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Monitoring and Investigating the Security Sector

1 January, 2007


This book focuses on the role of ombudsman 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 security.

Despite the fact that most ombudsman institutions have relatively broad mandatesand corresponding powers, which also endow them with competency overhuman rights abuses in the security sector, they encounter many problems whenthey start investigations. Baseline research on the relationship between ombudsmaninstitutions and the security sector presented in this publication shows thatthe security sector remains a closed domain, and that there is a significant needand potential to strengthen the work of ombudsman institutions on security sectoroversight.

Ombudsman institutions can provide a viable forum for the investigation and resolution of human rights violations committed by security sector agencies; they can help to bring national legislation into conformity with international standards; they can monitor the security sector; and they can educate security sector officials about their obligations and the general public about their rights.So far, there is only little guidance available for ombudsman institutions on how they can best structure their work on human and public security. This publication intends to close this gap and presents action-oriented recommendations, which have benefited greatly from practical input presented by ombudsman institutions from Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.


Katrin Kinzelbach and Eden Cole