The International Organisation of La Francophonie represents one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world. Its members share more than just a common language. They also share the humanist values promoted by the French language. The French language and its humanist values represent the two cornerstones on which the International Organisation of La Francophonie is based.
The International Organisation of La Francophonie was created in 1970. Its mission is to embody the active solidarity between its 75 member states and governments (56 members and 19 observers), which together represent over one-third of the United Nations’ member states and account for a population of over 890 million people, including 220 million French speakers.
Policy and Research Papers
Under the aegis of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) DCAF undertook three case studies in Burkina Faso, Burundi and Senegal each of which was prepared by country experts. Each study seeks to identify and facilitate the exchange of good practices and experiences between the states concerned, as well as among similar institutions around the world. Each study examines relevant national institutions, as well as their legal status, shedding light on their strengths and weaknesses and contributing to an evaluation of their capacity building needs. Each study also includes details of their complaints handling procedures and of standards that may be relevant to other similar institutions, contributing as a result to a deepened understanding of their mandates, remit, and functioning. Furthermore, these case studies provide a snapshot of the state of security sector governance in each of the three countries, as well as the progress of ongoing reforms.
This mapping study on ombuds institutions for the armed forces in francophone sub-Saharan African states is a project initiated under the aegis of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), in the framework of the OIF programme “Providing Support to Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding”.
The mapping study is the continuation of extensive research conducted within the context of a first project entitled “Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces in Francophone Africa: Burkina Faso, Burundi and Senegal.” The objectives of the mapping study are to develop a comprehensive analysis of the activities and role of the ombuds institutions; to identify factors that may facilitate or hinder the establishment and functioning of such institutions; to encourage ombuds institutions to deal with the armed forces and to improve the functioning and effectiveness of existing institutions; and to involve the ombuds institutions of the states concerned in the global process of exchanging good practice and experience between existing ombuds institutions.
The research explores sub-Saharan states, some with ombuds institutions whose mandates include military matters (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, Senegal, and Togo), some who have established general ombuds institutions, but without such jurisdiction over the armed forces (Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Guinea, Madagascar and Mali), and some who lack these institutions (Comoros and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The paper delineates some common characteristics of general ombuds institutions, before pointing the challenges they confront, from the level of resources to a lack of visibility.
To access the Ombuds Institutions for the armed forces in francophone countries of sub-Saharan Africa, kindly follow the link.
Integrating Gender into Oversight of the Security Sector by Ombuds Institutions & National Human Rights Institutions
- How can ombuds institutions and NHRIs build their own institutional capacity to address gender issues in the security sector?
- How can ombuds institutions and NHRIs ensure that they are accessible to men and women in the security sector and handle their complaints in a gender-responsive manner?
- How can ombuds institutions and NHRIs proactively investigate gender-related problems in the security sector?
This guidance note on Integrating Gender into Oversight of the Security Sector by Ombuds Institutions & National Human Rights Institutions, developed by DCAF,OSCE/ODIHR and the OSCE Gender Section is a practical resource for ombuds institutions and NHRIs, and those who support them. It can help an ombuds institution or NHRI engage more effectively with police, militaries and other security sector institutions to monitor and reinforce how the human rights of men and women working there are upheld. It can strengthen oversight of how well police and others meet the needs of communities.
Designed as a complement to the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR , UN-INSTRAW Tools on Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender and Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender, and DCAF’s Gender Self Assessment Guide, the guidance note contains checklists, examples of good practice from across the OSCE, and a self assessment table.
Associated guidance notes are available on: Integrating a Gender Perspective into Internal Oversight within Armed Forces and Integrating Gender into Internal Police Oversight.