Rule of Law, Human Rights and Election Support

Modern peacemaking is not only about ending violence. It is just as much about preventing violence, through the construction of well-functioning states with respect for the rule of law, human rights and democratic elections.

A common root cause of armed conflict is that a group of people perceive that they are being discriminated against, that they lack political and economic power, or that their human rights are systematically violated. In order to prevent violent conflict, it is therefore important to enhance respect for the rule of law, human rights, and free and fair elections. It is also important in order to be able to solve conflicts and rebuild societies after conflict.

Rule of law reform can include making sure that the justice institutions of a state are functioning. But it can also include improving the relation between the state and the citizens by ensuring that the rule of law principles are permeating all state institutions, and not just the police, courts and prisons. Core rule of law principles include that all people and institutions within a state should be accountable to the same laws, and that citizens should have equal access to justice and public institutions. All people should have the opportunity to participate in decision-making. Official decisions must be transparent and possible to appeal.

The state and all state authorities are also required to respect human rights. According to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all human beings have the right to life and safety, education and health, freedom of religion and freedom of speech, among many other rights.

Freedom of opinion and the right to political participation are other core human rights. In a democracy, political leaders are accountable to the people.

Support for democratization and fair elections, with international election observation being an important tool, enhances respect for the right to opinion and political participation. An international election observation mission monitors the election process within a country both before, during and after election day, to ensure that it is fair and impartial. The presence of election observers can also lower the risk of electoral violence, and contribute to long-term peaceful and democratic development.

What does the FBA do?

  • Support to civil society
    FBA grants yearly funds to Swedish civil society organizations working to promote dialogue and debate and to spread knowledge about peace and security related issues, for example issues concerning rule of law, human rights and election support.

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IN THE FIELD

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UN Peace Operations and the Rule of Law 1989–2017

This report contains unique empirical data from 76 UN peace operations between 1989 and 2017. The data paint a picture of the kinds of rule of law assistance that have actually been provided, and allow discussion on how important shifts in peacekeeping and rule of law policy reflect in practice.

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2019

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Jessica Rothman

    Peace-making and cheese-making in Georgia

    Exactly ten years had passed since I last worked in Georgia, when I returned for my deployment to the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), in the country that has a special place in my heart. I arrived with so much curiosity and excitement, wondering how Georgia had developed and recovered after the war in 2008. The first thing that struck me was the condition of the cars, where were all the dilapidated Ladas and Volgas that used ... Read entire post »

    2019-12-05 11:19
  • Posted by Eric Mellado-Åhlin

    Revising the UN guidelines for support to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants: a high-hanging fruit

    One of my first tasks as a desk officer at FBA, working with disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants, was to assist in arranging a conference in Stockholm. As the conference approached, I understood that the goal – to unite the 25 UN agencies of the Inter-Agency Working Group on DDR and come to agreement on the way forward for the revision of the Integrated DDR Standards (IDDRS) – was more complicated than I ... Read entire post »

    2019-11-26 16:22
  • Posted by Kuisma Kinnunen

    From policy to practice – gender as a perspective

    As a trainer, what could be better than to be part of a multinational group with a variety of backgrounds, eagerly wanting to learn new skills? Especially when you get to be the course participant for a change.

    I had a dual aim when I recently participated in the Gender Perspective in the EU Common Security and Defence Policy Course, organised by FBA under the auspices of the European Security and Defence College. Besides learning new gender ... Read entire post »

    2019-10-23 11:27
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Saba Nowzari

Saba Nowzari is expert on Mali, the Middle East and women, peace and security

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