perspectives:

  • how the pandemic has influenced the mandate of armed forces and their operations, and;
  • how the pandemic has affected the rights of armed forces personnel deployed to assist civilian authorities.

This briefing note builds on the discussions held during the 12th International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces in October 2020, and presents the key results from the COVID-19 survey DCAF has distributed to the participants prior to the Conference. 

To learn more about how ombuds institutions are responding to the COVID-19 challenges, read our blog: The Armed Forces in a Time of COVID: What Role for Ombuds Institutions?