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

Read our publications

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An Introduction to Human Rights and Security Sector Reform

Successful security sector reform (SSR) must be guided by the understanding of people as rights-holders and the state, including core security actors, as duty-bearers in providing security as a service to the people.

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2020

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Randolph Rhea

    The evolution of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs – from programs to processes

    South Sudan 2013

    The prop-plane bounces through turbulence and I am awoken. I gaze out the window at the landing strip. From high above it looks busy, with many aircraft on the ta­rmac. When we land I realize that all of the cargo planes, troop carriers, and small aircraft are actually all destroyed and the fuselages have merely been pushed to the side of the mortar-potted runway. The wounds of war are still fresh here.

    After several hours ... Read entire post »

    2020-07-08 08:37
  • Posted by Anna-Linn Ekenstierna

    Stories of partners and colleagues are what I bring with me

    “Your facilitation brought us to a safe space and process where we shared our stories, really listened to each other and learned from each other.”

    These are words that I bring with me as I say goodbye to partners and colleagues at the FBA this time around, heading for a new adventure.

    The feedback means a lot to me since it indicates that we achieved what we had set out to do. I and my colleagues at the ... Read entire post »

    2020-06-26 13:29
  • Posted by Susanna Rudehill

    20 years of women, peace and security – what do we have to celebrate?

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), a groundbreaking step for gender equality in international peace and security. Nine resolutions have followed and together they make up what we today call the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda.

    It’s not the first international framework for women’s rights and gender equality. So why is it called groundbreaking? Because the agenda for the first time recognized inequalities between women and men ... Read entire post »

    2020-06-10 10:23
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Saba Nowzari

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

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